Welcome to David Morrissey Fan. A website supporting the career of English actor David Morrissey, most known for his role as The Governor in The Walking Dead and as Sam Webster in The Missing. The website will provide you with the most up to date news, projects, images and so much more on David's career, appearances and charity work.

Posted on January 4th, 2019 by admin

 

This unusual BBC2 murder mystery drama is adapted from the novel by China Miéville and features two overlapping – but completely separate – cities
“I think the world is fantastic, it’s trippy as anything,” says David Morrissey of new BBC2 drama The City and the City. “It’s such a weird, trippy place.”

The world in question is actually a fictional European city-state – or rather, two cities existing in exactly the same space. But this is no science fiction; we’re not talking about alternative realities. These are two actual cities in one…

In The City and The City, Morrissey’s character Inspector Tyador Borlú lives in the dilapidated, chaotic, vibrant city of Beszel. But Beszel overlaps and mingles with an entirely separate city: the rich, slick and sterile Ul Qoma. The inhabitants of each city must consciously “unsee” the inhabitants of the other, or they will be punished by the all-seeing secret service Breach.

As Morrissey concedes, “It’s a difficult show to describe. But once you embrace it and get in the world, you’re really in it.”

A citizen of Beszel may not visit the shop next door, because it’s in Ul Qoma; a man in Ul Qoma cannot pick up a stray frisbee that has come from a child playing in Beszel.

“You don’t acknowledge it, you don’t have any interaction with that place at all,” Morrissey explains. “And that’s how it is. And it’s sort of always been that way.”

The concept comes straight from China Mieville’s novel The City & The City, and adapted for TV by screenwriter Tony Grisoni. This four-part drama tells the story of a murder investigation that stretches across the two cities after the body of an American student who was living in Ul Qoma turns up on a street in Beszel.

Inspector Borlú is determined to find out who killed her, and why.

“I get sent a lot of cop shows,” Morrissey says. “It’s great that I’m six foot three and I get sent a lot of options, and cop shows are our staple, aren’t they? So you get them and sometimes go, ‘Oh, I think that’s OK.’ But this one I thought, ‘Thank god for that! This is totally different.’”

But while it might be a totally different sort of cop show, Mieville’s world contains a certain truth about our reality.

“What I like about [author] China, and I think there’s something a little Black Mirror-y about it, is the fact that he takes things that you totally understand, are totally familiar with – and just exaggerates it”

He adds: “I don’t think anybody who lives in any metropolis has to look too far to recognise that we deny people who live in our streets and our cities all the time. We don’t look at the things that are going on. We live in high rise, or even on the street we walk past people all the time.

“So he’s using that idea but militarising it, and putting it into a structure.”

However, this “trippy” world is particularly hard to put on screen. How do you visually represent the idea of “unseeing”; how do you show two cities with completely invisible boundaries?

“I did start thinking, how the hell are they going to do this?” Morrissey admits. “And then I met [the director] Tom Shankland, who I’m a huge fan of, and he had a vision, and you just jump in. Any job is a leap of faith.”

Production took place in Liverpool and Manchester, using the Victorian gothic buildings of the industrial revolution for Beszel which sit “cheek by jowl with these big glass structures” used to represent Ul Qoma. “Unseeing” is represented by a blurring of everything but the city our characters are currently in.

 
 And, in an echo of the division between East and West Berlin that is still visible from the air – with one side lit up in warm orange and one in cold blue, a relic of Soviet vs Western street lighting systems – Beszel and Ul Qoma are bathed in different coloured light. It’s a useful visual distinction.

Grisoni has however taken one liberty with the novel: he has given Morrissey’s character a wife.

However, she is only introduced to us in flashbacks, because Katrynia (Sherlock’s Lara Pulver) is missing. It seems she tried to illicitly cross from Beszel to Ul Qoma; now her whereabouts is uncertain.

“What Tony Grisoni has done is he’s added something to the narrative, an emotional heart to it,” Morrissey says.

“What I like about China’s writing actually is there’s something detached in his writing. He’s slightly on the outside looking in.

 “What Tony has done is he’s given my character a real emotional heart that means that this case that he’s investigating has a personal element to it. Why is he doing this? Why is he following this case so passionately? And it’s to do with his ex-wife.”

Source: Radio Times


Posted on November 5th, 2018 by admin


Posted on July 13th, 2018 by admin

The Bike Project, based in Deptford, takes second-hand bikes, fix them up and donates them to refugees and asylum-seekers.

The charity is through to the final seven of the charity category of the National Lottery Awards which recognises the achievements of charities across the UK.

London Live spoke to David Morrissey about why he has given the charity his backing.


Posted on April 20th, 2018 by admin

Follow the link to read the web chat with David here.

You can read some of the questions and answers below:

I loved your portrayal of The Governor in The Walking Dead. Is there any chance that you’ll ever play the role again? An adaption of the Rise of the Governor novel would make a wonderful prequel!

I would love to play the role again, however there are no plans to do it. Not to my knowledge anyway. He was a character that I felt had great depth and complexity. Not just a cardboard baddy. A lot of my inspiration for the role came from the books written by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga. I think these books are fantastic and I think it would be wonderful to do a mini series of them.

What advice would you give to a young person now without any means or support but who is really burning to go into acting?

I am very worried about the lack of support for people from low-income backgrounds trying to get into the creative arts. It’s always been a difficult profession to break into but I feel now with drama and the visual arts being taken out of school curriculum it’s even harder. My advice is never give up. Join amateur dramatic groups. Get your friends together to read plays and scripts, make your own film on your phone, it’s about knocking on doors writing letters and believing in yourself.

How was your experience of playing Mark Antony in Julius Caesar at the Bridge theatre? How did your characterisation of Antony come about?

It was a wonderful experience all round. Great cast, great crew and brilliant audiences. I think The Bridge is a very special theatre and I will remember the experience for a very long time. What is amazing about Shakespeare is how even now he is relevant to us and can give us insight into human behaviour that illuminates the very situations and times we are living in now.

I admire your work with refugees. What first inspired you to work with them and do you see yourself continuing to do that for a long time?

I am a goodwill ambassador here in the UK for UNHCR. I have been doing work with them to highlight the plight of refugees for a number of years now and I will continue to do that for as long as I can. I feel that the refugee crisis and how we handle it is truly the challenge of our age. Reaching out to people, helping people who are fleeing murderous circumstances is a no brainer to me. We’ve seen in history what happens to people when the world turns its back on them and it’s up to us in the 21st century to ensure that that doesn’t happen again.

Which one of your characters can you relate to the most / who’s most like your personality in real life?!

There’s always different aspects of myself in all my characters but the character that was most like me was Billy in One Summer, which was the first job I ever did about a 16 year old kid in Liverpool, which I happened to be at the time. It was a very relatable to me at the time.

 

Source: The Guardian


Posted on April 19th, 2018 by admin


Posted on April 16th, 2018 by admin

 

WE last saw him putting the wind up ancient Celts as Roman general Aulus Plautius in the bonkers historical drama Britannia. Now David Morrissey has returned to our screens in the equally baffling but possibly brilliant The City And The City. You never know quite where he’s going to turn up next.

Though he’s flown under the awards radar (the only notable gong he’s won in his Rada-trained, 35-year career is a Royal Television Society Programme Award for 2003’s The Deal), Morrissey, 53, has a fair claim to being Britain’s most underrated TV actor, certainly in terms of his versatility. It takes some acting chops to jump from Britannia’s woozy past to the unsettling future of The City And The City’s dystopian mystery without pausing for breath.

‘Yes, I went straight from Britannia to The City And The City,’ he says. ‘It took a bit of adjusting. But I was a big fan of China Miéville’s book, on which The City And The City is based, and I was intrigued to see how writer Tony Grisoni would turn it into a TV adaptation.’

If you’ve yet to catch it, be warned: The City And The City is a bit of a head-scratcher. Set in two fictional cities that border each other without interacting, episode one was like entering a labyrinth with no clues to an exit. But as the smoke has cleared, what has emerged is an intriguing and timely study of an issue central to life, circa 2018: our divided world.

Filming Blackpool, David Tennant and I looked at each other and said, ‘We’re never going to work again!’

Morrissey plays the grizzled, seen-it-all Inspector Borlú, whose beat is the grubby streets of Beszel. He’s got a lot on his plate: a murder mystery to solve, a wife who’s gone missing and a world in danger of collapsing in on itself.

‘The idea of a divided world is not a new one,’ says Morrissey. ‘But it’s one that’s pertinent to what’s going on now. ‘That idea of being in a city where you don’t know the half of what is going on, where you can be totally blinded to the plight of other people. This show pushes that to the point where people are literally invisible to each other.

‘It’s TV that pushes people, we need that don’t we? And yes, it’s asking a lot for people to get their heads around it. But I get sent a lot of scripts which are all so similar — and this is really different.’

Given the impressive range of his credits, asking what he most gets recognised for could produce a list as long as your arm. But he skips over big hits The Missing, State Of Play, The Deal and Red Riding and gets straight to the point.

‘That depends where I am. If I’m in Liverpool, where I’m from, it’s still One Summer, the first thing I was in on TV, which was set there. I was in Italy not long ago and there it was all, “You’re that guy from The Walking Dead”.’

He long ago gave up trying to predict which shows would strike a major chord — he’s had his fair share of highs (Nowhere Boy) and lows (Basic Instinct 2) on film — and rolls with the punches.

‘I did a show called Blackpool and they showed us a reel of scenes we’d shot and I remember getting into an elevator with David Tennant afterwards and we looked at each other and said, “We’re never going to work again!” But the finished version turned out to be one of the shows I’m most proud of. So you never can tell — you just have to do it for yourself.’

He’s delighted to be getting another crack at Aulus Plautius, as Britannia’s mix of Romans, Druids, warrior women and historical mayhem proved a hit for Sky Atlantic — it got the green light for a second series.

‘Jez Butterworth is a writer I’d wanted to work with for a long, long time’, says Morrissey. ‘We had great fun doing it. Jez has got a real respect for that time, the pre-Christian era in Britain, he really knows his stuff. But he’s got a very modern take on it, which is what I loved.’

Hang on a minute — by ‘had great fun’ would that be a reference to, how to put it, enjoying the odd ‘druidical’ moment? The mystical mischief-makers were much given to the odd trip?

‘I know where you’re going with that — but no,’ he says. ‘I wouldn’t have been able to get the lines out properly. But I think Jez may well have had a few of those moments while he was writing it!’

Source: The Metro


Posted on April 5th, 2018 by admin

 
David Morrissey arrives for our interview at his publicist’s Soho office dressed in a sharply- tailored, Teddy-Boy era suit, his instantly recognisable features dusted with a fine, grizzly stubble. His 6ft 3in frame is entirely ‘metropolitan man’; he is affable, firm of handshake, and resoundingly apologetic for being a little tardy. Blame the late nights involved in his current theatre role – playing Marc Antony in a highly-praised contemporary version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Weird hours notwithstanding, “it’s nice for me to work in London because I could as easily be in Outer Mongolia or anywhere that the work takes me,” he laughs. “I keep a packed suitcase in the hallway.”

When he is home, Morrissey embraces the busy life in the capital that he shares with his novelist wife Esther Freud, daughter of painter Lucian. Yet Liverpool, the city of his birth, still tugs at his heart and continues to announce itself in the undertow of a Scouse accent. The recent passing of comedy stalwart Sir Ken Dodd, another of the city’s favourite sons and Morrissey’s former neighbour, struck a chord.

“I used to see him on my way to school and sometimes he’d be loading his props into the car,” the 53-year-old recalls. “I’d shout, ‘Alright Doddy?!’ He was the first celebrity I ever saw. So when he died, apart from being upset that a great legend had gone, it threw me back to the good and bad times of that period of my life, living with my mum and dad and growing up in Liverpool.”

Same thing, too, he says, during recent filming of the new BBC drama The City and The City. Morrissey stars as Inspector Tyador Borlu in the upcoming adaptation of China Mieville’s weird and wonderful thriller, playing a man who must solve the brutal murder of a young woman while confronting his own troubled past.

“On the surface the viewer’s lured in with the familiar trope of a noir, murder investigation but, on a deeper level, The City and The City is about a lot of other things – divisions in our society, [and] the tendency of those who have to ignore the have-nots. It’s very recognisably a tale for our times,” Morrissey explains.

Rather like his character, whose memories are intimately connected with his locale, walking the streets of Liverpool during filming reawakened Morrissey’s past. The youngest child of Joe, a cobbler and Joan, who worked for the Littlewoods catalogue, his two older brothers and sister still live in the city – “a stone’s’ throw from each other” – as did his mother until her death two years ago.

Joan influenced him hugely, he says, not least because she became the sole parent after his father’s death at the age of 54, following a long battle with a blood disorder. “My dad became ill when I was seven and died when I was 15,” the actor says, “and my memories of those years are of us having a very ill person in the house and having to walk around on eggshells, which was hard as a kid.

“After his death, I felt quite rudderless and full of questions and regrets and later I was just sad that he wasn’t around to know my kids or to share the times when maybe I’d had a bit of success in my career. His death also distorted my view of mortality for a while because I thought, ‘if he died so young, so could I.’ But, this year, I’m 54 myself and it’s easier because I think, ‘Well, I’m all right. I don’t have what he had. I’m much less concerned now.”

He is concerned, he says, that these days working class kids don’t receive similar encouragement. “My problem isn’t at all with ‘posh actors’ like Benedict (Cumberbatch) or Damian (Lewis) who are mates of mine.

“[It’s] with the idea that acting is somehow not for kids from the working class and that drama now is seen as something extra curricular and unnecessary in state schools. So if you come from a low-income background, then your chances of being introduced to that world are constantly diminishing, as is your chance of seeing yourself represented in the dramas that are being made. That doesn’t feel right to me.”

Morrissey himself trained at RADA before joining the RSC. Since then, he’s worked constantly in top-notch roles on both sides of the pond, playing good guys and bad – an MP in State of Play, an arrogant arcade owner in the seminal BBC series Blackpool and an authoritarian antagonist in US zombie hit The Walking Dead. You can still catch him in the Sky drama Britannia, playing a chilling, but oddly humorous Roman General, Aulus.

It helps that Morrissey looks after himself. He hasn’t had a drink for years, doesn’t smoke and found himself dismayed by the recent Beast from the East because it prevented his daily running and cycling. Contentment helps too, he adds.

“The only thing I ever wanted when I started out being an actor was to work. And I have that. And then, after that, was choice. And I have that too. I pinch myself every day because I know how lucky I am.”

Many of the roles, including his turn in The City and the City, you wouldn’t take home. “It’s important to surround yourself with people who’d kick you up the arse if you did,” he laughs. Which brings us to Esther.

The couple met at a mutual friend’s dinner party over two decades ago and married in 2006, when they already had their three children; Albie, now aged 23, Anna, 20 and 12-year-old Gene.

Was he ever intimidated by his wife’s ancestry? The family tree, after all, not only includes her father and grandfather, Sigmund; her sister is fashion designer Bella Freud, cousin, Emma…

“Quite honestly, at that time the word ‘Freud’ meant as much to me as the word ‘sellotape’,” he says of their first meeting.

“It was about falling in love with her. And that’s the way it’s remained. The Freud dynasty is not something we discuss or have even consciously spoken to the kids about. They’ve always got to where they are on their own merits.”

He is proud of and devoted to his wife – whose play, Stitchers, is about to open at the Jermyn Street Theatre. He hopes her success will inspire his own daughter, Anna, for whom he wishes only “the freedom to find who she is in the world.” As a parent, he has found himself inheriting his mother’s trait of being a “terrible worrier”; “I’m one of those dads who always insists that my kids text when they’ve got to where they going and who freaks out when they don’t. And that’s definitely my mother coming out.”

He still thinks about her often, goes to call her before realising she’s not there. Recently, he found himself “considering a role that might involve me taking my clothes off and my immediate thought was, “I wonder what my mum would say?”

He can probably imagine. A few years back, he appeared nude in a play in Liverpool and, unnervingly, she was in the audience.

“I met with her afterwards and she just looked at me and said, ‘Have you been eating properly?!’. It made me laugh so much.

“Once a mum, always a mum,” he concludes. And, like her son, once a Scouser always a Scouser too.

The City and the City is on BBC Two on Friday at 9pm

Source: The Telegraph


Posted on April 2nd, 2018 by admin

Actor David Morrissey is the first to admit that the concept for his latest TV drama will require “a leap of the imagination”.

The City & The City, an adaptation of China Miéville’s 2009 fantasy novel, is described as a “mind-bending, genre-busting thriller”, which portrays two divided cities where communities live cheek by jowl – but choose what they see and “unsee”.

Citizens of each city can dimly make out the other, but are forbidden on pain of severe penalties (administered by a Stasi-like police force, known simply as Breach) to notice it.

But while it’s a fantasy drama, David believes that The City & The City contains some universal themes and morals.

“It’s a very different world. You’re not allowed to acknowledge anyone from the other city – you don’t look at each other, you don’t share anything with them,” explains David, 53, best known for his roles in BBC1’s The Missing and Sky One’s Britannia.

“But I don’t think you have to go too far to understand the idea of people living in a metropolis where they just don’t see or hear other people. I think we do it all the time. This story is a metaphor for how we live.”

In the new, four-part BBC2 series, David plays Inspector Tyador Borlú, a detective in the Extreme Crime Squad of the fictional European city of Besźel, who investigates the death of a foreign student

He soon discovers that the dead girl came from Besźel’s sister city, Ul Qoma – and, as it may have involved illegal passage between the two cities, that is a matter for Breach. But Borlú is unwilling to let the case go.

He travels to UI Qoma, where the young girl came from, working alongside their police force to solve the case, while also attempting to find answers relating to the disappearance of his wife.

“Tony Grisioni [who adapted the book for screen] has brought a different element to my character that doesn’t exist in the book – a history,” explains David.

“He has a wife and that wife gives him an emotional attachment, a journey. He is a lost mand heartbroken man, and he knows that solving this case will solve whatever happened to his wife.”

But finding answers isn’t easy. Borlú has to navigate a different world in UI Qoma, with different people – a different language, even – and a new set of rules.

“They are cities that share a geographic footprint, but otherwise are entirely separate, and they have very distinct looks. My character’s city, Besźel, is 1970s in its feel, and is slightly dirty and grubby. The other city is all chrome and glass, almost Swiss in its cleanliness, and completely in denial of any social disorder or poverty.

“On top of that, there’s the rumour – in both cities – of a third place. It’s a place that is historical, a bit like a Roman settlement that existed before these two cities were there. There’s an idea of being held by your city, of a conspiracy going on.”

David filmed the series on location in both Manchester and in his home city of Liverpool – a place he says is “in his bones” – working alongside a stellar supporting cast, such as Lara Pulver (Sherlock, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams), who plays his wife Katrynia, and Mandeep Dhillon (Some Girls), who plays Constable Corwi of the Besźel Policzai.

It’s the latest high-profile role for David, who started his acting career in Channel 4’s One Summer in 1983 before going on to star in The Hollow Crown, The 7.39 and The Walking Dead. He’s also appeared in movies such as The Other Boleyn Girl and Welcome To The Punch.

The last couple of years have been particularly busy for the star, who is married to novelist Esther Freud (with whom he has three children), as he’s taken on parts in The Missing and Britannia. He’s currently on stage in Julius Caesar at The Bridge Theatre on London’s South Bank. He admits that he’s hopeful The City & The City will be granted another series, too.

“The worlds are so rich and the characters are so wonderful – you really care about them and you get drawn into this story. I’d love for it to go on.”

 

 

 

Source: The Express


Posted on November 15th, 2017 by admin


Posted on July 31st, 2017 by admin

 
To read my review of the London and film  comic con and meeting Dave that weekend please click below for my blog.

Meeting Dave at LFCC

 


Recent Projects

GOOD OMENS
Character: Captain Vincent
Status: Released 2019
 


THE CITY AND THE CITY
Character: Inspector Tyador Borlú
Status: Series 1 DVD available on amazon. Series 2 being filmed
 


BRITANNIA
Character: Aulus
Status: Series 1 available on DVD
 


JULIUS CAESAR
Character: Mark Antony
Status: Completed
 

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