Welcome to Macfadders. A website supporting the career of Matthew Macfadyen. A wonderful British actor most known for his roles in Spooks, Pride and Prejudice and Ripper Street. The website will provide you with the most up to date news, projects, images and so much more on Matthew’s career and appearances. Follow us on twitter @macfadders. Many thanks, Sarz.
admin / April 2nd, 2019   Succession

If you’re in need of a show to watch, head to HBO and binge Succession. Created by Jesse Armstrong and Executive Produced by Adam Mckay, the show was the hit of last summer. Greed. Power. Money are the central theme as entitled kids vy for the throne, waiting for the family patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) to die so they can inherit his media empire. But which Roy child is fit to take over?
Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin star alongside Matthew Macfadyen who plays Tom. The guy from the mid-west, in the midst of planning his wedding to Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook). Tom is far from ruthless,  not a Roy heir. Instead, he takes the insults thrown at him and had the best TV bromance of the summer with Cousin Greg ( Nicholas Braun).

I caught up with Macfadyen to talk about delivering some of the best lines on TV in 2018 and what it was like to play his first American role in the HBO series. Is Tom really as evil as any of the Roy children? And what’s it like to say, “Did you bitch me out, pigman?” on TV?

Read my chat with Macfadyen and see what’s in store for Tom in season two…

You’ve gone from Howard’s End to Disney’s Nutcracker and then there’s Succession, how do you pick your characters and your roles?

They sort of pick me really. I was doing the pilot for Succession here in New York and the offer from Howard’s End came through and doing another buttoned-up Englishman wasn’t really high up on my list, but it was such a brilliant script and Kenneth Lonergan’s script was irresistible. I did that and the show got picked up so I knew I’d go back to Succession which was eons away from Henry Wilcox.

That’s the dreamy state of an actor when you’re playing two completely different parts that are so different from each other.

I remember having a beard from the Nutcracker. I wasn’t really in the magical realm. I remember being a Victorian dad.

And then, you went back to Succession. It was too good to pass up. Talk about seeing the script and getting back into that world.

It was quite a pleasure because I haven’t played an American on film before so that was quite daunting. Once I got over that, it was a joy. The writing is just so good, so fresh and so funny. It does a really clever thing in dealing with subjects like money, power, family and all that stuff seriously, but it pushes it so it’s quite ridiculous. We are ridiculous and people are ridiculous and Succession manages to do that really well. It’s such a tricky thing to pull off and you wonder what you’re watching and I think that’s quite a good thing.

The other actors are so supremely brilliant and it’s just so exciting to be a part of it and acting alongside them all.

I love Tom because he has the funniest lines, especially when it comes to Greg. He’s evil but not quite. Why does he do that?

I think there’s a big part of Tom and he’s not aware he’s doing that. He can cope with being a sycophantic twat and this terrible obsequious toerag to Logan and really to Shiv. He can cope with that debating himself to try and advance through the ranks of the company by being revolting to Cousin Greg and that makes him feel OK.

If you called him up on it, he’d say, “I’m a good boss and a good fiance and I’m doing my best.” I think he’d say, “I’m just a guy from the Mid-West.”

I’ve known people who are wildly different with different people and I suppose we all are to a certain degree. You play different parts with different people in your life. Sometimes when they all come together it’s slightly odd because you don’t know who to be or how to be. I think with Tom, you push it a bit and to extremes.

Talking about extremes, the clubbing scene was wild. Were you much of a clubber?

I never went to clubs. I was more a pub person. I just embraced my inner dork. I forget who owned it. I think it was Jay-Z. Nick and I just had a blast in our VIP area with no one else in there. We did a lot of drunken dancing which they subsequently cut.

Adam left that on the cutting room floor.


You have such great lines calling people, “You lump of fucking turducken.” What is that like to get a script and see a line like that and having to deliver that without bursting into hysterics?

It’s just joy. The problem is – Nick and I are the same – we’d been the night before and say we couldn’t let ourselves down and annoy the crew by laughing too much and so we’d rehearse before. The lines are just so funny. To say, “Did you bitch me out, pigman?” and if I see one little flicker in his eyes, I’m gone. I’ve got no self-control at all. It’s hard. But, that’s the joy of it. It’s such a fun job.

We’ve talked about Greg, but what about Shiv, what does she see in him?

Tom’s probably punching above his weight with Shiv. I think perhaps the idea is that because of who the father is. All the kids and siblings are damaged and lacking confidence, however much swagger they project.

I think Shiv – with Tom – knows he’s never going to leave her. He’s never going to fuck her over or be a threat in that way and that part of her life is settled and safe. Maybe that’s why they’re together. They have a laugh. I think they can plot and plan a career path together and he’s never going to let her down in that way. I think that’s the relationship.

It’s like you were saying, he’s so different with her and with Greg, he’s teaching him things like, “Don’t go to California Pizza Kitchen, it’s not a nice restaurant.”

That’s right.

Mackay’s style is improvising. What is that like for you as an actor and how does that work for you?

In the pilot, we were working out what’s going on and with the accent, it’s quite hard, but that got easier as we went on, but it’s just lovely. Once you know who everyone is and you have that reference, improvising is a great relief.

The script as written is so good and brilliant and just so full of stuff. There is some improvising but it feels so organic and right. It’s so lovely. The writers are always there on set and they’re feeding in different ideas for endings to a scene. It’s just so fluid.

Do you have a favorite Tom line? You became a meme this past season.

[laughs] Someone came up to me at a BAFTAs party and said, “We have a WhatsApp group of videos and memes with just you and Greg.” It was so funny.

There are so many. I do like, “Dude, are you carrying dogshit?” When he has a dog poop bag with biscuits, just because it’s so silly. I don’t know why there’s something about his expression that was just so funny. It made me laugh so much.

“Did you bitch me out pigman?” was another favorite. You never think you’re going to say it on TV and now I have, I can die happy.

You just wonder how far can he go?

We’re almost halfway through the second season and there are some corkers. It’s just hilarious.

“Buckle up, fucklehead” was an absolute favorite.

Oh yes! That was a very good one. “Buckle up, fucklehead.” That was beautiful.

What lies ahead for Tom?

We pick up pretty soon after where we left off the first season. It’s good fun.

It’s been a joy watching you go from Howard’s End to Succession.

You couldn’t have two more different characters. could you? I don’t think Henry would approve of Succession at all.

They wouldn’t be friends.

Source: Awards Daily

admin / August 6th, 2018   Succession

Everyone in HBO’s Succession is bound together by a greedy killer instinct. Everyone, that is, except for Tom Wamsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), a character who’s part audience proxy and part comic relief: He’s the dopey Minnesota man marrying into the obscenely wealthy Roy family. Where his fiancée, Shiv (Sarah Snook), is the pitiless daughter of a corporate titan, Tom just seems generally nervous to be invited anywhere. Every episode finds him doing something odd or off kilter, like proposing to Shiv in a hospital hallway after her father’s brain hemorrhage, or giving her a goofy thumbs-up during a family spat. “Most of what Tom does is governed by fear,” Macfadyen says.

Mastering Tom’s American accent was hard for the English actor, best known for 2005’s Pride and Prejudice, but the result is hilarious: He leaves dramatic lines — about the Roy family, or the history of debauchery within the amusement-parks division he runs — twisting in the air, like he’ll change his mind to agree with you mid-syllable. “I found it difficult when I had to improvise sometimes,” Macfadyen says. “I tend to go quite high with my American voice. I kept thinking, Why am I sounding like Mickey Mouse?

In Sunday night’s episode, “Which Side Are You On?”, Tom has a new mission: teaching Shiv’s lazy, 20-something second cousin, Greg (Nicholas Braun), how to wine and dine like the super rich. Macfadyen talked to Vulture about Tom’s role as the resident patsy, playing an American for the very first time, and his own biggest extravagances.

 Tom is this guy from Minneapolis thrown into a powerful New York family. How did you approach the character?
I just go with the script, really. It’s all there in the writing. You get a feel for it. That’s the lovely thing about doing long-form TV — it builds as you work. The writers are influenced by what you’re doing a little bit, and things change when you’re improvising and playing with the other actors. It’s quite an organic feel.

Did you do lots of improv?
We did a little bit, yeah. The writers, led by Jesse [Armstrong] and Tony Roche, were really brilliant — Susan Stanton, Lucy Prebble, Jonathan Glatzer. They would always have alternate lines at the ends of scenes, so we’d shoot the scenes and they’d come in with other sides and we’d do something a little bit different, which is such fun and just keeps it fresh and exciting.

Tom has some very unnerving line readings, especially with Greg. He’ll say something totally demented and then play it off as a joke. You can’t tell if he’s being serious.
He’s horrible to Greg, isn’t he? [Laughs.] I guess he’s unsettled by Greg, but actually they end up needing each other a little bit. Initially, he’s so desperate to be close to Logan and be in the family and be accepted, but Greg coming in is a real threat.

Episode six really capitalizes on the humor in their relationship. Tom tutors Greg about being rich, starting off by telling him that California Pizza Kitchen is not a nice restaurant.
[Laughs.] Yeah, eating those little birds!

Every scene I did with Nick [Braun], we couldn’t wait to shoot it and then we’d panic because we’ve got terrible giggles. We’d very easily break out laughing. It was quite nerve-racking because we were thinking, We’re gonna screw this up and people are going to get cross with us and maybe we’re enjoying it a bit too much, you know? We’re not being as funny as we think we are. So, it was tricky in that sense. I think Greg and Tom have ended up with a nice sort of double act, in a funny way. They’re an odd couple.

At one point, Tom also takes Greg clubbing. Were nightclubs ever your scene?
No, I’m not a nightclub person really. In my 20s I was into pubs, and now I’ve never really liked nightclubs. That’s the nice thing about acting, because you can do the stuff you never really did in your life in a really cheesy way.

What do you think Tom sees in Shiv?
He’s in love with Shiv. They make each other laugh and I think he genuinely loves her, but also it’d be a lie to say that he wasn’t attracted to the family and the money and their power. That’s part of it, too. I think he’s probably punching a little bit above his weight, actually, with Siobhan. But they seem to get along pretty well.

Speaking of punching above his weight, a few episodes ago, Tom learned about the abuse allegations in the Roy family’s amusement parks. How do you think he handled it?
I think he really does find it problematic, a little bit. It’s always that fine line of how much he’s covering himself and how much he really cares if it all just went away. But his first instinct is to get the lawyers and go to the press and make a clean start. Come clean. And then Siobhan really quickly says, “Don’t do that,” and then he buries it.

How did you imagine Tom’s personal history? There’s a hint that his mom is a powerful attorney in Minneapolis.
Yeah, his mom is also his lawyer and she’s a lawyer in the Twin Cities. You see mom and dad in the last two episodes actually, in the wedding, which is quite nice. You see Tom’s parents. [Laughs.] I don’t know when we decided he was from Minnesota, but it seemed to work.

Succession is a show about the super wealthy. What is your biggest extravagance?
In my own life? Oh God. The house. The holidays. I’ve got three kids. My wife and I like hotels and going out and that kind of stuff.

So, no $2,000 gold-gilded vodka?
No, exactly. It’s not gold-leaf vodka!

People point to Pride and Prejudice as being your breakout role, but what role was most important to you as an actor?
I don’t know, to be honest. I’ve been really lucky. I’ve loved most of the roles I play, so there isn’t one in particular that I can think of. Some roles were a bit more high profile than others, but then, you learn just as much from doing a ten-month tour with a theater company. I’m just happy that I’m still working.

Do people still ask you about Pride and Prejudice?
A little bit. Not so much.

Well, I told both my mom and my best friend that I was doing this interview and they both freaked out. It’s their favorite movie and they’re in love with you. 
Oh, really? Thanks very much. It was a nice job. It feels like a long time ago. Pride and Prejudice is just one of those wonderful stories that people love.

Source: VCulture.com

admin / August 6th, 2018   Succession

A drama about a dysfunctional American dynasty has allowed the actor to ditch the charm — and he’s loving every minute of it.

Squabbling New York squillionaires populate Succession, a new, satirical family saga created for HBO by Jesse Armstrong, the co-writer of political hits The Thick of It and Veep.

The show’s big daddy is Logan Roy (Brian Cox), a “pal to prime ministers, a truth-teller to presidents” of Scottish descent and the ruthless octogenarian head of Waystar-Royco, a self-made family global media and entertainment conglomerate. As Logan’s health falters along with his company’s fortunes, his power-hungry children compete, fang and claw, to succeed him.

Read more here

Source: The Times

admin / May 22nd, 2018   Succession,Video Interview

Recent projects

Character: Mr. Stahlbaum
Status: Released November 2018

Character: Tom
Status: Series 2 broadcast on Sky Atlantic

Character: Henry Wilcox
Status: Currently available on DVD

Character: J.P Morgan
Status: Released Jan 2018 (UK)/Dec (USA)

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