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Des stars David Tennant and Daniel Mays on the pressure of playing real-life characters

David Tennant and Daniel Mays have spoken out about the pressure of playing real-life characters in ITV true crime drama Des, forward of the three-part sequence’ first episode tonight (Monday 14th September).

Tennant performs serial killer Dennis Nilsen, nicknamed Des, in the sequence, whereas Mays takes on the position of Peter Jay, a detective inspector closely concerned in the case – and each actors have stated that playing real-life characters poses distinctive challenges.

Talking in the most up-to-date problem of Radio Occasions, Tennant stated: “What we didn’t wish to do is titillate or flip Des right into a horror film. That’s not the sort of story we try to inform. What we’re doing is attempting to determine who this creature was.

“Why he did what he did, in phrases of what went on when he picked up males and took them again to his flat – the solely actual witness now we have to any of that’s Dennis Nilsen. However he’s proved himself to be an unreliable narrator on many events. So the viewers is taken into the story by Peter Jay’s character, you uncover the horrors by means of his eyes [as in the pan-on-the-stove scene].

“We will by no means actually perceive Nilsen’s level of view so now we have to return to it by means of Jay and Brian Masters. They each view him by means of very completely different lenses.”

“If you’re making a narrative about one thing that’s dwelling historical past, you should do it sensitively,” says Tennant. “You might be speaking about issues which might be nonetheless very uncooked and we have been conscious of that every single day on set and in the edit. We have been all the time discussing this, even all the way down to what playing cards you place up at the finish [before the credits of the third and final episode] to speak about what occurred after the occasion.”

In the meantime Mays advised BBC Information, that the added pressure of being half of the solid for a drama like Des got here from desirous to do justice to these folks concerned in the actual story.

He stated: “There’s all the time the added pressure whenever you’re playing an actual particular person, significantly in a narrative like this. You wish to do the story justice.”

The sequence tells the story of the arrest and trial of Nilsen by means of the prism of three completely different males – Nilsen himself, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay, and biographer Brian Masters, performed by Jason Watkins.

ITV guarantees that the sequence will discover the private and skilled penalties of coming into contact with a person like Nilsen – who murdered a number of boys and younger males in his flat from 1978 to 1983 earlier than his crimes have been found.

Des begins on ITV on Monday 14th September at 9pm. You’ll be able to purchase Brian Masters’ unique biography on Dennis Nilsen, Killing for Firm, on Amazon. Discover out what else to look at with our TV Information.

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