Ahead of The Thick of It‘s fourth series later this year, the man behind “the sweariest man in Britain” has revealed the real inspiration for his curse-happy character – and it isn’t Alistair Campbell.
Many assumed that Peter Capaldi’s foul-mouth spin doctor was based on the New Labour supremo, but the actor has explained that nasty Hollywood execs were his real inspiration.
âThe only people that I had witnessed personally behaving in the way that Malcolm does were American agents or producers,” he explained in an interview with Radio Times. “You could see people at ICM in Los Angeles â malevolent forces in Armani suits â barking the foulest and most terrifying of obscenities down the phone at people.
âThe producers, too. Harvey Weinstein and the team at Miramax were long celebrated for Malcolm-like behaviour, so in fact they were the people I thought about. That was the model I took, rather than Alastair Campbell, as I didnât know him.
âAlastair might be a bit disappointed to know this,â? he added.
Capaldi went on to admit that he had a real soft-spot for the fearsome political advisor he portrays, describing him as a man just trying to do his job while surrounded by idiots.
âI like Malcolm very much. Heâs got a heart of gold and heâs only trying to do his job; itâs not his fault that heâs confronted by an army of idiots. Itâs quite exciting to play him, because he tends to always be on the offensive and he gets given wonderful lines, lots and lots of them.”
âHis verve, his vigour is a great tonic. Also I think heâs quite complicated, heâs not just a swearing man. He lives in a real world full of tough people making tough decisions. At his best he cuts through that world with a certain spring in his step and humour; get in his way, though, and heâll cut you open with his face.â?
The Thick of It returns later this year..