Interview: Edward Bluemel on his Roles on A Discovery of Witches and Killing Eve

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Edward Bluemel is set to take Sundays in the United States by storm.

Starring on the hugely successful international show A Discovery of Witches would seem like enough for many actors, but Bluemel has also joined the cast of Killing Eve, making Sundays on BBC America a Bluemel doubleheader.

He took the time to chat with us about his roles on both shows and what it's like joining a show as successful as Killing Eve. Read on for more insight into this delightful man.

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Let’s get going with a very easy one for you. Your career has soared sky high very quickly. To what do you attribute your success?

I attribute my success to having no expectations and just saying yes to everything along the way and not overthinking things and just letting myself be open and having lots of fun while I'm at it — also brilliant support of my family and drama school and things like that to back me up.

You've been on Discovery of Witches, which has aired pretty much around the world so far, but it's going to have its US network debut right after Killing Eve.

Yeah.

Hopefully, it's going to get noticed in the United States as it should. I'm wondering if you can tell our readers a little bit about the show and how your character of Marcus fits into the narrative?

Yeah, of course. Well, the show is a, on the surface a classic fantasy drama, but I like to think it's a little bit different. It's based on some books that were written by an amazing author called Deborah Harkness, who is a history professor. She basically wrote a fantasy novel with a very strong historical element.

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That I think is the key to why the show's so good. It's not quite the same as any fantasy drama I've seen before. There are lots of real historical figures who appear in it especially, not as much in the first series but later down the line I think they will, and a lot of it's based around real historical events.

That to me was really attractive to see the two worlds colliding of historical fiction and fantasy. Marcus is a vampire. He's a young vampire. He's 261 years old, which, as far as vampires are concerned, that's a baby. He was turned into a vampire during the American Revolution.

He's a bit of a liberal; he's a bit left-wing for a vampire. He's not very traditional. He fits in because he's the rebel of the pack. He's looking to change things up a bit, and he's looking to go against the vampire conformity.

He's a lot of fun, and he doesn't take himself too seriously. He likes a laugh. He likes a joke, but he's also, he's got a really big heart, and he cares a lot about people no matter who they are.

The show has already been renewed internationally for another two seasons. What are you most looking forward to as it continues?

Yeah. I think I'm just really looking forward to; I'm selfishly looking forward to Marcus's growth.

I think he is a character who particularly through the three novels, and I think that'll be reflected in the series, really grows in maturity, and he becomes a very, very important figure in terms of representing the vampires.

He really is pivotal in changing everyone's views of vampires and vampires' views of everybody else.

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In addition to that now you're joining the hit Killing Eve as Hugo. What can you tell us about Hugo -- without spoiling too much, of course.

Yeah, Hugo, he is one of the latest additions to the cast. He's a privileged white boy who's been to the poshest schools around, the best University and he waltzed his way into MI-6. He's at the bottom of the ladder at the moment but he's eyes firmly set on the top.

In this day and age, he's the kind of guy that probably will go all the way quite easily and breeze his way to a very high powered job.

He's really good for supporting a bit of an antithesis to Sandra Oh playing Eve because he's everything the show doesn't stand for, which is straight white men smarming their way to the top. He's a lovely spanner in the works of the show, and it was a lot of fun playing the spanner.

Does that mean that we're going to get to see some comedy on your behalf?

Yeah, I hope so. He's very clever. He's very manipulative and very intuitive, but he's. Also, he's so overconfident. He doesn't have any boundaries really, so he gets it wrong a lot.

He's very inappropriate in an office. Nobody's ever really told him off in his life, and if they have told him off, he's definitely ignored them. I'm hoping there is some comedy; people find some comedy in how ridiculous he is. I hope he makes people wince as well, as he should.

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What was it like joining a series you know is on the rise and receiving a heap of praise?

It was so much fun. When I first got cast in it, it hadn't come to the UK yet, so I didn't really know many details about it. I Googled it, and I was like, "Okay, it's got a bit of a splash in America, that's amazing," but it really only hit me about a month into filming, when it came out in the UK.

We had been filming for a month; it had been very low key, very easy, easy in terms of there wasn't much pressure. Everyone was just sort of quietly confident. Suddenly it comes out here, and Sandra and Jodie's face was everywhere on the tube, on buses, and it was impossible to avoid.

When I was traveling places I'd always be sat next to somebody who was watching on their iPad, and to be in that, suddenly fill in the second series, suddenly the pressure was on but in the best possible way. It was so exciting to be like, "Okay, people love this."

I think it just spurred us on to try and make the second series as good as the first.

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It's so exciting that for the first time, really, an American series like that has made such a splash on even in the British awards because of it's connecting to BBC.

Absolutely, yeah, because it's so connected to the BBC, it's amazing that it's sort of, I think it just is a credit to the show to be so easy to love and so, it's got such a wide audience.

I know people of all ages who have loved it, of all backgrounds who've absolutely loved and it doesn't surprise me at all that it's not having any problems being marketable in different countries.

What kinds of similarities and differences will people see in the two characters, since they're going to be watching you back to back?

Yeah. It's something I'm a bit nervous about, actually, because if they are exactly, the same everyone's going to really know about it. They both have elements of being carefree, very confident. They both definitely have elements of getting it wrong sometimes.

I think what's really crucial, and the crucial difference is Marcus is warm, open, and very accepting, and at his heart is very kind, whereas Hugo, definitely at the beginning of the series, is an utterly cold-blooded little reptile.

There on the surface, they might have some similarities, at their heart they are polar opposites. I think if they met in real life, they'd hate each other, and be baffled at how similar they look.

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If you could pick any role on Killing Eve or Discovery of Witches, which would it be and why, and you don't get to pick your own role?

Villanelle. Villanelle is the best written, and most brilliant part I think. She's as a character the best character I feel that's been written in so long. It seems so much fun to play. She gets to wear the most amazing clothes.

She gets to kill people all the time, which is great fun, and sort of be a character that is so volatile and constantly unpredictable I think must be fun. I don't think I'd do it nearly as well as Jodie. I just want to wear that pink dress in series one, basically. 

Oh my gosh. Don't we all? Don't we all?

I know. It was so iconic. Everyone's Halloween this year, so many pictures of people in the pink dress. Hey, she always looks amazing and her role, it's just a brilliant role.

Well, you know you are going to be near the costume department now, so if you can get one of those photos and get it on social media, I'm sure it'll be a hit.

Yeah. You know what actually, that's definitely got legs to get some series likes.

Right? Step into that dress and make it your own.

I'll have word with the costume department, see if it's still hanging around.

Yes, please. Is there anything else that you'd like our readers to know about your doubleheader on Sunday?

No, not really, apart from I hope people enjoy it, and I hope lots of people love watching them both, if they don't find it too confusing. I really want people to just be treated to a couple hours of great TV on a Sunday night. I think it's going to be a lot of fun, and I hope people enjoy it all.

I think that's in the cards, and I just want to congratulate you on your meteoric rise and taking Sunday by storm.

Yeah, well thank you very much.

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Be sure to tune into BBC America on Sunday for Killing Eve at 8/7c followed directly by A Discovery of Witches.

If you need to catch up, you can watch Killing Eve online right here via TV Fanatic. 

We'll also have full reviews of both shows after they air, so be here to continue the conversation. 

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Killing Eve Quotes

Most of the time, most days, I feel nothing. I don't feel anything. It is so boring. I wake up and I think, again, really? I have to do this again? And what I really don't understand is how come everyone else isn't screaming with, with boredom, too, and I try to find ways to make myself feel something. More, and more, and more, but it doesn't make any difference. No matter what I do, I don't feel anything. I hurt myself; it doesn't hurt. I buy what I want; I don't want it. I do what I like; I don't like it. I'm just so bored.

Villanelle

Eve: I need to sit down.
Coroner: Can I get you something? Water? Whiskey!
Eve: Uh, a burger?
Coroner: Oh. That's the formaldehyde. The smell makes you crave meat.