JAMES Nesbitt explores his dark side in a modern day TV adapation of an old story.
“It’s great that I finally get to wear wigs,” says the former Cold Feet star about his role in Jekyll.
“I’ve been saying to make-up artists for years that I want a full head of curly black hair, and now I’ve got it.”
The new six-part BBC1 series, due on screen next month, co-stars Gina Bellman, Denis Lawson, Michelle Ryan and Meera Syal.
It also has a twist – the 2007 Mr Hyde is more attractive than the new Dr Jekyll, called Tom Jackman.
Writer Steven Moffat explains: “One of the most important things is that our Hyde is not the wolf-man. This is about a different man, not a different face.
“Our Hyde acts different, rather than looks different. It’s a story of subtly different men.
“Victorian evil is fanged and monstrous and different from us. Modern evil is seductive and attractive and looks pretty much exactly like us.”
This version of Jekyll is described as “somewhere between a modern horror story and The Odd Couple – more Spooks than Robert Louis Stevenson”.
Ex-Murphy’s Law actor and Manchester United fan Jimmy spent an hour each day having make-up and prosthetics applied, so that his character would look more attractive.
“It’s not often that you get the chance to have a face you really want.
“In the past I’ve said that it’s very depressing to hand over the wigs at the end of the day, but now I also have to hand over my chin, nose and ears!”
A co-production with BBC America, Jekyll promises to be an intriguing watch, with lines like:
“What if you had a dark side? What if your wife found out? What if she preferred it?”
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde