“I was pretty naked about my admiration—my worship, in fact—of le Carré and also this particular story,” the former “House” star said. “I volunteered to basically contribute whatever I could, whether it was catering or anything else.”
AMC has released the first trailer for the six-part miniseries set to debut at 10/9c April 19. Based on one of le Carré’s most beloved and critically acclaimed books, “The Night Manager” dives into the worlds of spies and global arms dealing as well as corporate and governmental corruption.
The miniseries updates the story from the novel, which was published in 1993—when it first caught Laurie’s attention.
“I was three chapters in, and I tried to option it. I never optioned anything in my life before or since,” Laurie said at the January meeting of the TV Critics Association. “But that’s how compelling, how romantic and how powerful I found this story to be.”
The thriller, produced by BBC One and The Ink Factory, is the first TV adaptation of a le Carré novel in more than 20 years.
Laurie plays international businessman Richard Onslow Roper, a megalomaniac who surrounds himself with “yes” men and women, from his chief of staff, Major Corkoran (Tom Hollander), to his girlfriend, Jed (Elizabeth Debicki).
The secretive arms trader also lords his influence over the intelligence community, which draws the attention of intelligence operative Angela Burr (Olivia Colman).
Burr recruits former British soldier Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston)—who has his own reason to want Roper stopped—to gain Roper’s trust. Pine is willing to become a criminal himself to bring Roper down.
“I love everything, every word le Carré ever wrote, but this is a story that, in particular, I found incredibly compelling,” Laurie said.
He’s right. “The Night Manager” is riveting from the start, earning a place beside the BBC’s critically acclaimed 1979 adaptation of “Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy.” Laurie, Hiddleston, Colman and the rest of the cast are spot on.
Simon and Stephen Cornwell, le Carré’s sons, are executive producers along with their 84-year-old father. Stephen Garrett, writer David Farr and director Susanne Bier also are executive producers for “The Night Manager.”
AMC has released episodic clips. Click the links below.