International Star You Should Know: Andrew Scott

Busy Irish actor has made the most of his "Sherlock" role, now he’s eyeing the next good script

Andrew Scott International Star
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Dublin-born Scott has been living and working in London for more than 10 years, racking up stage, TV and film credits, but it was his turn as Sherlock Holmes’ bete noire Moriarty in BBC’s “Sherlock” that brought him to international attention. The series airs in 200 countries, and although Moriarty was killed at the end of the season two, fans are hoping that he returns. “People are very attached to show,” he says.

Born in Dublin, Scott got an early start in the biz, taking drama classes at school and starring in Irish TV commercial before he was 10. His first feature role came in Irish film “Korea” (1995), when he was still a teenager, and he trod the boards at the Abbey Theater before moving to London in 2000, at age 24, to star in TV movie “Longitude” with Michael Gambon.

The thesp had brief turns in a pair of Steven Spielberg projects, “Band of Brothers” and “Saving Private Ryan,” but never made it off Omaha Beach in the latter. He played Col. William Smith on HBO miniseries “John Adams” (2008), directed by Tom Hooper.

In the 2010 BBC telepic “Lennon Naked,” Scott played Paul McCartney to Christopher Eccleston’s John Lennon. “The challenge (to playing McCartney) is that he’s such a famous man and still around, and it was important to get it right. I’m not a guy to do research but I had to in this case.”

Scott is working on Pathe’s “Pride,” theater director Matthew Warchus’ second outing as a feature helmer. In the past 18 months, he’s wrapped thriller “Locke” with Tom Hardy, Irish comedy “The Stag,” and Ken Loach’s “Jimmy’s Hall,” which filmed in the west of Ireland, where Scott’s father hails from. “Loach is a hero of mine,” Scott says. “He’s kind and gracious to the whole crew. … Creatively speaking, you feel like you’re not acting, and that’s why his films are so truthful.”

He’s doing more theater next year, and is happy that Hollywood studios are interested in him, but he’s selecting his film projects carefully. But what about Hollywood blockbusters, a la his “Sherlock” co-stars? “There is studio interest and I’m happy about that, but “all during my career I’ve gone after good writing,” he says. “If the script is good, absolutely. But if it’s not, nah.”