After starting his career in music, British actor Jim Sturgess got his big film break on Julie Taymor’s “Across the Universe” and continued his big-screen presence in “21,” “The Way Back” and “Cloud Atlas,” among others. Now he’s returning to TV, where he got his start in acting, starring in BBC’s apocalyptic crime drama “Hard Sun,” streaming on Hulu, as Detective Charlie Hicks, who discovers a government secret about the end of the world.
What’s it been like to have one of your first lead TV roles on “Hard Sun”?
My friends and family paid more attention to this show than any of the films I’ve made, because it’s on Saturday night on BBC1. I think they forgot I was even an actor until I was pumped into their living rooms.
What is it about the show that drew you back to the small screen?
I promised myself that I would have some time to get my head into doing some music, and then the script arrived and I said to my agent that I would read it. By page five or six, I thought, “Damn it, it’s really good. I think I want to do this.” I was almost cursing Neil Cross for the writing because I was getting seduced by [this] project. The introduction to the two main characters kind of slapped you in the face from the opening pages; it was like no introduction to two lead characters I’d ever seen before.
How was it to shoot such action-heavy scenes?
Whether you’re getting beaten up by a stunt man or [co-star] Agyness [Deyn], it was intense, but it was a lot of fun. Me and Agyness met on the first day, and they had us both rolling around on a stunt mat learning to beat each other up within an hour.
What did you take away from “Across the Universe”?
It was life-changing in every way. I’d never really traveled that much before. I’d never been to America. I genuinely thought, because I was a musician at the time, “Well, I’ll go make this film and that will be enough; I’ll probably never make a film again.” And I was OK with that. I went to New York to totally open myself up to the experience and just enjoy every second of it, and I really did.
What You Didn’t Know About Jim Sturgess
AGE: 40 BIRTHPLACE: London FAVORITE FOOD: Sunday roast LAST TV SHOW HE BINGED: “The Handmaid’s Tale” HISTORICAL FIGURE HE’D LIKE TO MEET: Bob Marley