Interview with Jamie Bamber of “Cannes Confidential” on Acorn by Suzanne 6/23/23
It was wonderful to speak with Jamie on Zoom today. As I told him, I’ve been a huge fan of his ever since “Battlestar: Galactica,” which he starred in (20 years ago this December!). It was an outstanding series and one of the most successful TV reboots. He’s done great work since in many other shows, including “Law and Order UK” and “NCIS.” He has a great role in this new series as Harry King, a conman of sorts, who is incredibly charming (and also very annoying, especially to Camille, the police officer that he becomes involved with). He’s also haunted by his past. The characters are complex and interesting, but it’s also a lighthearted and fun series, which lots of action. I hope you can watch it! It’s only 6 episodes, but they fly by. The show also has beautiful scenery and music.
Suzanne: It’s great to see you. I enjoyed the screeners of the show. I loved it.
Jamie: Oh, bless you. Thanks for watching. I really appreciate that.
Suzanne: Yeah, it reminds me of [the 80’s TV show] Remington Steele a lot. I was a huge fan of that.
Jamie: Yeah, so that’s definitely what we’re going for. We’re going for, you know, a police procedural that the whole family can enjoy, that should be fun, with characters that hopefully you’ll wish you were alongside them as they discuss the case and as they argue with each other, and as they get up to all sorts of scrapes that you want to be with them, sort of Lethal Weapon style.
Suzanne: Right, right. Well, maybe you’ll be the next James Bond.
Jamie: I’m waiting for the call.
Suzanne: Oh, well, I’ve been a big fan of yours since Battlestar Galactica. Can you believe that this December is 20 years since it started?
Jamie: Strangely, I can believe it, because I know it’s true. But yeah, does it feel like 20 years ago? I don’t know what 20 years feels like, but I guess that’s what it feels like. Yeah, it’s a long time. And yeah, it’s weird. I was just with some of my cast mates at a convention in Phoenix. And, you know, we’re so close that we’ve never really been apart. We see each other regularly all the time. So, we’ve never really left the show behind. So, it is odd that was 20 years ago, but we love the milestones, because other people then remember us, and we get to be part of the conversation again, as we were back in the day.
Suzanne: Oh, that’s great. That’s great. So, how did your involvement in this project come about?
Jamie: Well, it was the first script I read after the first lockdown. And I know that, because, as soon as I was allowed to, I went to visit my mom, as people all over the world did with parents that they had lost touch with – not lost touch, but hadn’t seen. So, she lives in the south of France, and I happened to be there when another friend of mine from Marseille called me and said, “Look, I’ve just seen your name on a shortlist for a show called Cannes Confidential. Would you like to read the script?” It’s a friend of mine producing; I said, “Of course.” So, I read the script. I immediately fell in love with the nod to The Persuaders, that whole Cary Grant, Roger Moore, in the south of France kind of vibe. And I thought, “Well, if I can shoot a show, where I used to live, basically just down the road from where I used to live, I will do it.” And then, I read the dialogue, and I really liked it. I really enjoyed the tone, which is light and humorous, and the energy which comes from dialogue, rather than from, you know, any kind of sort of big angst or anything like that. So, yeah, I was in. The project been changed an awful lot. I can’t lie; I had some issues with some of the changes, but all the way through, the producers were great with me. They allowed me to sort of retain the essence of the character that I fell in love with, and they gave me some leeway with dialogue and stuff like that to maintain the sort of infuriatingly unflappable charm that Harry has on the surface, and yet also the sort of brooding tragedy that lies sort of somewhere beneath. And that was the attraction for me to play, a complicated man who seems effortlessly uncomplicated.
Suzanne: It’s only six episodes, but they packed so much into it with the characters. The episode to episode mysteries and the backstories and the action. It didn’t seem like six episodes when I watched it. It seemed like a whole season. That’s a good thing.
Jamie: Well, I appreciate that, and I’m glad. I’m glad. Well, I hope you enjoyed it. But, we’d love to make more than six episodes. Let’s see.
Suzanne: Yeah, that’d be great. And I love the music too. I mean, the whole thing was kind of cinematic, but I felt that the music was very much so like those old movies that you’re talking about, but not in a bad way.
Jamie: Yeah, no, I mean, that’s all done deliberately. I mean, the photographer Philippe Lozano is a true artist. He was very, very exacting. He had a style in mind, and it absolutely had to be filmic. And, you know, we were very much aware that is the element of the show. You have to want to be in Cannes. You have to fall in love with the city. That’s the other character. It’s the fourth character in the show. It’s the primary character in the show. And you’re right, the music is a sort of throwback to sort of, you know, those shows, The Persuaders. They’ve got simple little memes and little melodies for each character in each situation. Harry’s definitely got a theme that whenever he’s around, there’s this little trilling theme that sort of effortlessly jauntily flows its way through. Yeah, I agree with you. I’m very happy with those two elements as well.
Suzanne: There’s one with a sort of, not haunted house, but [involving a séance] – and it was very Hitchcockian, and I thought the music turned very Hitchcockian.
Jamie: Yeah, and you know there are references to Hitchcock films all the way through, and movies all the way through. One of Harry’s pseudonyms is Archie Leach, which is Cary Grant’s real name. And there’s a poster for To Catch a Thief in the hotel episode. So, yeah, those are all the influences, and we make no bones about it, that those are the shows we want to sort of evoke from the past. And we want to sort of celebrate that, because when you go to the south of France, when you go to that part of the world, you are stepping in the footsteps of the people that put it on the map over very many years, because, you know, they’re all just little fishing villages that have been transformed into these glamour spots by festivals and movie stars and famous films and TV shows.
Suzanne: And have you ever played a character anything like this before? I’m trying to think if you have.
Jamie: No, I don’t think anything quite like this. That’s really what drew me. I love watching old Cary Grant films. I love the effortlessness. He does nothing, and yet he seems to have everything. Roger Moore, I’m a massive admirer of Roger Moore, David Niven. Who else? Pierce Brosnan. You know, these are the people that we’ve exported over the years, and just the chance to play a character that’s even a little bit like that was a great opportunity. I’ve had characters in the past that have had elements of it, but they’re always in a much darker world. I mean, my character in Strike Back had elements of it, but that was a military action show where he was also a killer. You didn’t really get to dwell on that. So, yeah, it was fun just to play someone who seems to be effortless and light hearted, and yet, beneath, you know, there’s more to it than that.
Suzanne: Was it difficult to walk this fine line you have there between charming and obnoxious?
Jamie: Well, I think so. I’m not sure that I always did, but, yeah. And yeah, he is infuriating to her. So, the charm has to work on some level for the audience, but it also has to be deeply, deeply irritating to her, because she’s not someone who operates through charm. She operates through interrogation, arrest, investigation. She’s very direct, and Harry’s deflective. He deflects everything that comes anywhere near him. And yeah, you do see him actually, as the series progresses, as, you know, you see elements where he’s dealing with relationships that pre-exists the world he’s now in, and you see that his past implies a very different character than he’s now inhabiting. So, there’s a bit of an actor to him.
Suzanne: Yes, and there’s a lot of action in the show. The women do, I would say, probably most of it, but you do a lot of it, too. Did you do any of your own stunts?
Jamie: Well, I did all my own stunts, because I don’t think I did very many stunts. I think you’re being very generous to say that I was involved at all. I think, you know, maybe I stuck out a foot at one point to apprehend being a criminal, but no, Harry’s superpower are his words and conversation and understanding how to gain people’s confidence and how to push buttons. That’s his thing. The girls, the female police officers in the show, are very much the action heroes.
Suzanne: You didn’t do a lot of fighting. You did some running. You rode a motorcycle.
Jamie: I ride a motorcycle, but then also I have my motorcycle taken over and ridden far more aggressively than I would ride. So yeah, no, I enjoyed all that though. I’ve done a lot of action in my time, and it was nice to watch other people enjoy their action. I think Harry can probably handle himself, but that’s not the world he’s choosing to operate in at this particular point. He’s very – he’s got several different personas. This one is not a man of action; it’s a man of charm and taste. And he’s a [unintelligible], and he likes beautiful things. And he dresses well, and he’s not into running around and sweating too much.
Suzanne: Well, thank you. I really appreciate your talking to me this morning. What time is it? Where you are?
Jamie: It’s just about a quarter past three in the afternoon. Lovely time of the day. What about where you are?
Suzanne: It’s a little after 9am.
Jamie: Oh, morning coffee time.
Suzanne: Yes, definitely. All right. Thank you. Good luck with it.
Jamie: Thank you. I appreciate that.
CANNES CONFIDENTIAL, THE INTERNATIONAL ROMANTIC CRIME DRAMA SHOT ON LOCATION, PREMIERES JUNE 26 ON ACORN TV
Starring Lucie Lucas, Jamie Bamber and Tamara Marthe, the Six-Part Series Recently Made its World Premiere at CANNESERIES Festival
Get a jump start on summer and head to the south of France by checking out the full season of Acorn TV’s all-new international romantic crime drama, Cannes Confidential, available now on Screeners.com.
Starring French TV-drama actor Lucie Lucas (Clem, Porto and Gloria), Jamie Bamber (Strike Back, Marcella, Battlestar Galactica), and singer/actor Tamara Marthe (Profilage), the six-part series will premiere on Monday, June 26 with two episodes on Acorn TV, AMC Networks’ acclaimed streamer devoted to British and international television. Two new episodes will premiere weekly every Monday through July 10. Cannes Confidential made its world premiere at the 6th annual CANNESERIES festival in Cannes, France, where the series was shot.
Created by Chris Murray (Midsomer Murders, Agatha Raisin), Cannes Confidential is a high-concept detective series centered on the bicker-banter relationship between no-nonsense detective Camille Delmasse (Lucas) and charming international conman Harry King (Bamber). Thrown together solving crimes on the French Riviera, Camille and Harry’s relationship lies at the heart of the show against a luxurious Cannes backdrop. Camille and Harry’s chemistry is complicated by Camille’s colleague and wing-woman, Léa Robert (Marthe), and a deal they make to free Camille’s ex-Chief of Police father from corruption charges.
The series is executive produced by Patrick Nebout (Midnight Sun, Agent Hamilton), Henrik Jansson-Schweizer (Thicker Than Water, Midnight Sun), Catherine Mackin and Bea Tammer of Acorn Media Enterprises (Acorn TV’s commissioning, co-producing, and development division), International Drama Development & Artistic Acquisitions Department of TF1, Lotta Dolk of Viaplay, and produced by Daniel J. Cottin at Isolani Pictures. Camille Delamarre (The Transporters, Assassin Club, Netflix’s Into The Night) directed all six episodes.
Acorn TV holds the exclusive distribution rights to the series in North America, New Zealand, Australia, and United Kingdom. Viaplay holds exclusive distribution rights in the Nordic region. Acorn Media Enterprises and Acorn Media International hold worldwide rights in all other territories.
Episode 1 – “Death of a Jester” – Premieres Monday, June 26 on Acorn TV
Cannes detective Camille Delmasse (Lucie Lucas) is trying to solve the murder of a young street artist known as the Jester. During the investigation with her trusted sidekick Lea Robert (Tamara Marthe), Camille keeps running into the charming, but equally shady art collector Harry King (Jamie Bamber). It appears the dead artist had many enemies. Meanwhile, Camille’s father, the respected former Chief of police Philippe Delmasse is about to be cleared from corruption charges. But there are secrets being unraveled: Harry isn’t really an art collector, and regarding Philippe, Camille’s world is about to be turned upside down. Does Harry know who is behind the framing of her father Philippe? Camille intends to find out.
Episode 2 – “Creatures of Habit” – Premieres Monday, June 26 on Acorn TV
The wife of Casino owner Maxine Beauregard is poisoned to death in front of his friends and assistant. Camille (Lucie Lucas) and Lea (Tamara Marthe) are called to the scene, and all suspicions point toward the blacklisted gambler Roxie Roland. The problem is, there is no proof. After their mutual deal, Camille teams up with Harry (Jamie Bamber), trying to solve the murder. As a conman, there is no one better suited than to take down another con woman. But as the evidence and the suspects pile up, it takes a high-stakes poker game to unravel the truth. With Camille’s father in prison, Harry keeps his end of the bargain and gives Camille the name of the man threatening her father. He is already in Cannes.
Episode 3 – “A Clear Conscience” – Premieres Monday, July 3 on Acorn TV
A monk is found murdered below the fort Royal on the St Marguerite Island outside Cannes. The infamous island that housed the Man with the iron mask. Who killed the monk and why? Camille (Lucie Lucas) and Harry (Jamie Bamber) cross paths once again, making Lea (Tamara Marthe) jealous. Harry’s old friend Father Placid was a mentor to the dead monk, and Camille and Lea have to track down the victim’s troubled past in order to find the answers. Harry is one step ahead but gets in over his head, having to rely on Camille’s help to stay alive. Meanwhile her father’s nemesis Julien Boire makes it even more personal by approaching Camille’s sister Margaux. His warning to Camille is clear — stop digging or else.
Episode 4 – “The Deadlier Species” – Premieres Monday, July 3 on Acorn TV
Boire tries to run Camille (Lucie Lucas) off the road, but she manages to visit her father Philippe in prison. Camille and Lea (Tamara Marthe) are ordered to babysit arms-dealer and billionaire Leo Duval at The Majestic. Duval has been facing death threats, and it is rumored that the legendary assassin Nightshade is hired to kill him. Problem is that the Nightshade hasn’t been seen for fifteen years. Harry (Jamie Bamber) acts as the guide and encyclopedia trying to stop the assassin, something that brings Camille and Harry closer. When the dead body of a former MI6 operative shows up, Camille realizes the Nightshade is still alive. The riddle gets even more complex as the night closes in. There are stronger motives than money.
Episode 5 – “Southern Gothic” – Premieres Monday, July 10 on Acorn TV
Pascal, the son of the famous conductor Francois Fontaine, is found hanged after a seance. The Fontaine family are supposedly cursed, due to the tragic fate of the victim’s mother Babette who died in a mental asylum. Everybody but Camille that is, she doesn’t believe in ghosts. Camille (Lucie Lucas), Lea (Tamara Marthe), and Harry (Jamie Bamber) join forces to catch the killer, and have to go through shady mediums, news archives and scorned lovers to find the truth. A true southern gothic story, where nothing is what it seems. During all this, Camille and Harry try to lure Boire into a trap, something that will have dire consequences. Especially for Lea. In the end, Camille also realizes why Harry is in Cannes.
Episode 6 – “Love and Let Die” – Premieres Monday, July 10 on Acorn TV
During the Cannes film festival, Camille (Lucie Lucas) and Lea (Tamara Marthe) are assigned a murder case of famous actress Celeste Badeau’s assistant Zina. Was the movie star the intended target? The prime suspect is the notorious paparazzi Miko Zajac blackmailing Celeste, but why? During the investigation Lea meets Zina’s girlfriend and Lea’s former lover Eloise, and Camille sees that it affects her. Meanwhile Harry’s (Jamie Bamber) daughter Emily has been threatened by Boire, and he decides to stop the thug once and for all. Harry breaks into Boire’s office and finds alarming evidence that will shock Camille. Her father Philippe is about to be released, and Harry has to walk a fine line trying to protect Camille from ending up in the line of fire.
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AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service specializing in premium British and international television. Acorn TV adds exclusive programming every week to a deep library of revered mysteries, dramas, and comedies – all commercial-free. Acorn TV’s recent slate is comprised of critically acclaimed commissioned and original series including popular New Zealand detective series My Life Is Murder (Lucy Lawless), acclaimed Irish crime thriller Bloodlands (James Nesbitt, co-executive produced by Jed Mercurio), British crime drama Whitstable Pearl (Kerry Godliman), Emmy®-nominated Queens of Mystery, Kiwi romantic comedy Under the Vines and British detective drama Dalgliesh (Bertie Carvel), to name a few. Current and upcoming Acorn TV Original Series include UK detective drama Harry Wild (Jane Seymour), Signora Volpe (Emilia Fox), The Chelsea Detective (Adrian Scarborough), Darby and Joan (Bryan Brown, Greta Scacchi) and many more. The above add to a growing catalog of popular bingeable dramas including Agatha Raisin (Ashley Jensen), A Place to Call Home, Jack Irish (Guy Pearce), Doc Martin (Martin Clunes), Deadwater Fell (David Tennant, Cush Jumbo), all 22 seasons of fan-favorite Midsomer Murders, highly-rated drama The Nest, and groundbreaking period drama A Suitable Boy, among others.
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Proofread and Edited by Brenda