Actor Julian Wadham plays the lead character in the new web based, radiophonic series The Minister of Chance. Wadham has been seen in over 20 feature films including The English Patient and the Madness of King George.
Wadham recently sat down to talk about The Minister of Chance with Slice of SciFi.
Slice of SciFi: How did you become interested in The Minister of Chance?
Julian Wadham: I first became interested in The Minister of Chance when its creator, the actor, writer, and director Dan Freeman chatted casually to me about it while we were working on another radio drama together as actors. He was justifiably very excited as his new project, then starring Stephen Fry, had just won a radio drama award.
Slice of SciFi: Tell us a bit more about the Minister.
Julian Wadham: Sometimes The Minister appears cold and narcissistic, lacking utterly in feeling and tact, but never in intelligence. I find him beguiling precisely because of his human-like failings. He is full of surprises.
Slice of SciFi: The cast includes Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann stars of some of the most iconic British sci-fi series produced. What was it like working with them?
Julian Wadham: Sylvester, Jenny and Paul are all recognisable icons of modern cinema and film and all three give wonderful performances. Jenny [Agutter] and I had already played husband and wife together in an episode of Midsomer Murders and Paul and I worked together in a Miss Marple so we already knew each other. The acting life is fun in that way, meeting up and working with old friends and colleagues again.
Slice of SciFi: How is working on this series different from other audio projects you’ve been involved with?
Julian Wadham: The Minister of Chance is radically different from any of the audio-book or radio drama I have ever been involved with. It is an entertaining, tightly scripted and intelligent roller-coaster of a story, but what really makes it quite different is the sheer quality of its sound effects, which are much more akin to the cinematic ‘sensearound’ experience than is usual in radio.
Slice of SciFi: What can fans expect as the series moves forward?
Julian Wadham: The brilliance of the script, in my view, is that the story always remains intelligent, taut and cogent despite the many twists and turns in its narrative. We the actors have no idea where the story is going, although its creator and Director Dan Freeman is of J.K.Rowling cleverness and I suspect is already several light-episodes ahead of us!
Slice of SciFi: What did you find most interesting about being involved in a “radiophonic series”? And where do you see this type of entertainment headed in the future?
Julian Wadham: The ‘radiophonic’ experience is an entirely new genre, with the quality of sound effects and production values usually only reserved for cinematic blockbusters. It is not an exaggeration to say that it creates an ‘audio landscape’, and because its creator is an artist of real depth, intelligence and skill, this is no ordinary landscape but a novel, rich, complex and multi-layered one. We are pioneers in a new sound experience accessed via podcast. We may, of course fail. But if we do, it will at least have been a heroic attempt to define a new medium in ‘sound’ entertainment.
Slice of SciFi: What other projects do you have on the horizon?
Julian Wadham: I have had a bit of a cinematic last few months…. Steven Spielberg’s Warhorse movie was followed by a delightful period film Cheerful Weather For The Wedding (based on the 1935 novel by Julia Strachey and Directed by Tim Rice’s talented son Donald Rice, a writer/director to watch. I have just completed filming The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher and Jim Broadbent as Dennis Thatcher, and in which I played the Foreign Secretary Francis Pym. I then dashed up to Glasgow to finish the sequel to a Nazi Zombie movie I did four years ago called Outpost in which I play the scientist Hunt taking on the full force of the Nazis’ attempts to winthe war by creating the ‘uber mensch’ !
You can find The Minister of Chance HERE. You can view a free prologue to the series and the first episode is now available for purchase and download