The first episode of the third installment of the Strike series, Career of Evil, aired on Sunday on BBC One. The episode received a lot of positive feedback from fans and praise for the leading roles played by Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger, as well as all the supporting cast.
In Career of Evil, we have three suspects whom are all men from Strike’s past who have a reason to hate his guts.
One of the three suspects is his late mother’s second husband, Jeff Whittaker, who Strike believes gave Leda Strike the injection of heroin that led to her death.
Below is an interview with Matt King, the actor who is playing Jeff Whittaker in the series.
How did you first become interested in acting?
When I was 7 years old I was in a school production of a play called ‘The King Has Got Hiccups’. I was playing ‘Guard 3’ and had no lines to say. But on the night all the parents were coming to see the play, the kid who was portraying the King was ill and couldn’t perform. Luckily I had memorised all of his lines and offered to step up and play the role. I did exactly that – and the rest is history. That king had the most realistic hiccups you’ve ever heard, and from then on I knew I wanted to be an actor when I grew up. It only took another 30 years to make it happen.
What drama training did you go through?
I had no formal training whatsoever. Can’t you tell? I did perform stand-up comedy in Australia for 15 years and I suppose that eventually became a back door into the world of acting and also taught me how to deal with almost any situation as a performer. Better than any drama school, although I’ve still never learnt to ‘become the tree’. So it’s swings and roundabouts.
What was it like playing such a villainous character? What was the biggest challenge of the role?
I love playing villains as much as I love playing good guys. I’m really lucky in that I have ‘one of those faces’ (as a producer said to me once) that can be either good or bad. So while my kids get to watch me in stuff like Paddington or Get Santa, I still get to play these more serious dramatic roles in stuff like Bronson or Strike. But I think this is my first time playing somebody who is nothing but evil. I loved every minute of it… but I don’t like Whittaker.
Watch the second episode of Strike – Career of Evil, featuring Matt King as Jeff Whittaker, this Sunday at 9pm on BBC One. You can catch up on all previous episodes on BBC iPlayer.