The filmography of Kit Harington is littered with historical and/or fantastical projects — from Pompeii to Testament of Youth, to, of course, Game of Thrones. But his latest movie is very much a contemporary venture. In the spy thriller MI-5 (in theaters Dec. 4) the British actor plays an agent tasked with tracking down his old boss (Peter Firth), who has disappeared after a terrorist escapes from custody.
“It was part of the reason I did it, frankly,” says Harington. “I said to my agent, ‘I want do something different, I want to do something set today.’ We looked around and this came up. It’s very much now, very much modern, and that was something I hadn’t done pretty much ever, really. At drama school I was doing loads of Ibsen or Shakespeare. War Horse, my first play, was a World War I piece. I’ve done medieval stuff and gladiator roles. I’ve never really played a role where I was a modern man, so to speak. So that was a big draw for me.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell us a about your character.
KIT HARINGTON: He’s an agent, essentially, who’s gone rogue. That classic story.
Well, no one wants to see a film about an agent who just clocks in, and sharpens their pencils, and does all the right things.
No, exactly. That would be dull. What I think is different about him is, he’s not your average, clean-cut spy. He’s a modern young man. He’s emotional, which is his downfall in the movie. He’s got a different look or style to what we’re used to seeing, with scruff on his face and long hair. I think that’s what makes him unique. I really enjoyed playing him.
I was shooting in London, and that was another reason I wanted to do this. I’m a London boy, I love my city, and I got to film in some of its most iconic locations, like the National Theatre, and the South Bank, and we didn’t lock any of it off. I was wandering around, being filmed, slightly guerrilla, with the public.
There’s a scene in the film where you run around Heathrow Airport. Just watching it made me feel out of breath.
Yeah. It was a lot of running. That scene in Heathrow was particularly scary. I had a fake handgun strapped in the back of my jeans and Heathrow wasn’t locked-off, it was full of the real public, because you can’t shut a whole airport down. I remember having to run across the middle of Heathrow Terminal 5 with a gun and I thought, Wait a minute, if there are any policemen here that are armed, and don’t know that I’m an actor in a movie, then I could just get shot dead. And they were like, “No, no, it’s fine, they all know you’re here.” But I thought, What if there was one police officer who wasn’t in the briefing? [Laughs] What would happen then?
So, you’ve proven you can play a spy and it looks like the James Bond franchise may be looking for a new leading man. Would you put yourself in the frame for that?
I don’t think Bond is going to come to me. [Laughs] I don’t think it’s going to. Anyone who gets to play Bond is a lucky actor, and it’s an amazing role, and Daniel Craig was fantastic in the last few years. I personally hope he does another one. But I don’t know whether he will.
MI-5 will also be released via VOD on Dec. 4 and is available to watch now on DirecTV.
You can see the film’s trailer, below.