Hugh Bonneville has likened his character in upcoming Netflix thriller I Came By to American serial killer Ted Bundy.
The 58-year-old actor, best known for his role in period drama Downton Abbey, plays former High Court judge Sir Hector Blake in the new movie.
Speaking to the PA news agency about his character, Bonneville said: “There’s that phrase, the banality of evil, and this guy is not a particularly pleasant man and he’s got some fairly questionable attitudes to life and people.
“But I think if you look at people in recent history like Ted Bundy and characters like him… perfectly rational, apparently smart, apparently empathetic, but actually really really quite dangerous and I think it’s just the normality of those people that makes them a bit more chilling.”
Bonneville stars alongside George MacKay and Kelly Macdonald in the frightening thriller, which will be released on Netflix on August 31.
The film follows young graffiti artist Toby, played by MacKay, 30, who targets the homes of the wealthy London elite in an attempt to denounce the rich and powerful.
After breaking into the home of Sir Hector Toby discovers a shocking secret that leads him on a dangerous journey.
Reflecting on the potential messages the film’s director, Bafta award winning filmmaker Babak Anvari, conveys, Bonneville said: “I think any messages so to speak, about our society, the haves and the have nots, is for the audience to interpret.
“But I think what it does do, and I think this is what Babak is brilliant at, is create a totally convincing world of London that you haven’t really seen on screen in this way before.
“It’s not red London buses, but it’s a cross-cultural world that he’s created and you believe all the way that all the parts fit together… To have gone from the establishment figures like my character to those who are living at the street level, so to speak, and are frustrated about the way the system works and this is their protest.
“So I think he’s really etched a wonderful story on that canvas.”
Scottish actress Macdonald, 46, who is known for a variety of roles including in Line Of Duty, Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire, plays Toby’s mother Lizzie in I Came By.
She told PA about building a relationship with MacKay ahead of playing his on-screen mother, saying: “George is lovely, I think he’s married to a Scot and he was in Glasgow actually, before we started shooting.
“So we arranged to go for a bite to eat and he’s just really lovely company.
“Actually in the film, I had much less to do with him than I initially thought because I’m looking for him most of the time!”
Despite playing the role of Lizzie who works as a counsellor, Macdonald explained how her previous experience in detective roles helped her in I Came By.
“I’ve played a detective a bunch of times,” she said.
“And it was almost like I got to be a detective again because (Lizzie) starts doing the job she thinks the police should be doing on her own.”
I Came By will be released on Netflix on August 31.