Mark Strong on moving behind the camera for Sky drama Temple: Ive learnt how terrifying it is to make anything

Mark Strong in Temple

Mark Strong stars in and executive produces new drama Temple (Picture: Sky)

Sky Ones new drama Temple doesnt do things by half measures, wrapping an unusual concept into Londons underground with gore, romance and thriller elements battling for attention.

A remake of Norwegian TV series Valkyrien, its an especially bold project for first time executive producer Mark Strong. While he has a proven track record acting in joyously absurd projects like Kick Ass, Kingsman, and recently DCs Shazam, Temple feels like a brave and challenging risk for anyones first time making decisions behind the camera.

Following a screening of the first two episodes to press, his extra involvement appears to have left him analytical of his own viewing habits when choosing what to watch.

I think the third [episode] is usually an extremely important one, Mark tells Thats the one I think when I watch stuff that I usually decide whether Im going to stick with it or not. And our third episode is really strong.



But youre right, the second one lets it breathe and you can relax, and the third one cranks up the energy again and takes it somewhere else.

Temple follows Daniel Milton (Mark Strong), a surgeon who has set up an illegal clinic within the London Underground tunnels for desperate patients, including his wife Beth (Catherine McCormack).

Mark Strong in Temple

Temple boasts an impressive cast and a darkly absurd concept (Picture: Sky)

A series of events bring transport employee Lee Simmons (Daniel Mays) and medical researcher Anna Willems (Carice Van Houten) into his unsavoury clinic, sparking concerns his attempt to save his wife could be jeopardised if the clinics existence is released to the world.

The concept is what attracted Mark to produce the project to begin with, noticing its potential after watching the pilot episode for the Norwegian original.

I watched the pilot and I remember thinking thats really unusual, Mark said. It was a level of storytelling that was so heightened and different from anything that Id ever seen.

In this very crowded TV space were in at the moment where so much is getting made — how do you make something thats interesting? How do you tell a story to somebody that people havent already seen? That I felt was the most important thing, to find a story that was different and I always felt that this was it.

More: Sky



Marks jump into producing however wasnt necessarily to satisfy a long-standing creative itch for the actor. Instead, he describes it as a chance opportunity which was too good to miss.

I think I got to the stage where over the years Id learned some stuff, Mark said. I know some stuff instinctively and even though I hadnt produced, I feel like genuinely I have something to say about casting, locations, dialogue, all of those things because Ive done so much in my time.

So to have the opportunity to do that was too good to turn down. It just basically meant I could have some quality control over what we were making.

While it remains to be seen whether Temple will find an audience in the crowded TV landscape, Mark has taken some valuable, brutal lessons from the whole experience.

Ive learnt how terrifying it is to actually make anything at all, Mark said.

The scaffolding required to build one of these shows is something that youre normally not privy too. Its a bit like seeing the wizard behind the curtain being an actor allowed into the production room, because the honest truth is you become aware of how hard everyone is working and how many cogs are required to keep the machine running.

As an actor, your job is to come in, hit your mark, say your linesRead More – Source

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