Interview with Dominic Cooper who plays Edwyn Cooper in The Gold



What can you tell us about your character, Edwyn Cooper?

Edwyn is a successful solicitor with a successful solicitor’s firm. He’s rather polished, wealthy and happily married – seemingly he has the perfect life. But this slowly deteriorates and starts to crumble from the moment that he accepts working with and for criminals with the prospect of making a huge sum of money. His predicament is a result of his own greed. He is tempted by the devil and as a result of that you watch him become feeble. Having been so strong, righteous and correct, what we discover is that that’s all false. I don’t feel sorry for him, I think he’s a fool, but I’m enjoying portraying someone who is given a choice and made a decision.

Unlike the other characters, Edwyn is in a lot of different positions – he doesn’t have one focal point so he tries to different techniques to get out of the situation he’s in. He’s really checkmated and I love that it’s all a lie, yet he’s got a façade of an absolute cool, held together, clever, witty, extravagant man. It’s fun peeling away those layers. What I have to do is make sure that the temperature each time we see him is in the right place for where he’s mental stability is. But I am relieved not to be him.

Can you tell me how he is involved and how he actually helps to pull in the money?

As well as being a successful solicitor, Edwyn has developed a bit of a side hustle, through a close link with the Masons, of helping the police force get slightly corrupt officers off once they have done something wrong. He’s created this whole wonderful set of flourishing monologues, Shakespearian moments, that he does to confuse the not-so-bright constable. It’s clearly been part of how he’s made quite a bit of money and he’s good at it. But this means he’s got connections to the underworld and he knows a lot of criminals, and those criminals dangle the carrot of something very lucrative in front of him; the robbery and the gold. Edwyn has links to the property world and, at the time, vast swathes of London were undeveloped. So he essentially buys and sells massive bits of land to move the money very quickly and to clean up the money. It’s a lot of money that they’re needing to get rid of and property was a good idea.

Can you tell me a little bit about the collaboration with The Gold’s writer Neil Forsyth and what initially drew you to the script?

Neil was on set all the time. On set, we don’t change anything in terms of script but we play with the tone. It was wonderful to have him on set because you could constantly have a conversation with him about the scene that’s playing out. And huge credit to Neil for the writing. The script read like a novel; so compelling and it moves forward in such a way, there are so many aspects to it. It’s one where you want to know what happens next. There are a lot of different very well-rounded, extraordinary characters in it and it’s got that richness and that comparison of old money, new wealth, dodgy characters, and useless-at-times police - but ones who ultimately uncover and solve it. The Gold is set in a world that’s changing, that’s on the brink of change and into the world of serious money and grotesque spending. It’s a proper story with good, long scenes with characters that you’re compelled to watch. You understand the predicament of each of those characters and you’re interested to see how it ends.

It’s also all inspired by a true story. That in itself makes you ask “wow, did this happen?”. My character, for example, is a composite character inspired by the white collar criminals who worked with the robbers and their intermediaries.

How differently all the characters speak in it is extraordinary, too. And I think, for me, what makes it so clever is that it’s not simplistic dialogue, this language is heightened. So when you look at it as an actor you’re confronted with the challenge. You try and make it natural. You’re sort of mumbling or put in your little quirks that you would when you speak. But actually when people do speak, or certainly someone that’s a good solicitor, they would speak very accurately with clarity and without much extra fact.

Did you do any research beyond the script or did you find everything you needed in the script?

I would like to lie and say I spent three years researching the robbery and how they got away with it, how they managed it and read all the legal documents for the court case, but that is not the case. Funnily enough, I grew up in South London and I have no recollection of this robbery although many, many people of my age do. I read a lot about it to prepare for the role and couldn’t believe this hasn’t been made before, quite frankly. It would be very interesting to see how the court case unfolded. It’s remarkable but also remarkable how they covered it up for so long.

What is Edwyn’s relationship like with Sienna (Ellora Torchia)?

Sienna comes along at a time when Edwyn’s marriage is becoming a bit difficult, so he just jumps ship. I think that’s completely pathetic of him. So when very attractive young lady is selling him property he just thinks “oh here we go”. But, what’s beautiful about it is you actually do see him happy. Like really happy and actually a glimpse of what he would probably would have really wished his life to have been. He stupidly and naively thinks that maybe that can happen and he can escape to France with this lovely, young woman but it’s all a lie. He hasn’t told her anything so it ends and falls to pieces. It’s a shame as there is a glimpse of something wonderful between them, but again the whole thing is a façade.

Can you explain more about your costume?

I love the costumes I have, so much credit to Grace because she has such a mammoth task on this, especially as we cover so many years. I am very suited in this and my suits represent me, again emanating something that I’m not. So I have really gone for sort of classic, wonderful 80s suits, some double-breasted. I think most of the costume budget went on my suits which I feel terrible for but they are so, so stunning. But I am very envious of the costumes that I see hanging up in the trailer. But I am sure the other actors have spoken about them. They are absolutely fantastic.

Why do you think The Gold would make a great watch?

It would make a great watch because there is not much like it on television at the moment. It’s nostalgic of a certain time and it’s an incredible story that not a lot of people know a great deal about. You’re amazed that these kinds of people managed to get away with such a thing. I hope that it will be exhilarating in uncovering and discovering with the police throughout the episodes, of how they got caught and how they managed to make such big mistakes.


The Gold airs from Sunday 12 February at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer with all episodes available as a boxset on iPlayer from launch.

Source BBC One

February 13, 2023 3:00am ET by BBC One  


  Shortlink to this content:


Latest Press Releases