IT was fate; when Warren Brown got the call to say he'd got the part in Luther his ringtone was still the theme to The Wire. "I was a massive Idris fan and I just couldn't believe I was going to be acting with Stringer Bell"(Elba's character from The Wire). The former Muay-Thai world champion turned actor working primarily in British television says that his character DCI Ripley was the "geeky rookie meeting this professional and it mirrored real life. So when it came time to film I just played our first meeting."
It's impossible not to look at the Luther and Ripley relationship without seeing a kind of British cop answer to Batman and Robin. When I gushed and praised him for making Robin cool he laughed and said: "Yeah a few people have made that observation." However he and Idris themselves have both joked about it on set. "During a pretty heavy scene, in the episode when we had to run through a crowd to stop a public execution, we had to do multiple takes. In a couple we were singing *hums the Adam West Batman theme.*
And while I think he's played the best iteration of Robin on screen, he's actually played one of Bane's henchman in The Dark Knight Rises. When I asked him about the experience he shared a surreal meeting. "Tom Hardy and I are both friends Steven Graham (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch). I was in wardrobe and one of the crew told Tom that Steven Graham's mate was there. So then Bane comes over and says, 'Hey mate I'm Tommy, nice to meet you.'"
After the international critical and audience reception of Luther you wonder if the people making it had any idea of its potential international success. He says, "Absolutely not. It's really good but you never know." The modest actor seems to approach his acting career with the same fighter's discipline; one opponent/project at a time. I had to know if creator Neil Cross had revealed his ambitions for the characters. Warren said no "You can't look past the series you're doing."
As the series has drawn to a close, and there's talk of a prequel film on the horizon I had to ask what his favourite episode of the series was; "The last episode. I didn't have as much involvement and I could really approach it as a viewer."
LUTHER SERIES ONE AND TWO ARE AVAILABLE NOW ON DVD
Blake Howard - follow Blake on Twitter here: @blakeisbatman and listen to the audio review on That Movie Show 2UE here or on top-rating film podcast Pod Save Our Screen, available now on iTunes.