A scandal can break out in any organization, even the White House. In ABC’s new TV show Anatomy of a Scandal, Joshua McGuire plays Chris Clarke, the communications director to the British Prime Minister (played by Ben Daniels). The show dives into how certain incidents can turn into full-blown scandals and the way those scandals unfold over time. It’s scheduled to air on ABC on April 29 at 10/9c so we talked with McGuire about what audiences can expect from his character and his show… Joshua McGuire Talks Anatomy of a Scandal

Joshua McGuire on his new series Anatomy of a Scandal

Chris [Clarke] starts as really quite Machiavellian, says Joshua McGuire, who plays Downing Street communications chief Chris Clarke in BBC Two’s new drama. But he’s aware that things can go very wrong very quickly. He knows there are going to be repercussions. He just doesn’t know what they will be. It’s almost like a child playing with matches and not realising that they might burn themselves or burn their house down. The consequences are so far away from him at first – it takes time for them to dawn on him, but by then it might be too late… So far I haven’t been disappointed by anything in my life and I don’t expect anything less from TV either.

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He shares how he became involved in the new Netflix series

I auditioned for it back in January and was excited to get called back for more. I was really lucky to have such a complex character to take on. At first, I wanted to know who Chris Clarke was but that meant too much time watching politics shows which made me feel brain dead. When I did some research, there wasn’t much about him on Wikipedia and his name wasn’t linked with any other political figures in an obvious way so it became my job to create some connections myself.

The political drama was written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter and journalist Abi Morgan

It’s based on her 2012 stage play, The Mistress Contract. Abi Morgan also wrote The Iron Lady and Shame. She also wrote and directed Suffragette, which is due out in October 2015. It stars Carey Mulligan as activist-turned-politician Millicent Fawcett. You can check out a trailer here. The film is already getting Oscar buzz. When asked if she was worried about following in Phyllida Lloyd’s footsteps (who directed The Iron Lady), she said: Not at all! That film came out when I was 15 or 16 years old so it wasn’t something that I knew about or understood when I first saw it, but then later you realize what an incredible feat it was to have been made.

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British television actor Joshua McGuire plays the central character in this drama, which is based on true events surrounding British politician Jeremy Thorpe.

Thorpe was accused of involvement in a plot to kill his alleged former lover, Norman Scott. Thorpe denied any involvement but later resigned as leader of his political party and eventually stood trial on conspiracy charges. However, he was acquitted on those charges but convicted on minor charges related to his conduct during the trial. He died in 2014 at age 88.

Joshua McGuire Talks Anatomy of a Scandal
Joshua McGuire Talks Anatomy of a Scandal

Here are some other points he made about the show

I loved it, and it’s something I would encourage everyone to watch, but if you’re hoping for a period drama where there’s lots of drama between all of these people that are really trying to do their job, who are constantly in turmoil because they disagree with each other over everything—it’s actually not like that. When they disagreed with each other on policy decisions, they wrote memos!

Joshua McGuire as Chris Clarke

Anatomy of a Scandal is about truth and falsehood. We want to help people understand what’s real and what’s not. What we are and what we aren’t. I feel like there’s been such an overuse of fake news and alternative facts, that when people see stuff in films they go oh yes, I have seen that before. Even if it’s something as simple as what happens when you look at your Twitter feed.

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What is an anatomy of a scandal?

There’s nothing more gripping than a juicy scandal. Joshua McGuire, communications chief for fictional UK prime minister Tom Dawkins in BBC drama series Anatomy of a Scandal, knows all about it. The show is based on real-life events surrounding politician Jeremy Thorpe and his lover Norman Scott. The thing that really struck me was how close to home it was, says McGuire. I remember reading about it when I was at school and thinking: ‘This is going to be a great film one day.’ It certainly has been made into one – but not quite as he imagined…

How does it apply to you?

I had to get very fit and lose weight, he explains. The politicians I was playing were extremely fit, so it wasn’t just a matter of slimming down my physique; I also had to strengthen my core and improve all my agility and stamina levels. It took me three months in training before we started filming, but I loved every minute of it. It was like going back to school – there are few things more exciting than learning something new!

Role-playing exercise with class discussion

In role-playing, students become characters in hypothetical scenarios and apply theory to practice. This exercise gives students an opportunity to experience what it might be like to work in some challenging situations. It focuses on both character development and skill development, with class discussion providing an opportunity for students to debrief and learn from each other’s experiences.

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