Before Jamie Dornan was getting freaky in any red rooms for Fifty Shades of Grey, he was (fictionally) strangling women in the excellent BBC drama The Fall. If you watched the series and ever thought to yourself, “Damn, he’s almost too good in this role,” then you might not be shocked to learn his prep work for the part involved secretly stalking a woman in London. I bet that woman would have loved to have known about it at the time.
Dornan’s particular form of method acting – although he says he’s not method – was revealed in a live chat between the actor and the L.A. Times, in which he went fully in-depth into his character Paul Spector and the abundantly arrogant confidence that serial killers like him tend to exhibit. Oddly enough, Dornan’s admission comes after he was asked about set bloopers. Here’s how he somewhat sheepishly described getting into Spector’s headspace.
This is a really bad reveal. I followed a woman off the train one day to see what it felt like to pursue someone like that. I really kept my distance and I was aware. It was kind of half-hearted, ‘cause I was going, ‘What am I…If she turns around, is she gonna notice?’
Considering the copious amounts of stalkers, kidnappers and murderers on TV and in movies these days, one has to wonder just how often this kind of behavior is undertaken for an actor to get ready for a role. You can’t exactly cite “Follow the Leader” as an example of stalking skills.
Obviously, Dornan was asked how long he kept this behavior up, as going too far with this wouldn’t have been wise.
She got off a few stops earlier than I was planning, so I said, ‘I have to commit to this here.’ I followed her around a couple of street corners, and then I was like, ‘What are you doing?’…It felt kind of exciting, in a really sort of dirty way. I’m sort of not proud of myself. But I do honestly think I learned something from it, just ‘cause I’ve obviously never done any of that in my life. So it was intriguing and interesting to enter that process of ‘what are you following her for?’ and ‘what are you trying to find out?’
Thankfully, he didn’t go full-Spector and start messing with anyone’s underwear or anything, as he might not have had a very long career if he’d have gotten caught doing that. I love knowing that he went even this far into preparing himself for that mindset, even if it’s a complete creepster move on his part.
You can check out the whole interview below, in which Dornan talks about getting to work with Gillian Anderson and how he identified with the different aspects of the character.
If you haven’t caught up with either Season 1 or 2 of The Fall yet, you’re missing out on one of the deeper and darker dramas on TV today. Find it on Netflix now.