Sean Maguire Stars as Ian Fleming on ‘Timeless’

Sean Maguire as Ian Fleming in Timeless
Sean Maguire as Ian Fleming in “Timeless” (NBC)

Sean Maguire will feature on Monday (Oct. 24th) night’s episode of “Timeless” (10/9c on NBC), as a young Ian Fleming working as a spy during the Second World War.

Sean recently spoke to Pop Sugar about taking on the iconic role.

POPSUGAR: I know I’m hooked on Timeless, but what first drew you to this project?
Sean Maguire: Well, the character and the script. I got a call saying, “You know that new show, Timeless, they’ve got a role about Ian Fleming being a spy in the second World War,” and I was like, “Done. Just show me where I have to go.” It was absolutely a no-brainer. And then when I read the script, it doubled in its appeal because Jim Barnes, the writer, did such a phenomenal job of writing this episode. I think the rest of the cast enjoyed this one as well because it was just very epic in scope. It was like shooting a movie in nine days. It was just one of those jobs where I keep saying it was like two weeks of fantasy camp.

PS: What excited you the most about playing Ian Fleming? Were you a fan of James Bond growing up?
SM: Of course! You know, I’m a boy that grew up in London. I mean, James Bond is the epitome of a cool, masculine, suave guy. There can’t be many guys in Britain that don’t aspire to be a little bit like James Bond. As I said, Jim Barnes wrote it knowing that we’d react by saying, “Oh, that’s where that comes from in Bond,” or, “That’s the trait we see in the Bond character.” For me, it was essentially as close as I’ll ever get to playing James Bond, and I relished every second of it.

PS: I see that you shaved for the role. Is there anything else you did to get into character?
SM: Well, the voice was a tricky aspect because Ian Fleming, in his interviews from that period, speaks in an incredibly posh, arty accent, so much so that to America in general it would almost sound like a pretend accent. But that’s how the upper class spoke in the ’40s in Britain. I needed him to be a little bit more accessible to the TV audience that we’re trying to play to. This wasn’t a biopic of Fleming. This is just a guest star on a show where we want to get the essence and the joy of it. So we dialed that back a little bit. And of course, he’s a spy in Germany, so he speaks in German an awful lot, but I haven’t and can’t speak German. So, I had to learn four or five scenes in fluent German in a couple of days which was really, really tricky, because German is not the easiest language in the world to just pick up. That was a challenge, but hopefully I muddled through it okay.

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