During a recent photoshoot with the Radio Times, Martin Freeman sat down with one of Sherlock’s creators, Mark Gatiss, to discuss his role as Dr. John Watson in the popular BBC series.
Freeman’s goal is to deviate slightly from other portrayals of Watson, including those of Nigel Bruce’s “delightfully buffoonish” one in the 1940s and Billy Wilder’s in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.
“Although there’s an inherent light-heartedness to Sherlock, I slightly err towards not doing the comedy,” the 42-year-old said. “Sometimes, I realise even when I think I’m being dead straight, I look back and still think I’m mugging! But what I love about our John Watson is that even though there is humour in him, it’s a straight part, and it’s a straight programme. No one is a buffoon in it, and what I really like about it is that it’s writing for grown-ups, where you’re not having to cheat the audience.”
“I’m purely trying to play this part the way I approach everything, which is to be truthful. I was trying to make Watson a feasible soldier, a feasible doctor. I wanted to give him a strength and a vulnerability,” he added.
When asked how his character has changed over the three series, Freeman talked about how love has affected Watson.
This subject is perhaps a bit more personal for him, since his real-life girlfriend of seven years, actress Amanda Abbington, plays his onscreen love Mary Morstan.
“With this new series, he’s also fallen in love. He thought his best friend was dead. There’s definitely a sort of light that goes out when you lose somebody you love, but now his life has moved on. He’s in a real grown-up relationship, which he needed to be. So I think that we join John in a way a bit sadder because he lost a friend, a very good friend, but in a way more content, actually,” he explained.
The teaser trailer for Sherlock’s series three finale hit the internet just yesterday.
Watch the trailer for “His Final Vow” below:
Catch the finale on Sunday, January 12 at 8:30 PM on BBC One.