The actor talks joining the cast of Riviera and what we can expect from the third season.

Rupert Graves Riveria
Rupert Graves Riveria

If there is one show that you need to be binge-watching on the sofa this winter it’s Sky Atlantic’s Riveria. Premiering its third season earlier this month, the show takes us through the luxurious life of art dealer Georgina Ryland whose life changes when her husband mysteriously dies after an explosion on his yacht. Left with a tremendous amount of money and family problems, Georgina is left to navigating the thrilling and secretive world of her former husband.

With the new season set in the scenic Argentina alongside a new cast, Sherlock star Rupert Graves stars as newcomer Gabriel, and opens up on the new season calling it an “eye-opener” for fans of the show. Having found common ground with Georgina, with them both being outsiders in the world of the mega-rich, the two are thrown into intense situations, dodgy art dealings and kidnappings gone wrong. We caught up with Rupert and talked about joining the cast, his relationship with Georgina, and what we can expect from the new season.

Check out the interview below…

Hi Rupert! How are you, how has lockdown been? What is one thing you’ve learnt?
Lockdown was tough at first because I got Corona, in early March. Quite a nasty dose of it, but I’m over it now. When I recovered, lockdown was actually good. I’d been away from the family for pretty much most of the year, so it was a great chance to spend time together. I also loved the quiet And the lack of traffic. The stillness. But only for so long. We got cabin fever towards the end of it.

You’ve joined Riviera in its 3rd season, how did this come about?
I was asked to look at the script and see what my reaction was, then I went in to see Kris Thykier, the series producer and we talked about the part. They offered it to me and I said yes.

You’re set to play Gabriel Hirsch, what can you tell us about your character and can you relate to him in anyway?
Gabriel works in art restitution. Finding the provenance of lost or stolen artwork. He hires Georgina to help him recover a Picasso. Like Georgina, he’s not from the ultra-rich world, more of an ex-grammar schoolboy than privately educated, so he has the outsiders perspective. That’s kind of how I feel about being an actor. I never trained. He uses humour to get by, but it’s uncertain whether he uses it as a weapon or a shield. It’s certainly used to deflect attention away from people getting close to figuring him out. There’s a mystery, both emotionally and in his circumstances, and also in his motivations. He does things which seem oddly out of character, but what’s interesting about him, especially at the start of the series, is we don’t really know how to judge his character.

How is this playing this character different to your previous roles?
I’ve never really done a thriller like this before, so there’s quite a lot of physical work. Fights, chases, kidnapping/shooting situations, which I really enjoyed.

How would you describe Gabriel’s relationship with Georgina?
Gabriel and Georgina are both outsiders in the mega-wealthy world of Riviera. Georgina runs towards trouble and Gabriel is willing to run with her. Not with so much relish, but I think they both get off on the thrill. Georgina plays her cards very close to her chest and is hard to work out. Gabriel enjoys scratching away at her and goading her with humour to see if he can get a reaction. But they work well together. They form a deep bond quite quickly, and although it’s not a romantic or sexual relationship, they would do anything for each other.

What’s one thing in the series you’re excited for the audience to see?
I think the scenes we did in Buenos Aires will be a real eye-opener for many viewers. It’s such an interesting and diverse city. Also the scenes in Venice are beautifully shot. There’s a great boat race sequence shot in St Tropez. The Set design, costumes and camerawork are really incredible. We had an amazing crew. It was a real pleasure to work with them.

Outside of Riviera, what else are you working on/ what are you most excited for next?
I’ve just done an episode of McDonald an Dodds, with one of my favourite actors, Jason Watkins. It was amazing fun. And so great to be working again after the lockdown. Also doing a live version of The Winters Tale By Shakespeare, online in mid-November, so busily brushing up on my verse speaking.


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