Alfred Molina, The Company
One CIA mole down, one to go? On Night 1 of TNT's The Company
, Alfred Molina's Harvey Torriti made clever use of a few "Barium meals" to suss out a deep-placed snitch within the spy group's ranks. If only that were the end of their problems. As the series — executive-produced by Ridley and Tony Scott — resumes this Sunday at 8 pm/ET, the action weaves in a Hungarian uprising and the Bay of Pigs debacle, all while a second mole flies under the radar. TVGuide.com spoke with Molina about the twists and turns ahead.
TVGuide.com: What brought you to this project? Was it the pedigree of the Scotts?
Alfred Molina: That didn't hurt, but when I received the script and they told me who and what was involved, it just struck me as a really exciting thing. The script was terrific and it was a wonderful part. I was very, very happy to get involved.
TVGuide.com: Are you an espionage buff at all?
Molina: A little bit. I've always enjoyed spy stories and espionage novels. John le Carré and Eric Ambler and Robert Ludlum...
TVGuide.com: The location shoot makes for a very rich viewing experience. [The Company filmed in such places as Puerto Rico and Budapest.] Does that also help you as an actor?
Molina: It does a bit, especially when you're in the streets where things actually happened. You get a great feel for the locale. It helps feed the texture of the visual image, there's no doubt about that.
TVGuide.com: In another life, could you see yourself in the spy game?
Molina: Oh, no. I don't have the balls.
TVGuide.com: I almost phrased the question asking if you had them, but I couldn't decide on a proper euphemism.
Molina: The proper way is, "Do you have the balls?" And my answer would have been, "Absolutely not."
TVGuide.com: But what about having the mental aptitude?
Molina: I wouldn't have had that, either. That's why I became an actor.
TVGuide.com: Were there any other performances outside of your own that impressed you?
Molina: Thank you for the implied compliment. My feeling is that everybody rose to the occasion and there were terrific performances all around. [Molina's costars include Chris O'Donnell, Michael Keaton and Rory Cochrane.] That's partly due to the quality of the actors involved, but also good actors always respond to good material. Like athletes, if you play outside your skill, you're bound to raise your game.
TVGuide.com: Heading into The Company's second night, Parsifal has been exposed, but we have just learned that there's a second mole out there. Is the Sorcerer going to be able to draw this one out, too?
Molina: I don't want to spoil anything for everyone, but certainly Torriti and Jack and everyone is involved in that chase. The storyline for the second and third evenings goes down some very different routes and dark alleyways. The storyline is as dense and complex as you might imagine any spy scenario.
TVGuide.com: It hit me just before you called that between Michael Keaton, Chris O'Donnell and yourself, we've got Batman, Robin and Doc Ock.
Molina: That's right, yeah. There was one evening where the three of us went to dinner in a steakhouse, and it made the local gossip column the next day. It was rather funny. They even went so far as to describe the meals we had! One of the waiters was obviously a mole himself.
TVGuide.com: I read that it was your role in Salma Hayek's Frida that prompted Sam Raimi to offer you the Doc Ock role....
Molina: One never really knows why producers and directors employ you.... I was on a list of actors who that year had all done a showy part in something, and there were four or five of us. You never really know how these decisions get made, you just hope they're made in your favor.
TVGuide.com: What other projects do you have in the can that are yet to come out?
Molina: I did a version of Shakespeare's As You Like It for HBO that was directed by Kenneth Branagh. And there's a movie called Silk [also starring Michael Pitt and Keira Knightley] that's to be released later this year [on Sept. 14].
TVGuide.com: That sounds like a nice little character piece. [In Silk, a 19th-century silkworm merchant travels to Japan and begins a clandestine romance with a mysterious woman.]
Molina: Yes, very much so. It's a great little story based on the Italian novel of the same name. It's a beautiful movie.
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