Perry Mason

Perry Mason: Matthew Rhys Talks About Why His Character is Interesting

HBO’s Perry Mason which made its debut on the 22nd of June, is set in 1931 Los Angeles. Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) is a Private Investigator struggling to make ends meet (think Jessica Jones). One day, a case of a kidnapped one-year-old comes his way, involving $US 100 000 ransom. Mason, with the help of his trustee friend Pete Strickland, attorney E.B Jonathan and a couple of other characters, tries to solve the mystery.

Recently, HBO Asia got the chance to have a chat with Matthew Rhys, the show’s lead. When asked what his initial thoughts were when he first heard about the series, Rhys had this to say:

“It was September 2018 when my agent left me a message. I thought, ‘Why do you want to remake Perry Mason?’ You can’t remake Perry Mason and you’d be foolish to do so. Then when I spoke to my agent, he said HBO are remaking it and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s not going to be a remake, they’re going to HBO-ify it!’ When I met with Susan Downey [the producer] and the writers, I quickly realised it was a reimagining rather than a remake. They said they were interested in the origin story of how Perry Mason became a Defence Attorney and went on to describe who this person was. I was immediately hooked.”

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Rhys also talked about what makes his version of Perry Mason so interesting.

“There is so much going on with this Mason. He’s a very damaged individual who’s come through World War I. He’s a veteran who’s going through an inordinate number of life problems when we meet him but there is this one element to him which I think is garnered from the injustice of the war. He can’t abide injustice. He can’t sit by and see that happen – so when a perversion of that happens, he has this great north star. I wasn’t interested in someone who was just going to serve justice wearing his underpants on the outside; I wanted a fully fledged, well-rounded human who was very fallible.”

Catch Perry Mason every Monday at 9am exclusively on HBO GO and HBO (Astro Ch 411 HD), with a same day encore at 10pm on HBO.