In a story that seems to be pulled straight out of the Panama Papers, Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie play a deadly game of cat and mouse in AMC's newest series, "The Night Manager," based on a novel by John le Carre.
Hiddleston's character, Jonathan Pine, is perhaps what James Bond would look like if he was twice as sinister and had nothing to lose, which puts him in the deliciously dynamic position to infiltrate a tight-knit crime community run by Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie).
The resulting battle of wills is a six-episode struggle between two men who appear to be two sides of the same coin. "It is a game of cat and mouse," says Hiddleston, "But you're constantly kept guessing as to who is the cat and who is the mouse, and to what extent does the mouse want to be caught by the cat, and vice versa."
The parallel between these Roper and Pine is not lost on Laurie and Hiddleston, who agree that the two men tend to share the same key personality traits, only differentiated by their sense of right and wrong.
In Laurie's mind, Roper senses the similarities in himself and his new apprentice, but at the end of the day, he's expecting or even hoping to be double-crossed. "Roper, I think, is looking for some sort of redemption -- he's looking to be betrayed actually, I think on some level. He knows his crimes, and he knows he must pay for his crimes, and he has chosen his Judas."
Hiddleston, however, sees their duality more in terms of the differences that define them.
"Le Carre is exploring the division between them, which is actually paper thin but very important, and it's essentially about moral conviction," Hiddleston says. "Roper simply believes that the world is rotten, and that one has to celebrate the rottenness and make a profit. And Pine believes the opposite."
"The Night Manager" premieres Tuesday, April 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.