Spy agencies rely on ‘sexy’ TV programmed to draw in applicants for vacancies, Slow Horses actor Jack Lowden has revealed.
The Scottish actor, 33, plays disgraced spy River Cartwright in the Apple+ drama, which also stars Gary Oldman.
For the part, Jack said he was trained in spycraft by intelligence advisers – who disclosed some industry secrets to him.
‘My favourite thing that they revealed was their reliance on our industry for their recruitment,’ Jack told The Sunday Times.
Jack, who is dating Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, also said it was ‘wonderful’ to find out that the intelligence services were ‘full of people bitching about wanting a corner office rather than a cubicle or why don’t they get sexier assignments’.
Spy agencies rely on ‘sexy’ TV programmed to draw in applicants for vacancies, Slow Horses actor Jack Lowden has revealed
The Scottish actor, 33, plays disgraced spy River Cartwright in the Apple+ drama, which also stars Gary Oldman
In the series, Harry Potter star Gary, 65, is seen as part of an MI5 agency who are just trying to do their jobs despite all the obstacles that land in their way.
And after the third season dropped in September to rave reviews, Jack let slip some of British Intelligence’s lower stakes secrets.
‘TV and film make spies sexy and that’s why people join,’ he said. ‘I’d love to speak to them now that Slow Horses is out there, making it look grubby and boring.’
Mick Herron’s novel of the same name spawned an eight-novel series (named after the dumping ground for agents) and after surpassing two million sales worldwide, they were adapted by Apple TV+ in April 2022.
The latest installment in the series, ‘The Secret Hours’, was released on 12 September.
Herron has been compared by some to legendary spy fiction author Le Carre – but unlike the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy author, he has no background in espionage.
In fact he worked as subeditor for a legal magazine before becoming a novelist and admits that due to his dislike of technology (he doesn’t have a smartphone) – he would not have been an asset to MI5.
Jack said he thinks it ‘bizarre’ that it took until the third season for Slow Horses to attract wide-range attention.
‘The reviews have been fantastic, but it’s always difficult when it’s not on “normal television”,’ he added. ‘Being on a streaming service gives a show a chance to grow.’
Slow Horses tells the story of an intelligence team banished to Slough House, an MI5 backwater, for generally being bad at their jobs.
The third season of Slow Horses has received a near-perfect approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes
The latest batch of episodes from Gary Oldman’s hit series (pictured) debuted on Apple+ on Wednesday, having already received critical acclaim for its first two seasons
Jack’s character works for Jackson Lamb, played by acting legend Gary.
Before landing his leading role of Jackson Lamb in the series, Gary hinted he had considered retiring from acting almost 50 years in the business.
Speaking on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky on Virgin Radio, Gary said: ‘I think that Lamb gives the impression to the world that he doesn’t care, and maybe, just maybe, he cares more than most.
‘He might be trying to pack it all in. He is sort of treading water and watching the clock until retirement.
‘But like a lot of us who maybe have occasionally felt like walking away and packing it all in, we’re sort of addicted to what we do.’