Jamie Dornan on his way to The Tourist

Fast forward 10 years, and Dornan, 39, is now the kind of big name you cast in a six-part outback thriller filled with Australian character actors if you want to sell it overseas. It also helps that he’s heading into a purple patch in his career: he’s been nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming semi-autobiographical film. Belfast.

IN The tourist, Dornan plays The Man Chased Off the Road by a Truck in the South Australian Outback. When he wakes up in the hospital, he does not remember who he is, except for a note in his pocket directing him to a meeting the next day at Gloria’s Diner.

Danielle Macdonald plays a young policewoman who helps the man (Jamie Dornan) recover her memory in The Tourist.

Danielle Macdonald plays a young policewoman who helps the man (Jamie Dornan) recover her memory in The Tourist.

With the help of a young policewoman, Helen (played by Danielle Macdonald), and a waitress, Luci (Shalom Brune-Franklin), the man tries to gather his past, beginning with his name. However, he is not the only one trying to find himself: he is being chased by a mysterious cowboy hat-wearing man (Olafur Darri Olafsson) and a detective (Damon Herriman).

Dornan spends most of the first few episodes squinting at the sun, covered in dust and wearing a dead man’s clothes. “It’s the red dust from the outback that takes its toll,” he says of his almost permanent divide. “Well, we were dealing with real dust storms while we were shooting there [in the outback] in March or April. It’s a dirty environment to work in, but in a great way it looks great. I feel dirty for a lot of this show. “

Dornan says the show was presented to him as “To kill Eve meetings Memento”And he is not far away. The tourist has the central “Who am I?” the mystery of Memento and the dry humor of To kill Eve. The tension is cut through with Dornan’s car karaoke interpretation of Bette Davis’ eyes, while a stand-off over signing a toilet key at an isolated gas station is tense, fun and related to anyone who has had to lug an oversized lump of wood to the toilets and back again.

“It’s a fine line,” Dornan says The tourist humor. “Which, I think, life is like that. To go through really tragic and insane things and then laugh at it at the same time.”

    Luci (Shalom Brune-Franklin) and The Man (Jamie Dornan) in The Tourist.

Luci (Shalom Brune-Franklin) and The Man (Jamie Dornan) in The Tourist.

The team behind The tourist has form in this orbit: Screenwriters Harry and Jack Williams are part of the production team behind the critically acclaimed comedy Flea bag, as well as having written BBC dramas The missing and its follow-up Baptiste.

Still, there is a long way to go in Adelaide for a show that uses its opening sequence to sling him around on a dusty road in a rickety Mazda 323. Why did Dornan say yes?

“The manuscripts are insanely original,” he says. “As an actor, it’s something I’m always looking for. I’m trying to mix it up. I just do not want to do the same thing twice. I do not understand the meaning of being an actor and playing the same kind of character or just making action movies. You know, maybe if you get paid $ 25 million for a picture to make an action movie, you might be able to make peace with it, but I do not want to. I want to create roles that challenge me and genres that challenge me. ”

Dornan took his family to Adelaide: his wife Amelia Warner and their three daughters. “I’m just not someone who’s willing to take away for four months, or five months, six months without my family,” he says. “I do not want to be that person.”

He describes Adelaide as one of the easiest places they have ever lived, despite the over-enthusiastic wildlife recommendations. “The first thing anyone says to them when they meet them is, ‘Have you seen a koala yet? A kangaroo?’ It’s a bit like being in Ireland, and someone says, ‘Have you tasted Guinness yet?’ ‘

Ever since Decreased, Dornan has diligently built a varied career. There was, of course, the erotic The Fifty Shades of Gray film trilogy, but that’s probably the least interesting thing he’s done. He’s tried comedy (Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.), children (Trolls World Tour) and romcom (Wild mountain thyme), but it is Decreased which still resonates. He tried to avoid playing bad grades for a while after Decreased?

“Roles are almost always defined as good guys and bad guys,” he says. “It’s almost as black and white as it sometimes is. So there’s no way you can completely turn your back on it and say, “I played this really dark character, I’ll never do it again.” So it’s just like I appreciate, and I’m grateful I’ve been able to play someone like that. [Paul Spector] in Decreased, where I was hardly even aware that I could go to these levels of darkness… but actually what it did for me, it made me go, ‘It’s amazing that I could do it, let’s see , what else can I take away, ‘and challenge myself. “

In this regard The tourist has scratched an itch. “There’s darkness over this character that I play [in The Tourist], but there is also a lightness and fun side to him. So this particular job manages to scratch a lot of itching. Do you want to play villains your whole career? F — no. But would you also like to play guys who always do the right thing? No, it’s just not interesting. ”

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The tourist has also given Dornan the opportunity to grow his favorite type of facial hair: a full, thick beard. Without one, he has said, his face looks like a thumb.

“I have to be malleable and, you know, bend me in every way as an actor, and if something means I do not have a beard, I have to be okay with it. But that is my preference, ”he says and laughs. “But ever since I’ve been in Australia, the last three or four months, it’s been so f — ing gray. I may not love my beard that much. I would not give an f — if it was all the same, but it’s kind of mostly gray on one side, crooked. I’m aging on one side of my face. “

And like his character in The tourist, is there anything Dornan would like to forget? If he could lose his memory as the Man, would he then choose to erase something from his life together?

“I think no, not really,” he says. “I have not had many major regrets in my life or anything. I’ve played it pretty straight most of the time. I do not fall out with people or get into a lot of quarrels, I just do not have time for that. I think life is too short for that shit. I’ve had the same group of friends since I was a kid and I feel like things have gone well for me.

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“I’m a pretty good drinker. I never get f — ed and say the wrong thing and get kicked out or start fights, it’s not been my thing either. So I do not think it’s anything. There are things in my life , I wish had not happened, and people I’ve lost and a lot of other f — ing bad shit. But I think the kind of shit that happened to me is what makes you to who you are today. You know I love who I am today, I think so. I will not forget anything. “

The tourist streamer on Stan, owned by the publisher of this masthead, from January 2nd.

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