'Outlander' star Ed Speleers watches reruns of his football team losing to prepare for his menacing role

MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) caught up with the actor on the red carpet of the show's Season 5 premiere and asked him how he can play someone as sinister as Bonnet when he's such a delightful person in real life

                            'Outlander' star Ed Speleers watches reruns of his football team losing to prepare for his menacing role
Ed Speleers as Stephen Bonnet in 'Outlander' (Starz)

Ed Speleers might be a period drama veteran with his appearance as Jimmy Kent — the 20s footman in later seasons of 'Downton Abbey'.

However, when it comes to his portrayal of the sinister, menacing Irish smuggler and pirate Stephen Bonnet, Speleers has the perfect mantra to get into the mood of the character, which is villainous to a whole other degree. 

MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) caught up with the actor at the red carpet for the premiere of the series' just-released Season 5, and when asked despite being such a delightful person in real life, how he gets into the zone for Bonnet, Speleers quipped: "I watch old reruns of my football team losing."

The Tottenham Hotspurs fan elaborated that the mantra works best, "Especially at places where (the football team) is getting thrashed — I watch that, and then it gets me in the right mood."

Having arrived two seasons ago, Speleers' character Bonnet has already evaded death effortlessly and sought Claire and Jamie's help to escape from the law, only to backstab them moments later.

There's not a thing Bonnet won't do in his climb and that's what makes the Speleers character so intriguing — almost as if having a sinister antagonist with panache. So obviously, it takes more than just watching heartbreaking videos of the Spurs getting thrashed for Speleers to get into the mojo.


"It takes a bit of work," the actor shared about the process, adding: "Yeah, it's all about trying to find similarities that are relatable. Every human has a tipping point. Every human has something that will provoke them enough."

He continued, "It might be a very different level, and it might be for different reasons, but we can all do that. And I think if you can just try and find that thin line that matches and then a starting point... it's fun!"

On what drew him to the role of Bonnet, Speleers claimed "When I'd first taken on the role, it was a big challenge cause he is a particular way. But it was a sort of challenge that you like."

He added, "Of course, it was hard, but you want the work to be hard. It should be fun, but it should be, it should be better graphed to get yourself into that headspace."

'Outlander' Season 5 premiered on Sunday, February 16, at 8 pm only on Starz.

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