Reece: Widower role not villainous

This Is Lancashire: Reece Shearsmith plays real life killer Malcolm Webster in The Widower Reece Shearsmith plays real life killer Malcolm Webster in The Widower

Reece Shearsmith has revealed playing murderer Malcolm Webster in The Widower didn't feel like a villainous role.

The actor - who in the past has revelled in evil roles in his dark comedies such as League Of Gentlemen and Psychoville - revealed how he focused on showing the normal side to Webster in the ITV drama based on a true story.

Malcolm is serving time in prison after being found guilty of murdering his first wife Claire Morris, attempting to murder his second wife Felicity Drumm and intending to bigamously marry Simone Banarjee for financial gain.

But Reece explained: " My version of Malcolm Webster is the version the wives saw, the nice, gentle, funny, caring man.

"You see him do his crime at the beginning and I didn't really need then to act the villain , because people know I'm evil and have done this terrible crime, and it's more interesting then watching him appear completely normal. And to have the psychosis to be able to square it in his mind that it was an accident, which I think he still believes.

"Once I decided not play the villainous side of Malcolm it was quite easy. Because then all I had to play was the absolute truth of these moments with the wives.

"I wanted to make sure I didn't fall into the trap of playing him like a Hollywood serial killer, or enjoying the fact that he's the villain of the piece and getting away with it."

The actor added he didn't want the drama to revel in Webster's crime, as it was meant to tell the story of his victims and how their lives were affected.

Reese said: "He's not a supervillain, he's not fascinating, he's just a man who was doing this purely through greed."

The Widower is currently airing on Monday evenings on ITV1.

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