I couldn’t stand London. Why does everyone just get drunk all the time? | Rosie Perez on the return of Bounty Hunters

I couldn’t stand London. Why does everyone just get drunk all the time?

Rosie Perez on the return of Bounty Hunters

As the comedy-drama Bounty Hunters  returns to Sky One next month, star Rosie Perez talks about working with co-star Jack Whitehall, being battered and bruised by filming… and eventually coming to love the UK capital.

Tell us how you found out that Bounty Hunters would be returning? 

I think it was the third day after it debuted. I got a call from [producer] Ben Cavey, saying Sky had renewed it because the ratings were so high and I was like "woohoo!" 

What is it about playing Nina you most enjoy? 

I enjoy the action! My body was covered in black and blue everywhere, I had to soak every single night but I love it! 

Besides the action, the back and forth with Jack is just so much fun. He’s a great comedian, his timing is just impeccable. There were times when we couldn’t get through a scene because he laughed the whole way through. 

What’s different about this second series? 

Nina and Barnaby’s relationship develops and it’s all about trust. And you see a softer and sillier side to Nina as she starts to open up and get vulnerable.

Do you ever make suggestions for your character? 

I’ve gone pretty crazy with my suggestions! Mostly it’s to try and keep it in ‘American speak’, to really stay true to that. I’ll say, ‘y’know Freddy this is a really funny line and I love your thinking but we’ll probably have to get rid of it because I would never say that.’ 

He says, ‘right’ because he’s so British. He doesn’t want to be rude and you can tell he doesn’t really want to change the line. So I’ll say, ‘all right instead of getting a new line how can we make it better?’

I already respected Freddy because his comedic timing is exemplary in the written form. He knows Barnaby’s character like the back of his hand, and this season I felt like he really got further into Nina’s character. 

As Jack was away for a couple weeks to do Dwayne Johnson’s movie - we were so excited for him - I was left with Freddy dealing with the script. At first I was thinking, ‘oh god this is nerve-racking I don’t know how this is going to turn out." We went through the script so quickly because he’s just so smart and so quick. 

What’s it like on set with Jack?

 It’s so fun, it’s as if you’re playing with your school buddies you know, during break…  you’re playing in the sand box with someone who is an intelligent goofball with impeccable timing.

 I don’t experience this on other shoots and I’ve said it in the past I haven’t had this much fun since White Men Can’t Jump! 

After filming all day and jumping on the back of a 6ft 2in 350lb Stuntman and being tossed around we get into the van to head back. We don’t go in our separate vans with our separate drivers, me, Freddy, Jack, Pippa and Ben [the co-writer and producers] hop into a van and say, "what are we going to do for dinner?" Then hang out until we are ready to go to bed. 

Any actor reading this interview will understand that that is a very special thing. 

Do you enjoy working and staying in London while filming? 

I do! Prior to Bounty Hunters I couldn’t stand London. Why does everyone just get drunk all the time? And the food wasn’t good either,.

However, when I did the first series of Bounty Hunters, Freddy, Jack, Pippa and Ben took me under their wing and made sure that every weekend they took me out during the day or night. Even after filming all day they’d ask if I wanted to get dinner, so I got to see London from a Londoner’s point of view. 

I fell in love with it. I think the issue prior to that was I was stuck in a hotel, I didn’t know the people and I was in a very touristy area. 

What were the most challenging scenes during this shoot?

 Riding that damn car in an area up in the hills  in South West London.  I almost broke the car. I remember screaming ‘Oh my god I broke the fucking car!’– thankfully I didn’t. 

The roads there were horrible and narrow. I had to look like I was in complete control of the vehicle and I was definitely not! Some of the stunts were difficult for me because the stunt coordinator wanted to jack it up and I’m glad he did. 

Honestly though, I think the most difficult part for me was the final episode. It started getting very emotional, and that was tough because you come to realise how much Nina has come to care for Barnaby even though she doesn’t want to. 

That was really tough for me in playing that emotion and then remembering that it’s still a comedy drama and balancing it so it didn’t get too heavy. 

Why should viewers tune into this series? 

Because this is some kickass funny shit that’s going to get your heart rate up!

• Bounty Hunters returns to Sky One on March 14.

Published: 23 Feb 2019

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