Alexis Rodney stars in new Guy Ritchie Netflix series, ‘The Gentlemen’

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British actor Alexis Rodney had the time of his life playing an enigmatic lawyer in the new series ‘The Gentleman’, based on Guy Ritchie’s 2019 film of the same name. The series – which launches on Netflix on Thursday 7 March – introduces a new set of characters led by Eddie, an aristocrat with a weed farm, played by ‘The White Lotus’’s Theo James. The star-studded cast also includes Kaya Scodelario, Daniel Ings, Giancarlo Esposito, Joely Richardson and Ritchie favourite, Vinnie Jones. Alexis, whose previous credits include ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ and ‘Willow’, shares some behind-the-scenes secrets. 

Tell us about your role in ‘The Gentlemen’.

“I play Emory Stevens, often referred to quite simply as Stevens. Stevens is introduced in the series as an American lawyer, who also moonlights as a personal assistant to a very powerful man. He’s a calm and enigmatic figure, a bit of a modern-day Renaissance man, a jack of all trades, if you will, who is as au fait with decanting wine as he would be dissecting an enemy.” 

What was it like working with Guy Ritchie?

“In 1998 I went to the cinema to see Guy’s first film, ‘Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels’. It was a seminal film, moving the needle from traditional, British kitchen-sink dramas, to a more fresh and exciting storytelling that appealed to the international film community. I made a promise to myself at the time that I would one day work with Guy Ritchie, and some 20 years and loose change later, I finally achieved that dream. Guy is the epitome of a British gentleman: knowledgeable, playful and seemingly as excited about filmmaking as he was all those years ago. He doesn’t over-direct, but when he needs to give actors adjustments, they make complete sense. All in all, a pleasure to work with.”

Was it a fun set to work on?

“Starting work on any project always has the feeling of the first day of school, but when the dust settled on this job it was a wonder to behold. So many great creatives under one roof, all pulling their weight for the greater good. Everyone was in good spirits, both on and off the set, which obviously makes such a huge difference in the work environment. I can’t stress enough just how lovely everyone was. This job will live long in my memory.”

Who will enjoy watching ‘The Gentlemen’?

“The show seamlessly mixes the world of blue-collar and silver-spoon crime, to give audiences a unique, high-octane, high-fashion drama, with a lot of comedy too. Ultimately ‘The Gentlemen’ is a show about roles and duties within the family hierarchy, and how families come together when the vultures circle. I would recommend it to anyone who’s the right age to watch it! It’s a truly bonkers adventure.” 

What have been your other favourite roles to date?

“I’m grateful to have had a wide variety of roles. The film ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ (2001) with Joaquin Phoenix is special to me, as it was my first international film and  of course I was working with one of the best actors of our time. I’ve since gone on to act in the Marvel Universe as Moloka Dar in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (2014), Simon Peter in the Ridley Scott drama ‘Killing Jesus’ (2015), Arris in another Ridley Scott-produced film, ‘Halo Nightfall’, Tebbe in the Amazon-produced series ‘Outlander’, Lachlan in the Disney reboot of ‘Willow’ (2022), Darren Thompson in HBO series ‘Pennyworth’ and, last but not least, I’m in the soon-to-be-released horror film ‘The Piper’ (2024), from Icelandic filmmaker Erlingur Óttar Thoroddsen.”

Photo credits: Michael Shelford