Jared Harris: The British actor on avoiding ex-pats in LA, dabbling in the paranormal, and Christmas parties with the Mad Men cast

 

The Quiet Ones follows a maverick professor in his attempts to invoke paranormal activity. Is it true that it's based on a true story?

It's inspired by true events. There was a real experiment by a Canadian professor back in the Seventies where he attempted to reproduce paranormal events from human agency. And he was successful. Nobody died, nothing burnt down. And, in fact, you can see it on YouTube.

Do you believe in the supernatural?

I haven't experienced it, but I know plenty of people who have who I trust.

So you're not a complete sceptic?

What I am sceptical about is the conclusions that people draw. I find it easier to believe that if people have paranormal experiences, that they are connected to the human psyche, rather than validating the existence of the afterlife, God or some kind of eternal battle between good and evil and all that kind of stuff.

You played Moriarty in the Sherlock film. He's hell-bent on chaos. What is it about unpredictability that makes it such a terrifying trait?

I think in recent times, it reflects our experience of terrorism. When you're dealing with random acts of violence, we don't know what these people want or why they're doing it, so we don't know how to make it stop. It's scarier.

Benedict Cumberbatch is obviously doing exceptionally well off the back of his Sherlock. Do you ever bump into him out in LA?

Yeah, I bump into him here and there. He's a busy boy. It's a fantastic time for him, having all that momentum behind him, exceptional possibilities, it's exciting.

How about other British ex-pats in LA? Is there a scene?

When I first went out there, I made a decision not to make that mistake about living in another country, but closeting myself by only hanging out with my own countrymen. But yeah, I know a bunch of people out there, some who are well-known, some who aren't. But we don't get together and talk about the business, because that's fucking boring.

Or the Queen? Do you get together and talk about her?

Exactly. Oh darling, have you been invited to the latest garden party?

Could you have broken the family mould, or was a career in acting preordained?

Far from it. It took dad by surprise when I expressed an interest. I went to Duke University and fell into it by accident and really enjoyed it.

Did you carry on watching Mad Men after you left the series?

Yes I did, absolutely. And I go to their Christmas parties. I had a fantastic experience working with them all. When I see any of them, it's like running into someone you've been in the trenches with and I always give them a big hug.

I found a Mad Men promotional quiz. One of the questions was: when do you have your first drink of the day?

I find that if I have a drink in the afternoon, I fall asleep. So I tend not to have a tipple until after 6 or 7 o'clock. Unless I'm on holiday, and then you can have an afternoon drink and fall asleep under the sun somewhere. I find that once you start drinking, you have to carry on. I took a 'How Well Do You Know Mad Men?' test recently by the way and I failed it!

Biography

Jared Harris, aged 52, is best known for his role as Lane Pryce in the hit TV series ‘Mad Men’. He is the son of actor Richard Harris, and his step-father was Rex Harrison. His latest film, ‘The Quiet Ones’ is released on Friday

Arts and Entertainment
Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)

comedy

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own
    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England