Actor Tom Hollander has revealed he refuses to open fan mail because he fears he could be targeted by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
The White Lotus star, 55, made the revelation to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg when discussing her play West End Patriots in which he plays an enemy of the Russian president.
Tom said he fears his involvement in the ‘anti-Putin’ play could lead to him being targeted by Putin or his supporters, who have previously attacked critics of the regime from Eastern Europe.
Tom said: ‘What has happened is that now that we are at war, I am more cautious about opening any positions from Russia.’
“We’re quite visibly playing a piece that’s basically anti-Putin.”
Worried: Actor Tom Hollander, 55, has revealed he refuses to open fan mail because he fears he may be the target of Vladimir Putin’s Russia
Honest: The White Lotus star made the revelation while discussing his West End Patriots play in which he plays an enemy of the Russian president (pictured)
Going on to say, “We don’t make a sweet Checkhov play. we’re doing something about living characters who grapple with the West. So that’s just a reason not to open anything that comes in the mail.”
He went on to describe the play, written by Peter Morgan of The Crown, as a “morality tale”.
Adding: “They were all patriots, Putin is sincere, he is a moralist”.
“Berezovsky is in his own way a moralist, just like (Alexander) Litvinenko. All these characters that we heard about, they are all fighting for the soul of Russia and they all felt they were doing the right thing and therein lies the tragedy.
In the production, Tom plays oligarch Boris Berezovsky who fell out with President Putin before dying under mysterious circumstances in London in 2013.
The play’s official synopsis reads: “With the dawn of a new Russia, there are winners and losers, and today’s patriot may quickly become tomorrow’s traitor”.
“As a new generation of oligarchs fight for control, Patriots follows billionaire businessman Boris Berezovsky from the president’s inner circle to public enemy number one.”
Showtime: Tom (centre) spoke to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg (left) alongside co-star Will Keen (right)
Actor: In the production, Tom plays oligarch Boris Berezovsky who fell out with President Putin before dying under mysterious circumstances in London in 2013 (Tom portrayed in character)
Danger: Former spy Alexander Litvinenko was killed by radioactive polonium in November 2006, apparently at the request of Russian authorities – with his story also turned into a TV drama (David Tennant pictured in the role)
It comes after Tom’s latest ITV drama was axed after just one season, it has been revealed.
The Ipcress File, based on Len Deighton’s famous 1962 novel, also starred Joe Cole and Lucy Boynton from Peaky Blinders, which aired late last year.
And according to TVZonealthough the channel wanted to order a second series, the actors’ busy schedules forced the producers to pull the plug.
The Cold War spy thriller followed Harry Palmer (played by Cole), a working-class British sergeant, who becomes a spy to avoid military prison after a series of dodgy deals.
A spokesperson for the broadcaster said: “Unfortunately we were unable to progress a second series of The Ipcress File.”
The original 1965 film saw Palmer played by Sir Michael Caine, which catapulted his career to new heights.
No more: It comes after Tom’s latest ITV drama was axed after just one season, it has been revealed (LR) Lucy Boynton, Joe Cole, Tom Hollander
Gutted: And according to TVZone, although the network wanted to order a second series, busy casting schedules forced producers to pull the plug
The spy film and its subsequent sequels were a deliberately downbeat alternative to the blockbuster James Bond movies of the time.
Palmer contrasts with Bond’s privileged upbringing in a private school and lives and works in “dark” London, where he resides in a studio apartment in Notting Hill.
Deighton went on to write several Harry Palmer thrillers – although the spy was never named in the books – giving producers the opportunity for new series.
It comes amid reports that another ITV show This Morning could face the ax if it emerged show bosses had ‘covered up’ Phillip Schofield’s affair with a younger male colleague.
The presenter, 61, has quit ITV with immediate effect after admitting to cheating on his wife Stephanie with the man, while he admitted to cheating on his ITV staff and colleagues about his affair.
Phillip has now resigned from ITV and will not host what was his last remaining TV date, the British Soap Awards, and has been dropped by his agents at YMU.
And while Phillip’s 40-year-old career is in tatters, This Morning is now said to be also facing the chop as senior program bosses come under pressure to reveal what they knew of Phil’s affair with the young runner.
Patriots is at the Noel Coward Theater in London until August 19