Interview: Max Beesley on the third season of Sky One's Jamestown.
Sky One’s hit original drama Jamestown is back.
It’s boom time in Jamestown and Virginia promises riches and freedom for the English settlers. Jocelyn’s destroyed plantation may have regrown but old feuds remain; she plans revenge, but Yeardley will not be dislodged without a fight. Profits in the colony bring new attention from England to focus on Jamestown, and the arrival of an enigmatic man in town forces many to attempt to cover the tracks of past indiscretions. Amongst the conflict, love grows, and even Jocelyn is presented with a future she never thought possible. Maria, Pedro and their fellow Angolans fight to find a place for themselves in the colony, but can no longer deny the tyranny they live under and the unspeakable reality of what this means for their future. The Sharrows have formed a deep connection with the Native Americans.
Henry has taken a Pamunkey wife, and Silas lives with them in exile. His friendship with the warrior Chacrow is tested to the limit and he finds himself at the centre of the gravest clash between the English and the Native Americans. These conflicts herald a new chapter in Virginia’s history which will shape the New World for centuries to come.
Max Beesley tells us more about the third season…
Series three of Jamestown, how excited were you to return to the settlement this year?
Very excited to start series three! It’s a challenging role physically and mentally and I strive personally for utter commitment to the truth of each character that I play. Henry Sharrow is probably one of the most complex that I’ve been fortunate enough to portray .
What is different about this third series what can the audience expect and why should they tune in?
Well it’s packed! The third series is full of intrigue, it’s a multi-layered drama involving all the characters and one of Bill Gallagher’s strengths in this is keeping all of those factors integral to each episode whilst moving the story forward and keeping the audience engaged. It’s really difficult for writer’s to be able to do that but Bill does. It’s no mean feat with eighteen characters when you write for an ensemble cast like that.
We finished series two with Silas joining the Pamunkey. Now a year on, how is their relationship?
Well ultimately Silas is a Sharrow, he’s Henry’s blood. There’s always loyalty towards Silas but as the older brother there is an acute awareness and maybe a higher sensitivity to any change that Henry sees in his brother’s behaviour because Silas now has a close relationship with Chacrow. Chacrow is someone Henry doesn’t trust so this is interesting and it’s important to Henry not just because Chacrow is Winganuske’s brother but more importantly, most importantly if you like, Chacrow is the barometer by which Henry reads the status of the Pamunkey and any sort of potential danger that might come from them.
How is Henry’s relationship with the Pamunkey this series?
It’s an interesting dynamic with the Pamunkey because it’s delicate. On one note Henry’s connected through marriage to the Pamunkey but friction does arise. It’s juxtaposed between his Western ideals for his child which are a direct contradiction to Winganuske, Chacrow and the Pamunkey people’s way. There’s a respect and a willingness to learn from the Pamunkey and he recognises their strengths. Henry employs the best of what he witnesses from them and he’s done so since he arrived in 1607. The Pamunkey, in turn, also see Henry as a fearless warrior and respect him but as the political climate changes and the English become more greedy and renege on their agreement with the Pamunkey, with regards to land ownership and procreation, the Pamunkey see him as all the other English, which is a threat to their society and their heritage.
If you could recommend one thing for people to do when they visit Budapest, what would it be?
You must go to Buda and go to the Fisherman’s Bastion and sit overlooking the Danube at night. You can marvel at the parliament building, the beautiful bridges and of course Lady Liberty up on the hill. I’d also advise anyone to take a boat cruise at night down the river. Absolutely beautiful!
Jamestown returns to Sky One this Friday 26 April. Watch via SKY tv or NOW TV.