Malcolm McDowell talks to Awards Daily TV about reinventing his character Thomas on Amazon’s Golden Globe-winning series Mozart In the Jungle.
Malcolm McDowell has seen the scripts for Season 4 of Amazon’s Mozart in The Jungle. Season 3 began with Rodrigo going to Venice, and our will they/won’t they question between Rodrigo and Hailey was finally answered.
McDowell’s character, Thomas, also had quite a journey this season. It included a romantic journey with Gloria (Bernadette Peters), but he also ventured down a new musical route, EDM, to stay young and relevant, as he reinvented himself.
McDowell’s Thomas is such fun to watch. McDowell is equally a delight to speak to. We share stories of moving to America and the delights of L.A. It wouldn’t be a conversation between ex-pats if we didn’t talk about the crazy driving habits of Angelenos. We also talk about British pubs and where to watch the footie (that’s football/soccer).
Amazon kicked off their Emmy® FYC campaign for this show back in April when they rented out the Hollywood Athletic Club to showcase their talents and shows.
Mozart in the Jungle is in the running for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role (Gael Garcia Bernal), and Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role in Comedy (Malcolm McDowell).
Who is Thomas?
Thomas was the conductor, and now he’s being usurped to being kicked up onto the board for some extraordinary reason. It’s all being done to make way for Rodrigo. Rodrigo is young and brilliant, and of course, Thomas can’t stand him.
Rightfully so. Well, if someone took your job you wouldn’t love them.
You wouldn’t. The thing about Thomas is he loves the music, but he’s also a big baby. He’s this dichotomy of everything. When you think he’s going to act one way, he goes the other way. He’s really a spoiled brat and people have been brown nosing him and calling him “maestro” since he was a young man. He tends to take it for granted and he believes it.
He’s a delicious character because, underneath it all, he’s sort of alright. He’s loyal and loveable with this big heart. He’s insanely jealous. He’s ego-maniacal. I’m sure he’s a narcissist but you know, that’s the maestro.
We’ve had several seasons of Mozart in The Jungle. Who is he now?
Right now, he is the adored conductor of the blue rinse mob. Bernadette Peters is trying to look for ways to energize the orchestra by bringing in young people like they do in L.A. Rodrigo comes in with the L.A. Orchestra, playing with Dudamel. He’s up against the usual union bullshit and that drives him nuts. There’s a slight shift in Season 2 because they become friends, and Thomas respects Rodrigo. At the end of the day, they share their love of music. This year, we have a lot of things in store.
What I loved this season was Thomas reinventing himself. It was a great character moment to see him trying to be relevant.
He humiliated himself. It was humiliating and sometimes it was hilarious even thinking of Thomas doing what he did. “Welcome to the world, Motherfucker.” Number one in Korea? North or South would beg the question. I think there’s going to be more to explore this year.
I did enjoy the season finale when we see Thomas visiting Cynthia and you see she has this other agenda.
Yes, that was a great moment. I love when he’s teaching Hailey the fundamentals of conducting and trying to help her. I really liked it because I’ve never had anything to do with her. Those scenes were beautiful. More, please.
It was wonderful getting those emotions out. When she’s doing his piece and he has to be there. He can’t help himself because he can’t help himself. He’s far too curious.
It’s fun to watch.
I’d like to see Thomas back as conductor of the New York Orchestra, and I want to bundle Rodrigo back to where he came from and he can bundle them back to where ever he came from.
He can take the youth orchestra on tour permanently. He can go to Siberia permanently.
Gael was talking about the locations.
We’re going to —— this year. (You’ll have to wait and see where Season 4 takes us).
The show celebrates the beauty of music and art. What is it like to be a part of this show?
I think it’s a beautiful responsibility. We’re just actors after all, but just to educate people that might not have ever heard classical music. All music comes from the classics whether you like it or not. The Beatles and John Lennon idolized Beethoven.
It’s never a good thing to try to pander to young people and force this stuff down their throat. It’s not about the music. Having said that, the music is a character in itself and you get snippets of it and the viewers love it.
Not all of them follow classical music. People who see it for the first time enjoy the process that goes into it. It is amazing to hear forty-four musicians pull together to make this extraordinary sound. I think that’s what people admire. I certainly am. You see the dedication of the hours they put in.