Sunday, March 3, 2013

RIPPER STREET: Adam Rothenberg finds dream part in 'Ripper Street' (RED EYE)

March 02, 2013|By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol | RedEye

Set in London's rough East End in 1890, "Ripper Street" tells the story of H Division, the police precinct charged with keeping order in the aftermath of Jack the Ripper's reign of terror. Rothenberg plays American Homer Jackson, an ex-Army surgeon and ex-Pinkerton detective recruited by Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) to help the police, including Reid's right-hand man, Sgt. Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn), to solve crimes.  

Just as Jackson's the only American working with H Division, Rothenberg was the only American on set during filming.

"I don't want to say [it was] totally life imitating art because I'm not nearly as interesting as Homer," he told me during a phone call from Gramercy, N.Y., where he lives. "But, yeah, there was a lot of that ... and that really helped in the flavor of the show. I actually kind of learned what being an American was all about by being surrounded by people who weren't. And, of course, that's part of what the show explores."

How Jackson, the consummate outsider, fits in with his new British "friends" has been one of the series more interesting aspects. Reid asked, then cajoled and then threatened him to remain at the inspector's beck and call to perform autopsies and use the burgeoning science of forensics to help solve cases. A fan of any vice you can imagine, Jackson's also gambled, gotten drunk (many times), been beaten up and clashed with the more straight-laced Drake, as well as Long Susan Hart (Myanna Buring), with whom he shares a dark secret.

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