Welcome Back, Jerome Flynn


Do comebacks get any better than this?

From Soldier Soldier to chart-topping pop moppet, to … where?

Once one of the biggest stars — and most famous vegetarians — on British television Jerome Flynn has largely been off-screen for nearly 15 years.

While his erstwhile pop partner Robson Green was carving out a high-profile career in dramas like Touching Evil and Wire in the Blood, Flynn just dropped off the television radar.

And then in 2011 Jerome quietly returned with a small but pivotal role in Game of Thrones. Barely recognisable as Simon Cowell’s blond cheeky chappie protégé who’d outsold Oasis in the mid-1990s, veteran sell-sword Bronn was wrinkly, gaunt, dark and bearded.

Flynn displays a deft touch as the grizzled mercenary, and the interplay between him and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) is a joy to watch. If there was an Emmy for best double-act, surely Flynn and Dinklage would be a shoo-in. They steal every scene they’re in — not easy when they’re competing against such a stellar cast.

Just when it looked like Flynn was easing himself back into things, he turned up as Sergeant Bennet Drake in Ripper Street. And he is brilliant. Over the space of the first few episodes Flynn has transformed Drake from shotgun-toting, menacing sidekick to vulnerable, traumatised survivor via a series of riveting, understated performances.

In Episode 5, “The Weight of One Man’s Heart,” Drake is almost undone by his feelings for prostitute Rose (Charlene McKenna) and his vengeful former commanding officer, Colonel Madoc Faulkner.

Played by Iain Glen (here’s hoping Ripper Street is now officially “what I did on my summer holidays” for Game of Thrones stars) with a maniacal glint in his eye, Faulkner stirred some of the demons hidden behind Drake’s hard man public persona. Flynn’s nuanced performance hinted at the inner torment that he was struggling to contain. Every piece of him seemed to be tightly clenched.

With Game of Thrones 3 imminent, and the news that Ripper Street has been commissioned for a second series/season, here’s hoping that the renaissance of Jerome Flynn continues apace. Memo to Simon Cowell: keep your mitts off.

In the UK: Ripper Street airs on Sundays, 9pm on BBC1. Game of Thrones Series 3 premieres Monday, 1 April at 9pm on SkyAtlantic.

In the US: Ripper Street airs on Saturdays, 9pm ET on BBC America. Game of Thrones Season 3 premieres Sunday, March 31st on HBO.


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