The Light from the TV Shows: Chatting with Lara Pulver about ‘Fleming,’ ‘Da Vinci’s Demons,’ and more

Lara Pulver made her first TV appearance in 2009, but she’s quickly racked up a list of credits that’d impress just about any TV viewer, including roles on Robin Hood, True Blood, MI-5, Sherlock, Skins, and Da Vinci’s Demons. In addition to popping up briefly in the current run of Sherlock and returning to Da Vinci’s Demons for its upcoming sophomore season, Pulver can also be found in BBC America’s new limited-series event, Fleming, playing Ann Charteris, the woman who – 62-year-old spoiler alert! – eventually went on to be Mrs. Ian Fleming. Bullz-Eye was fortunate enough to chat with Pulver at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, and we asked her about all of the aforementioned small-screen roles while also touching on her film work with Idris Elba, Michael Sheen, and Tom Cruise.

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Bullz-Eye: So how much did you know about Ian Fleming’s life before you signed on to this project?

Lara Pulver: As a Brit, I knew his novels, I knew he was behind the Bond franchise, but I knew nothing about the man.

BE: How surprised were you to learn about him?

LP: I found him fascinating. Like, from a psychoanalytic point of view. His relationship with his mom, the depressive arrogance, his ego when it came to women, his failure as a man when it came to finding an occupation, finding his niche in life… And yet he never really lived long enough to find out the true success of what we now celebrate as 50 years of Bond as a franchise. So I found it fascinating.

BE: Were you a Bond fan going in?

LP: It’s definitely in British arts and culture history. It’s on TV at Christmas. There’s always a Bond movie. And it’s quite fascinating how they’ve been able to reinvent to make it so current 50 years on.

BE: Were you familiar enough with the franchise to recognize the bits and pieces of it that turned up in his real life?

LP: Yeah, and it’s also so interesting, having done Fleming, to see a Bond movie now. That’s even more interesting.

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Learn to rip throats and pound Cunth just like MacGruber

Only one American hero has earned the rank of Green Beret, Navy SEAL and Army Ranger. Just one operative has been awarded 16 Purple Hearts, 3 Congressional Medals of Honor, and 7 Presidential Medals of Bravery. And only one guy is man enough to still sport a mullet. On May 21, Will Forte brings his clueless soldier of fortune to the big screen in the action comedy, “MacGruber.” I had a chance to see an early screening of the movie at this year’s SXSW film festival, and although I wasn’t as crazy about it as many of the other critics and bloggers in attendance, it’s one of the funniest “Saturday Night Live” films to date.

It’s certainly going to be an uphill battle for “MacGruber” this summer as it competes against surefire blockbusters like “Iron Man 2” and “Robin Hood,” so Universal hasn’t wasted any time in getting the word out with everything from a Mullet Generator app to guest appearances by the cast on “WWE Raw.” And now you can prepare for the film’s release with the all-new MacGruber Training Academy, a collection of games that teaches you everything you need to know about pounding Cunth, ripping throats, and defusing bombs. Complete a challenge and you’ll earn yourself an exclusive desktop wallpaper, although at the time of writing this, the actual downloading process wasn’t working correctly. What can you say? It’s classic MacGruber.

  

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