BERLIN (Reuters) - Actors in "Berlin Station," an espionage thriller television series that debuted on premium cable channel Epix Sunday, said the script had them captivated from the start.
Set in Germany's capital, "Berlin Station" is a modern spy drama centered around a CIA agent, played by actor Richard Armitage, who is brought to Berlin to uncover a leak in CIA operations from the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Armitage, who is best known for his roles in "The Hobbit" films and the popular TV series "Hannibal," said he was looking to be casted in something political and relevant.
"I wanted it to feel dynamic. I didn't want to be wearing a funny costume, and I didn't want to be a superhero," Armitage told Reuters.
"In a way, they are kind of superheroes because of the job they do. But they're very ordinary people."
Actor Richard Jenkins, who plays the CIA's Berlin Station chief, said, Olen Steinhauer, the writer of the show, even made the city of Berlin a character.
"Olen, the creator, loves Berlin, loves the look of it, loves the feel of it and he wanted to capture that on film," said Jenkins, who has appeared on the big screen in movies like "Stepbrothers" and "Eat Pray Love" and has a recurring role on the acclaimed HBO series "Six Feet Under."
The television series uses the city's graffiti-covered buildings and hedonistic nightclubs to paint an aesthetic that is gritty and raw.
"He wanted that to be a character in the story."
Actress Michelle Forbes also spoke highly of Steinhauer's writing.
"When I first read this script, it just felt different than most of the other scripts I'd been reading at that time," said Forbes, who plays a stern administrator as the Berlin Station's internal branch chief.
"I just loved the rhythm of Olen's writing. The characters felt very real to me immediately. They sort of jumped off the page, which doesn't always happen," Forbes added. "And I love Berlin."
(Reporting by Reuters TV; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)