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Andrew Scott is having a moment

Fresh from his role in All of Us Strangers, Scott is about to step into the spotlight with Netflix's Ripley

Image credit: Netflix

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It seems like a good time to be a fan of actor Andrew Scott.

To be fair, there’s an argument to be made that it’s always been a good time to be a fan of Andrew Scott. Since his breakout role in the BBC’s Sherlock — where he played Moriarty with no small amount off glee from the 2010 first season finale for the rest of the show’s extended run — Scott has never failed to make an impression whenever and wherever he’s appeared, with multiple roles that would for other actors be considered career bests: Have you seen his brief, wonderful turn in 1917? The Pursuit of Love? Oslo? Hot Priest in Fleabag?!?

Now, though, it feels as if Scott is having a moment. Fresh from the (well deserved) plaudits he’s still receiving from the beautiful, if flawed, All of Us Strangers — a movie that, even if I have reservations about where the story ends up, I can’t fault Scott’s performance for even a second; he’s stunningly magnetic as Adam, effortlessly holding the entire thing together even as the character unravels — he’s about to play the title role in a new Netflix adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley, titled simply Ripley. (Netflix seems to believe that we can assume he’s both talented and a Mr., it seems, because he’s Andrew Scott; fair dos.)

The first trailer for the show, which also stars Dakota Fanning and John Malkovich, and comes from the screenwriter of The Irishman, Gangs of New York, and Schindler’s List, Steven Zaillian, seems to know exactly what it’s doing, and how to appeal to the cult of Scott: while he says only one word in the entire thing — the show’s title, of course — the trailer is all about him: the silent looks to camera, the grimacing, the looks of an arrogance that is somehow unsettling yet oddly human, all kinds of things that just feel… well, almost exactly what you’d expect from Andrew Scott, really.

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The problem with this might be that, if anything, the trailer feels too on the nose when it comes to appealing to Scott’s growing fanbase. It’s a little too smooth, a little too aware of all the tricks that Scott can do with one glance, of what the audience is expecting when he shows up on screen. It feels successful for a one-minute trailer, but also is something that leaves the audience not just wanting more, but hoping for more, so that Scott isn’t left shouldering the weight of a stylish, yet empty production in what is arguably his first big mainstream starring role.

Of course, if that does turn out to be what Ripley is, that could be a sign as much as anything else that Andrew Scott is truly having a moment. After all, which up-and-coming star has not had to deal with a show that is, ultimately, not as good as they deserve in their time?

Ripley begins on Netflix April 4.

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