HBO’s Perry Mason which made its debut on the 22nd of June, is set in 1931 Los Angeles. Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) is a Private Investigator struggling to make ends meet (think Jessica Jones). One day, a case of a kidnapped one-year-old comes his way, involving $US 100 000 ransom. Mason, with the help of his trustee friend Pete Strickland, attorney E.B Jonathan and a couple of other characters, tries to solve the mystery.
Recently, HBO Asia got the chance to have a chat with Matthew Rhys, the show’s lead. When asked what his initial thoughts were when he first heard about the series, Rhys had this to say:
“It was September 2018 when my agent left me a message. I thought, ‘Why do you want to remake Perry Mason?’ You can’t remake Perry Mason and you’d be foolish to do so. Then when I spoke to my agent, he said HBO are remaking it and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s not going to be a remake, they’re going to HBO-ify it!’ When I met with Susan Downey [the producer] and the writers, I quickly realised it was a reimagining rather than a remake. They said they were interested in the origin story of how Perry Mason became a Defence Attorney and went on to describe who this person was. I was immediately hooked.”
Rhys also talked about what makes his version of Perry Mason so interesting.
“There is so much going on with this Mason. He’s a very damaged individual who’s come through World War I. He’s a veteran who’s going through an inordinate number of life problems when we meet him but there is this one element to him which I think is garnered from the injustice of the war. He can’t abide injustice. He can’t sit by and see that happen – so when a perversion of that happens, he has this great north star. I wasn’t interested in someone who was just going to serve justice wearing his underpants on the outside; I wanted a fully fledged, well-rounded human who was very fallible.”
Catch Perry Mason every Monday at 9am exclusively on HBO GO and HBO (Astro Ch 411 HD), with a same day encore at 10pm on HBO.