SLOW HORSES Interview: Jack Lowden Teases Season 2 Arc, Unique Dynamic With Gary Oldman, And More (Exclusive)

Slow Horses star Jack Lowden talks to us about season 2, opening up on his unique dynamic with Gary Oldman, what we can expect from River Cartwright in these new episodes, and his love for this character.

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In season two Apple TV+'s Slow Horses, long-buried Cold War secrets emerge which threaten to bring carnage to the streets of London. When a liaison with Russian villains takes a fatal turn, our hapless heroes must overcome their individual failings and raise their spy game in a race to prevent a catastrophic incident.

Gary Oldman stars as Jackson Lamb, the brilliant but irascible leader of the spies, who end up in Slough House, a dumping-ground department of MI5, due to their career-ending mistakes as they frequently find themselves blundering around the smoke and mirrors of the espionage world.

Among the members of Lamb's team is Jack Lowden's River Cartwright. The first episode of Slow Horses opened with an action-packed botched mission that saw him sent to Slough House, and when season 2 begins, River is looking to escape a fate that's equivalent to purgatory for the secret agent.

Talking to us earlier this month about his role in the hit series, Lowden opened up on how his character's relationship with Lamb has evolved and what it was like to take his character from London to the English countryside. The actor also reveals what he most enjoys about playing someone with a huge chip on their shoulder. 

Finally, we hear from Lowden on possible superhero roles and what fans can expect from the confirmed third and fourth seasons.

Check out our interview with the Slow Horses star in the player below. 

When I spoke to you and Gary earlier this year, you compared Lamb and River’s dynamic to Morecambe and Wise. Would you say that’s the same heading into season 2 or have things developed somewhat? 

There definitely is a Morcombe and Wise element still…if Morecambe and Wise really and truly despised one another and had no respect for one another. I don’t know if they did…maybe they did! It’s certainly starting to develop more into an overbearing, horrible father and a really arrogant, sarcastic son. It’s continued to develop like that and, I think the great thing is, it’s not staying in the same place. It does keep morphing into weirder and uglier, but strangely more moving things. There’s one scene, in particular, at the end of the first episode of this second season that I think really encapsulates what the two of them are to one another and how they operate. I think it does it so brilliantly and it’s such a great idea, but I won’t give too much away. 

We see River leave London behind for much of this story as you head to the Cotswolds, but what was it like putting this character in the sort of idyllic settings a lot of people might not necessarily associate with a spy thriller like this?

It was great. On a personal level, it was wonderful to spend time in the Cotswolds. That’s always nice to do [Laughs]. For River, it’s not the obvious place to go and River does roll his eyes at that because it’s not some far-flung exotic island or something like that…it’s the Cotswolds. Strangely, because of how picturesque and perfect the Cotswolds are, it’s a really great place to take a spy thriller because it’s sort of unnerving how perfect everything is. Anything even slightly out of place sticks out a lot more than if it was on the streets of London. When you watch it, it does add to the paranoia and it’s very, very unsettling. I think it was a great place to take a spy thriller.

It feels like River is still trying to make up for past mistakes here; do you think he can ever get over what landed him in Slough House or is having that chip on his shoulder part of what makes this character so much fun to explore?

Oh yes, that’s definitely the fun. He doesn’t go to work and work in intelligence to save the world; he’s just trying to save himself and get back to a better job, essentially. No, I think it’s wonderful that that’s his motivation. I would want more chips on my shoulder to be honest. It’s way more fun. 

Like many actors, comic book fans often fantasy cast you as various superheroes, whether it be Wolverine, The Flash, or Green Arrow - is that genre one that does interest you at all? 

I definitely prefer to watch stuff like Slow Horses. I’m not a massive watcher of those kinds of things, but I know that doing it would be a hell of a lot of fun. Yeah…I don’t really watch them as much as I probably should. 

That's fair enough! Could season 3 of Slow Horses, and more River Cartwright, be on the horizon, though?

Oh no, it is. We’re shooting season 3 now and number 4 after New Year. So, there’s a hell of a lot more river to flow…

The first two episodes of Slow Horses will debut globally on Friday, December 2, exclusively on Apple TV+, followed by one new episode weekly, every Friday through December 30.

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