David Schwimmer reveals how 'Intelligence' role helped him to channel political anger
David Schwimmer enjoyed his latest role as an arrogant NSA agent in new Sky comedy Intelligence because it allowed him to channel his "real anger" at those currently in positions of power.
Schwimmer stars as Jerry Bernstein in the series, a US agent who joins the UK's cybercrime-fighting GCHQ, where he meets hapless computer analyst Joseph Harries, played by creator and writer Nick Mohammed.
Schwimmer told Yahoo UK: "I'm playing someone who is this brash and narcissistic and self-interested and self-important, not to mention misogynistic and racist and homophobic, it's quite cathartic because there's so many of these people in power right now that are operating without being checked in many ways.
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“I'm drawn to the idea of being able to portray this kind of a guy in a way that's really funny so we can laugh at him and his behaviour, his ignorance.
"So it's quite fun to be able to channel all my real kind of anger at this kind of person and outrage into this kind of a guy so that not only am I giving myself permission to laugh, I give the audience a temporary release from all the kind of frustration and rage I think that we're experiencing today."
Jerry isn’t someone who is quick to consider other people and their feelings, with his ignorance exhibited through racist comments and misogynistic behaviour – as well as his bizarre claim that he predicted 9/11.
Schwimmer and Mohammed also highlighted how the programme had been "careful" with the material as they strived to keep things "respectful" in the new series.
"The joke isn't about 9/11 or how tragic that was – it's more about how Jerry ... believes that he predicted it," Mohammed remarked. "A crazy thing to state with such confidence."
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Schwimmer added: "We're very careful with all these sorts of jokes, especially that one. We had back-up jokes that we shot and we really left it basically to the edit in the whole show, because it's a new show and we're trying to find the tone and balance of it.
“We wanted to push things up to a line of good taste and being responsible and respectful but also kind of edgy and want to be authentic and real.
"I think we were able to do that, and that ended up making the cut because we all felt – you know, we're a big team of sensitive and responsible people and artists – that that joke can stay.
“It's character-driven, it's funny and it's not disrespectful or distasteful."
Intelligence will be available on Sky One and Now TV from Friday 21 February.