Emily Maitlis ‘completely hands-off’ over Netflix film about Andrew interview

Emily Maitlis has said she will “run a million miles away” when the Netflix film adaptation of her Newsnight interview with the Duke of York is released.

The journalist, who grilled Andrew over his relationship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, will be played by Sex Education star Gillian Anderson in the dramatic retelling of the explosive interview.

The Man In The High Castle actor Rufus Sewell will appear as Andrew.

Gillian Anderson comments
Gillian Anderson will play Emily Maitlis (Ian West/PA)

Arriving on the red carpet at the Bafta TV awards, Maitlis told the PA news agency it was “highly exciting and very weird” that the interview was being dramatised.

She added: “I’ve been completely hands-off actually and I think it’s better that way because if I was the actress, I’d slightly want to have my own space to interpret it as I saw fit.

“I know that there must be a difficulty with playing real, living people and so I’ve just sort of stepped back from it and said, ‘This is the Netflix film of that, it’s not my life and it’s not me. It’s whatever Gillian does with it’.

“And I think Gillian is just a fantastic actress and I think she’s amazing, so I’m very happy to be completely hands-off and just allow her space to do something fabulous.”

British Independent Film Awards 2012 – London
Rufus Sewell will play the Duke of York (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Asked if she would watch the film as soon as it was released, she replied: “No, I think I will run a million miles away.”

Following the Newsnight broadcast in November 2019 and the furore over Andrew’s friendship with Epstein, the duke stepped down from public life.

Maitlis has already served as an executive producer of a Channel 4 documentary about the interview.

Asked how she felt about the interview following her for the rest of her career, she replied: “I feel incredibly grateful that it all came together in the way it did for that interview. And if it follows me, you know, there are worse things to live with.”