Sherlock Series 3: Martin Freeman says Watson isn’t a comedy character!

by Anna Howell

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As part of one of the world’s most famous duo’s one of the things that really brings John Watson to life in Sherlock is his dry wit and sarcastic quick responses, but Martin Freeman who plays him insists he is not trying to play him as a comedy character.

Since Sherlock, the modern day twist on the original works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, first hit our screens back in 2010, the dynamic of Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John Watson (Martin Freeman) cast a spell over not just our nation, but the entire world, making the show an instant hit.

Since appearing in the hugely popular detective series both its main stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have gone on to find exceptional global acknowledgement and fame, with both actors’ having the pick of their choice of roles almost guaranteed for the rest of their lives as a result.

But whilst Sherlock, who Benedict Cumberbatch admitted recently was odd, has captivated a worldwide audience with his mythological and unimaginable observations and intelligence, Watson, who in comparison is the ying to Sherlock’s yang, brought something a little more human to the party.

But according to Martin Freeman, who plays him, whilst we all consider his character to be rather comical in persona, that is not how he intended him to be perceived.

Discussing the situation in a recent Radio Times interview, Freeman explained:

“As an actor, you know, there are things you get asked to do that you do quite well, with less effort.

“Although there’s an inherent light-heartedness to Sherlock, I slightly err towards not doing the comedy.”

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However, he went on to admit that this can sometimes prove quite tricky:

“Sometimes I realise even when I think I’m being dead straight, I look back and still think I’m mugging,
“What I love about our John Watson is that even though there is humour in him, it’s a straight part, and it’s a straight programme.

“No-one is a buffoon in it, and what I really like about it is that it’s writing for grown-ups, where you’re not having to cheat the audience. I’m purely trying to play this part the way I approach everything, which is to be truthful.

“I was trying to make Watson a feasible soldier, a feasible doctor. I wanted to give him a strength and a vulnerability.”

Sherlock concludes its third series with episode three, His Last Vow, on Sunday night at 8.30pm on BBC1 / BBC1 HD – Watch the official trailer for it in the clip below: