Susanne Bier

Was it the power, the danger or the spy lifestyle that attracted the director to the BBC’s blockbuster John le Carré thriller – or was it a topless Tom Hiddleston?

This weekend sees the start of , the BBC’s glossily expensive and cinematic adaptation of John le Carré’s 1993 spy novel. It stars Tom Hiddleston as Pine, a former soldier recruited by British intelligence who poses as a hotel manager to infiltrate the arms-dealing business run by the sinister Richard Roper, played by Hugh Laurie.

What hasn’t been talked about much – or at all – is that the new BBC blockbuster has one of Europe’s biggest film-makers at the helm. It is directed by the Danish director , who made movies such as Brothers, and the English-language pictures Things We Lost In The Fire (with Halle Berry) and Serena (with Jennifer Lawrence). I meet her in Berlin, where The Night Manager is part of a new TV strand at the city’s film festival.

Is she tired of journalists talking about Tom Hiddleston taking his shirt off? “I’m not bored of that,” she laughs. “He looks really good without his top on! There’s always a part of you which is wary about fantastic-looking actors, because it almost becomes too easy. But he’s way more interesting than he is good looking.”

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