Jack Bannon does an uncannily accurate, Michael Caine-esque East London accent when playing a young Alfred Pennyworth in Epix’s upcoming series, “Pennyworth.” But the affectation didn’t come so easily to him right away, he said.
“The first self tape that I did audition-wise, it was all quite rushed and I just did a terrible Michael Caine impression,” Bannon joked in a interview with TheWrap ahead of the show’s premiere on July 28. You can watch the interview above.
“So they called me back… then it was about wrestling it into something real. But also, I wanted people to say, oh, it sounds a bit like him,” he said of Caine, who famously played Alfred in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy.
Asked whether he was trying to pay homage to Caine or any of the other actors who’ve played the character in the past, Bannon replied, “a little bit.”
“He was the one who said, ‘I’ll play a butler as long as he’s ex-SAS,’ and gave us that background. And our version, our story, follows a lot of the army stuff and that kind of thing, so if it was anyone, it was Michael Caine,” he said. “I tried not to think about it too much, because there’s been so many great actors play him. But luckily for me, this is all before that, so I looked at it as they’re following me rather than I’m following them.”
“Pennyworth” takes place in 1960s London, telling the backstory of how Alfred first met Batman’s father, Thomas Wayne.
So, we had to ask — when he first got the role, did he immediately go home, look in the mirror and say, “Some people just want to watch the world burn,” in his best Caine voice, a la that famous “Dark Knight” scene?
Bannon just laughed.
“People were just quoting for weeks afterwards, which was quite funny,” he said.
But he did share with us a rather heartwarming tidbit.
“I found out yesterday as well — I’m from Norwich in Norfolk [England], and Michael Gough, who played Alfred in the Tim Burton ones, is also from Norfolk. So I’ve just got a phone number for his granddaughter, so when I’m back in Norfolk I’m going to have a cup of tea with her and talk about it, which is quite cool.”
We would like to see pictures, please!