The drama series Luther is back for Season 5 (airing on Sundays on BBC America), with a series of horrific public murders that forces DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) to yet again face the depths of human depravity that exist on the streets of London. As the killings become more bold and risky, Luther and new recruit DS Catherine Halliday (Wunmi Mosaku) try to untangle the leads that seem to keep presenting more questions, and when you throw in an irate gangster (Patrick Malahide) and the always dangerous Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), you’ll wonder if anyone will make it out alive.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actress Wunmi Mosaku (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) talked about the darkness of Luther, how she came to be a part of Season 5 after first auditioning for Season 1, what she loves about her character, the fun of working alongside series star Idris Elba, and knowing her character’s full arc before they started shooting. She also talked about how humbled she feels to be a part of a project like Lovecraft Country, loving the book it’s adapted from, and how excited she is for the series to debut.
Collider: First of all, I have to say, I absolutely love Luther. I’ve been a fan since the beginning, but because it is a show that gets really dark sometimes, it’s the only TV series that has ever given me nightmares.
WUNMI MOSAKU: Right, I know. I have a lot of people who say to me, “I can’t get on the bus anymore.” (Show creator) Neil Cross is just amazing. You wouldn’t think these characters and these stories would come from him because he’s such a light person. I don’t know where he gets these ideas from. He’s like sunshine.
Granted, it’s only a TV show, but at any point, did any of it bother you, at all? Whether it was reading the scripts, or during the actual shoot, were you ever like, “Oh, my god, what are we doing?”
MOSAKU: Reading the scripts, I was like, “This is messed up.” When I was reading it, I got shivers. It creeped me out so much. It was described so well, in the writing of it. It was perfect thriller writing. I do not really read thrillers, outside of scripts, and I was stuck in the story and in the reality because I could picture it all so well. And then, when I saw it, I was like, “Oh, yeah, this is good. This is better than what my imagination even did.” I loved it. I did not have nightmares, per se, because I was not around when that stuff was shot.
How did you come to be a part of Season 5? Had you been familiar with the series before this?
MOSAKU: Yeah, I actually auditioned for Season 1, 10 or 11 years ago now, and I loved the script so much. I had worked with the director before, and I was so excited for it, so I was really, really upset that I did not get it. But there are times, as an actor, where you are like, “Although I am really sad that I did not get this, I am really, really excited to watch it and just be a spectator.” So, I was a fan of Luther from the first reading of the script and watching the first series. I think the actors in it are just brilliant, and I had never seen a black lead in the UK, for so many years. That was quite a shocking moment for me. So, I was just stoked by the whole thing, from beginning to end. Auditioning for it for Season 5, I flew back from America, where I was at the time, because I wanted to be a part of this show. It was my opportunity, and I did not want to miss my opportunity. It was not mine in Season 1, but I was like, “Please let it be mine in Season 5.” Thankfully, it was.
What was the role that you had auditioned for, for Season 1?
MOSAKU: I cannot remember the character’s name. I would have to watch Season 1 again to hear the lines. I did not watch it like, “That was meant to be my part. I should have played that character.” When I watched it, I just watched it for what it was, which is a wicked show.