Exclusive: Richard Armitage shares new approach to his ITV thriller role

Richard Armitage has shared his fresh approach to new ITV thriller Red Eye, explaining that he knew little about his character's background.

The upcoming six-part series sees the Fool Me Once actor play Dr Matthew Nolan, who is arrested at London Heathrow Airport upon his return from a conference in Beijing.

As police seek answers to his involvement in a car crash during his trip to China, with a woman claimed to have died in the accident despite Matthew saying he was alone in the vehicle, he is escorted back to Beijing to face charges.

jing lusi, richard armitage, red eye

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He is accompanied by DC Hana Li (Crazy Rich Asians' Jing Lusi) – though the flight proves anything but safe, as Hana gets mired in "an international conspiracy" that could implicate both the Chinese and UK governments.

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy about preparing for his role, Armitage admitted it was "more interesting" that he himself knew little about Matthew.

"I started to look at it and I thought there's no mention of a wife, there's no mention of a family. He talks about his job a lot," he explained.

jing lusi, richard armitage, red eye

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"Normally, I would write this whole biography for the character, but I just thought actually, it's more interesting to me to really not know who he is.

"There are moments where you start to think he's a bit more knowing than he's letting on and in his desire to keep his reputation intact, because he believes he's innocent, but he starts to doubt himself and he's starting to wonder what were they doing in Beijing? And who did he meet?

"He starts to believe what they're saying about him," Armitage added. "So I thought that would be quite interesting."

Red Eye airs on ITV1 from Sunday April 21 and is available to stream on ITVX.

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