We couldn’t wait for the crime series to return, so we carried out a little detective work of our own…
Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Fridays from 20 July, 9pm, Sky One/HD (CH 109/110). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > Sky One
Since Stan Lee’s Lucky Man first hit our screens, fans have been wondering about the origins of the Chinese bracelet that Harry Clayton (James Nesbitt) discovered on his wrist after a night of passion with the mysterious Eve.
And now in this series they are in luck (if you’ll excuse the pun), because gambling addict Harry heads to Hong Kong in search of some answers. Even better, he comes up against his fiercest enemy yet: the psychotic MI5 agent Samuel Blake, played by Spooks’ Rupert Penry-Jones.
We joined the cast in Hong Kong to bring you the behind-the-scenes secrets from the comic book-inspired adventures.
Nesbitt says, “The bracelet has previously been lucky but when he comes up against Blake, Harry finds it’s losing its sheen and he decides he needs to get rid of it.” High-profile stars Nesbitt and Penry-Jones have never appeared together on screen before. “Well, we’re both leading men, I suppose,” says Nesbitt. “It has been wonderful working with him. He’s a consummate professional and has no ego whatsoever”. And Penry-Jones says the love-in is mutual: “You never know for sure with these jobs but we’ve got on like a house on fire and I would be surprised if we didn’t end up staying in touch.”
“We got on like a house on fire”
The scene where Blake and Harry meet for the first time was filmed on Jumbo Kingdom, a famous floating restaurant in the Aberdeen area of Hong Kong that can only be reached by water taxi. It has hosted guests including our very own Queen Elizabeth II as well as Hollywood royalty Tom Cruise and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Stan Lee’s Lucky Man was filming in Hong Kong at the same time as ITV’s upcoming drama Strangers, which stars John Simm, Emilia Fox and Dervla Kirwan – who is also Rupert’s wife. Says Rupert, “We only crossed over for a little bit but it was absolutely lovely to be there at the same time. I’m good friends with Emilia too, so that was a nice coincidence.”
This series really ups the ante, which means more stunts and more fight sequences. That meant every time there was a break in filming, James and Rupert had to rehearse their scenes with a fight co-ordinator. “It takes a lot of work and stamina,” says Nesbitt. “Blake is a physical presence that Harry’s never come up against before so we had to work hard to get it right. I do keep fit, but at 52 you do need to take a few extra breaks! But I enjoy it.”
“I do keep fit, but at 52 you do need to take a few extra breaks!”
James had a dodgy tummy on set and wasn’t able to indulge in the local food as much as he’d have liked. “I basically only ate two ginger nuts in one day and I lost a bit of weight,” he tells us. “It was quite exhausting.” Meanwhile, Rupert also found the local cuisine didn't always work well with his super-fit no-meat, no-wheat diet. “I haven’t been able to eat much of the street food but there are some amazing restaurants that do great sashimi and vegan food.”
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