The Essex Serpent's Michael Jibson reveals 'public figures inspired villainous role'

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The Essex Serpent has taken viewers by storm since its release in April, and HELLO! has had the chance to exclusively chat with one of the stars of the show, Michael Jibson, who plays villainous schoolmaster Matthew Evansford.

MORE: The Essex Serpent differs from the book it's based on in one key way

In the most recent episode of the show, we see Matthew cruelly turn away schoolgirl Naomi from her lessons after an ordeal in the classroom which was suspected to be linked to the Essex Serpent.

WATCH: Tom Hiddleston discusses new role at the premier for the Essex Serpent

Talking about the show, the star said: "I look at some of the politicians of today that are not necessarily telling the truth or that people say aren't telling the truth and I like to think that's where I channelled my… [character].

SEE: The Essex Serpent: viewers have same reaction to new Tom Hiddleston drama

READ: 15 of the most anticipated book-to-screen adaptations coming out in 2022

"Later on in the series, my character becomes very much part of the main catalyst that fans the flames of the fear and the hearsay of the town of this potential danger and they don't know what it is, they think it's a serpent or the devil and I become at the front of that.


Michael looks very different in the series 

"He's a local curate in the church and the local school teacher, so he has access to the children in terms of the information he can give them and then people eventually come to him for help, so he tells them what he thinks and they believe him."

"It's always fun to play a [kind of] bad guy."

He added: "He's not a bad guy, he's just a bit neurotic."

michael-jibson-starred-in-quiz
michael-jibson-starred-in-quiz

Michael also starred in hit ITV series Quiz in 2020

Despite the sinister nature of his role and the series as a whole, Michael shared that his experience behind the scenes couldn't be more the opposite, explaining it "was all fun."

Crediting director of the series Clio Barnard, he said: "It was all really easy going and relaxed, there was always time and space to play and ask questions and just have a nice time really…it was all fun."

"It was really collaborative and lovely and friendly, and ultimately a really nice experience to be on set."

When asked to describe his time on the show in three words, Michael said: "muddy, collaborative and a laugh."

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