Armie Hammer, the new Illya Kuryakin, reviews The Man From UNCLE series


By Brian Truitt / USA Today:

Stars are just like us — for example, everybody loves binge-watching TV shows, and so does Armie Hammer, who rolled through seasons of the 1960s spy show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. And got paid for it! When we talked with the Lone Ranger star for our 2015 movie preview, Hammer told us that he grew up with Bond movies and other secret-agent stuff but had never watched U.N.C.L.E. until he was cast in the upcoming Guy Ritchie-directed movie based on the old series: Hammer plays KGB dude Illya Kuryakin opposite Henry Cavill’s CIA man Napoleon Solo — the roles played by David McCallum and Robert Vaughn respectively in the original show. Hammer ended up sharing his thoughts on the show — if you want to binge-watch it yourself, it’s streaming on Amazon Prime and there’s also a big honkin’ DVD set.

SEASON 1 – 1964-65
“In the first one that was black and white, it felt like they were getting their bearings, figuring out the show, figuring out the tone. I know that Illya wasn’t even supposed to be on any more seasons but they liked him so much, they kept him.”

SEASON 2 – 1965-66
“When they went to color, that’s my favorite. Everything worked on the show. That second season specifically, I like the way they balance and juxtapose the serious spy nature of it with fun, with humor and all that. They found this appropriate level of tongue-in-cheekness while being this serious spy show.”

SEASON 3 – 1966-67
“The third season kinda spun a little out of control and just got goofy.”

So that’s probably why he didn’t get around to U.N.C.L.E.‘s fourth and final season, which was canceled midway through its run. However, Hammer does say that the new movie almost acts as a ’60-set, globetrotting prequel of sorts, especially when it comes to the Illya/Napoleon dynamic: “At first they pretty much hate other and then they become a team, which is sort of like the genesis of the relationship they had in the show.”





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