The Five star Lee Ingleby on the show's mystery villain: 'We guessed wrong'

Lee Ingleby plays Slade in The Five.

Lee Ingleby plays Slade in The Five.

If trying to work out who – if anyone – is the villain in The Five has you stumped, you are not alone. Even the drama's cast members were kept in the dark until the last minute, says actor Lee Ingleby.

The Five is a 10-part British crime drama, created by American crime author Harlan Coben.

It follows four childhood friends – Mark (Tom Cullen), Danny (OT Fagbenle), Pru (Sarah Solemani) and Slade (Ingleby) – who are reunited after DNA evidence left at a murder scene is revealed to be that of Mark's brother, Jesse, who disappeared one summer's day after playing in the park with the four friends.

Mark (Tom Cullen), Pru (Sarah Solemani), Slade (Lee Ingleby), and Danny (OT Fagbenle) in The Five.

Mark (Tom Cullen), Pru (Sarah Solemani), Slade (Lee Ingleby), and Danny (OT Fagbenle) in The Five.

No trace of Jesse has been found but a serial killer, Jakob Marosi, claimed he was responsible for Jesse's death and the boy's parents, Julie and Alan (Geraldine James and Michael Maloney), had given up all hope of finding Jesse alive.

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However, the discovery of Jesse's DNA brings the friends back together and it becomes apparent they all have secrets.

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"I think that's the beauty of how Harlan Coben works," says Ingleby. "It's very much like his books. He lets you think you know somebody then he hurls a curve ball and all of a sudden you are on shaky ground again and you don't know where you are headed."

The series was shot sequentially and it was not until the actors had the scripts for episode eight that the mystery was solved.

"It was great because they kept us guessing and we all guessed wrong," Ingleby admits. "Behind the scenes there was a little bit of 'What's going on? Who, what, why?'. We weren't even really sure if there was a who or a what."

For Ingleby, The Five was a unique chance to star in a US-type drama without leaving his home country.

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"The intention from the outset was always to make it very stylised. It was very different from the usual British drama, I think, so it was very nice to be given something that had a sexy edge to it," he adds.

"I really get off on being able to do something different with each role."

A look at his past work confirms the 40 year old has done his best to prevent typecasting.

He starred alongside Kiwi Russell Crowe in 2003's Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World, played Stan Shunpike in Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, starred in The Zoo, and in Inspector George Gently he plays Gently's insensitive offsider Detective Sergeant John Bacchus. There was even a stint as the voice of Bob The Builder.

So how does he think The Five's Slade, a do-gooder who runs a shelter for society's unfortunates, would get on with Bacchus.

"I think they would have both thought the other person was a bit of a *****," he says, laughing. "They're two very different people."

The Five, Prime, Sunday.

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 - TV Guide


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