Jonny Lee Miller Takes on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article
on October 3, 2012


Was Jonny Lee Miller a fan of “Sherlock” before he decided to take the role in the new CBS series "Elementary"?
Dominique LeClerc, Racine, Wis.
If you mean had Miller, 39, watched the modernized PBS version of “Sherlock,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the answer is a resounding yes. He was a big fan.
“I love the work that Benedict has done with ‘Sherlock,’” says the London-born actor, who worked with Cumberbatch in 2011 at the Royal National Theatre in a production of “Frankenstein.” 
“I would call him up like a groupie after every episode came out and want to talk to him about it. And we had a discussion about this project as well. Benedict has been very, very supportive, and, you know, I wanted to reassure him about how different this script and project were.” 
Miller has not based his performance on the PBS series, but rather returned to the original material—the series of books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—where he deduced that there are two things that make Sherlock Sherlock. “One is, obviously, he’s a genius with an attention to detail and a ravenous hunger for all aspects of knowledge that might feed into his work. 
“But the major thing that makes him Sherlock is his relationship with Watson. It’s about a relationship between two people and their friendship. For me, that’s the more interesting side than [his being a] genius.” 
So, even though Watson is a woman—played by Lucy Liu—in CBS’s “Elementary,” Miller assures us that there won’t be a romance between them—at least not any time soon. 
“The friendship is the core, the partnership, and they become colleagues,” he says.