Mr Selfridge’s Jeremy Piven: ‘Who is Serge? Harry didn’t vet his son in law’

Newly widowed Mr Selfridge faces a threat to his family and fortune when his daughter, Rosalie, marries an ambitious Russian prince, as Jeremy Piven reveals…

How is Harry feeling following wife Rose’s death?
“It was really beautiful and tragic last series that once Harry had started to focus on Rose and had won her love back, she passed away. But what Harry does is, instead of mourning, he kind of throws himself even harder into his work.”

There is some happy news though, as Harry’s daughter Rosalie (played by ex-EastEnder Kara Tointon) marries the famous aviator Serge De Bolotoff in a lavish society wedding. What does Harry think of him?
“Who is Serge? That’s what Harry’s trying to figure out. He didn’t properly vet this guy, so he only gets his first real experience of him at the wedding.”

Does Harry have reason to be suspicious of Serge?
“Serge seems to be incredibly ambitious and Harry doesn’t know if he’s the right one for Rosalie. Serge also makes some fatal errors that could have devastating consequences for Harry and the store.”

Tell us about Harry’s connection with Nancy Webb, played by ex-Hustle star Kelly Adams?
“Nancy wants to build some houses for soldiers returning from the war. Rose had a beautiful idea of creating homes for artists in Chicago and Harry immediately sees a connection. Nancy’s vision represents a way of keeping Rose’s memory alive and of doing the right thing, which really drives Harry. Maybe even too much, as you’ll see…”

Do you worry about being typecast as Mr Selfridge?
“I would actually welcome being typecast. I know that goes against many peoples’ thinking but, for me, the resultant typecasting means that you did something that was authentic and people see you as that character. So I think, in a weird way, that’s your goal.”

How does filming Mr Selfridge compare to filming American shows?
“Well, for a start, we only film for 12 hours a day. Also, you get driven to set and driven home again, which doesn’t happen in the States. I have a theory that, back in the day, someone had lost Oliver Reed or Peter O’Toole in a pub at 11am when they were supposed to be on set, so they made up that rule! I don’t mind it though because, honestly, if I was left to my own devices and I was taking the tube, you’d probably be sitting around waiting for me. I’d be lost!”

Mr Selfridge continues on Sundays at 9pm on ITV.