Is Richard Roper From 'The Night Manager' A Real Person? Hugh Laurie Had A Big Hand In His Development

There are British spies beyond Bond, believe it or not. AMC is introducing America to a new one, Jonathan Pine, on April 19, when it debuts the premiere of The Night Manager . The six-episode miniseries is a spy novel based on a book by John Le Carré, the author of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In it, Pine, played by current Internet boyfriend Tom Hiddleston, is recruited to infiltrate the inner workings of an arms dealer, Richard Onslow Roper (Hugh Laurie), referred to as "the worst man in the world." Really? The entire world? That sounds pretty dire. In that case, is Richard Roper a real person?

Of course there's a real Richard Roper — he used to be on TV with Roger Ebert every week! Okay, fine, that's Richard Roeper, a film columnist for The Chicago Sun-Times. Certainly, he's not an arms dealer — or, if he is, he definitely has me fooled. But, as someone who used to watch At the Movies every week (R.I.P., Ebert — I still miss you!) it feels really funny to hear the sentence, "Richard Roper is the worst man in the world." I mean, I certainly agreed with Ebert more of the time, but that doesn't make Roeper a horrible person, does it?

In all seriousness, Hugh Laurie, who plays Roper, had a hand in creating The Night Manager 's version of Roper, according to The Telegraph. “I just felt like I knew who this guy was,” Laurie told the outlet.

I could see and hear him; I could sort of sense his peculiar snobberies but also his weird sentimentality, which would show itself in all kinds of ways. This idea that he’s very fond of animals, he could watch unspeakable cruelty being visited on human beings but he would be brought to tears by a dog being hit by a car or something. It’s that weird collision of sentimentality and cruelty.

So, I guess he has at least one redeeming quality in liking animals.

Images: Des Willie /The Ink Factory/AMC; Giphy