James Purefoy on His ‘A Discovery of Witches’ S2 Role & If He’s Back for ‘Sex Education’ S3

Adapted from Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy, the 10-episode second season of A Discovery of Witches follows Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode) and Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) as they hide out in Elizabethan London, which has its own set of dangers and threats. While there, Diana must find a powerful witch teacher to help her control her magic and Matthew struggles to overcome his own demons, in the hopes of getting back to the present day.

Collider recently spoke to actor James Purefoy for his upcoming appearance in Season 2. During this 1-on-1 phone interview, Purefoy — who plays Matthew’s father Philippe de Clermont — spoke about how he came to be a part of A Discovery of Witches, what he likes about working with Goode, their previous on-screen history together, whether he might return to Sex Education, his memories of being a part of the HBO series Rome, and much, much more.

COLLIDER: Before doing A Discovery of Witches, you also did The Wine Show and the remake of Roots with Matthew Goode. How did you end up being a part of this and what do you enjoy about working with him?

JAMES PUREFOY: I got involved with this because I was sitting in a hotel bar with Matthew. We were shooting The Wine Show in Portugal and we were in the bar one night. Suddenly his phone beeped and it was Jane Tranter, the esteemed producer of not only The Wine Show but Succession and a million other things. She was offering up three actors to play his father and wanted his opinion on each of them.

He loved the idea of me playing his father and found it hilarious because we’re not really father and son age. And then, it went from there. I got a lovely letter from Tranter and Edoardo Ferretti, who is one of the producers on A Discovery of Witches, laying out exactly how important this character was to them and in the witches’ universe, and how important it was for me to play him. So, I said yes, which meant that I could spend more time with Matthew.

I enjoy spending time with Matthew. He’s a very charming, incredibly talented man, and we work well together. It was just good to carry that relationship on from Roots to The Wine Show, and then to this. The more you work with the same people, over and over, the easier it becomes and the more of a shorthand there is. It was a pleasing experience, all around.

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