Jude Law gives honest verdict on Netflix’s The Talented Mr Ripley adaptation

The Talented Mr Ripley star Jude Law has shared his thoughts on Netflix’s remake of Patricia Highsmith’s best-selling 1955 novel.

Released on 4 April, the streamer’s Ripley series stars Andrew Scott as the titular Tom Ripley, a down-on-his-luck grifter hired by a wealthy man to convince his vagabond son Dickie Greenleaf (Johnny Flynn) to return home.

Law originated the role of Dickie in Anthony Minghella’s 1999 movie, which starred Matt Damon as Ripley.

In a new interview, the English actor told Entertainment Weekly: “I’m enjoying it. How can one not? It’s such great material.

“You’re in great hands with wonderful actors, and it’s such an interesting character,” Law, 51, said.

Arguing that “Steve Zaillian’s [version], in many ways, couldn’t be further from Anthony’s”, Law added: “It’s very interesting to see what scenes and threads still come to the surface, even if they are very different stylistically and in their pacing.

“Both versions reflect the director in many ways. One is visual, colourful, and romantic. The other is quite forensic and more sinister. Film, to me, often reflects the person at the helm of the camera.”

Jude Law and Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in ‘Ripley’ (Getty Images and Netflix)
Jude Law and Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in ‘Ripley’ (Getty Images and Netflix)

Zaillian’s choice to film in black and white left Netflix users divided, with some complaining that they “didn’t last the first episode” because “the cinematography is so annoying”.

Law admitted that although he hasn’t watched his version “in many, many years”, screening the new one brought “so many memories in my mind”.

“I kept thinking, ‘Oh God, I remember this.’ Down to the name of Dickie’s maid, Ermelinda. I always remember saying, ‘Ermelinda, Ermelinda.’ There was an emotional level, too, to revisiting those characters,” he explained.

The Talented Mr Ripley was released to rave reviews. It landed five Oscar nominations at the 2000 Academy Awards, including a Best Supporting Actor nod for Law.

Ripley, too, which is streaming on Netflix now, has been mostly well-received by critics. The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey, however, took issue with Scott’s casting, writing that he was “all wrong for this otherwise decent Netflix adaptation”.

“Despite breathtaking visuals, this long-in-the-works Talented Mr Ripley limited series is too haunted by the spirit of the star-studded 1999 film,” she said in her three-star review.

In addition to Law and Damon, The Talented Mr Ripley starred Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett in major roles. Meanwhile, Ripley also features Dakota Fanning and Eliot Sumner (The Gentlemen).