“What I love about going on set and playing Luther is that I get to be a man. Whether it’s dangling someone off a roof, kicking down doors, or being charming to the opposite sex, he’s a character with a real masculine side and so the audience is drawn in to see how he deals with those issues.
“In many ways Luther is just like the battered Volvo that he drives: a classic, a reliable and robust throwback to another time; and if you notice, he never changes his clothes either, which is something he has in common with other classic maverick cops.
“I believe Neil Cross [series creator] was influenced by Dirty Harry – at least in terms of wayward behaviour and the wry humour that creeps in now and then – but I see Luther, clothing-wise, with his shirt, tie and grey jacket a lot like Columbo with his iconic Mac.
“When I came out of The Wire, all these gangster roles were being offered, so I decided it would be fun to play a detective and my goal now is to get Luther made into a film, because he’s such a cinematic character anyway.
And who doesn’t love a maverick?”
Luther continues on Tuesdays, 9pm, BBC One