Tom Weston-Jones cleans up mean streets of NYC

Tom Weston-Jones stars in “Copper,” airing Sundays at 10 p.m. on BBC America.

New York City in the 1860s was filthy — both physically dirty and morally corrupt, the way the new BBC America drama “Copper” paints it.

“I had that dirt [from the set] under my nails for ages after we finished,” admits series star Tom Weston-Jones, who plays Kevin Corcoran, a detective trying to maintain some semblance of order in the gritty Five Points neighborhood. “I loved doing the street scenes because it’s when it really felt like Five Points came alive,” he adds. “You saw all the extras in makeup and completely covered in crap. It was kind of like you walked into a place that just stank of horses—t every day, but you really liked it for that reason.”

“Subconscious dirt,” as Weston-Jones calls the show’s crooked politicians, murderous thieves and informative prostitutes, sticks with viewers just as fixedly. Corcoran is very good at his job — “basically, he hates bullies,” Weston-Jones says — and often solves the case with wit and ingenuity (not to mention brass knuckles, when needed). There is little hope in making these mean streets of New York safe, but Corcoran can try.

“He goes with his gut — he’s a very guttural person rather than being cerebral and almost Hamlet-like,” Weston-Jones says. “He doesn’t sit down and ponder things — he just gets up and f—ing does it.”

The actor says he admires that quality, but admits “it can also bite [Corcoran] in the ass, which is just great. He believes in his methods, but he doesn’t think of himself as the superhero. I think he’s fully aware of how destructive he can be.”

Personal demons

While fighting crime, Corcoran is also battling his own issues — like dealing with a missing wife and murdered daughter.

“He gets incredibly distracted whenever anything comes up about his wife or daughter,” Weston-Jones says. “He becomes obsessed with that. And that’s where the show tumbles away for Corcoran. In that quest, he kind of loses his mind. But I think people will be intrigued to see how our hero can actually go so far down the rabbit hole.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.