(Corrects date of premier to this coming Sunday, not last Sunday, in first paragraph)


BERLIN (Reuters) - Actors in "Berlin Station," an espionage thriller television series that will debut on premium cable channel Epix on Sunday, said the script had them captivated from the start.


Set in Germany's capital, "Berlin Station" is a modern spy drama centered on a CIA agent, played by actor Richard Armitage, who is brought to Berlin to uncover a leak in CIA operations from the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.


Armitage, who is best known for his roles in "The Hobbit" films and the popular TV series "Hannibal," said he was looking to be cast in something political and relevant.


"I wanted it to feel dynamic. I didn't want to be wearing a funny costume, and I didn't want to be a superhero," Armitage told Reuters.

"In a way, they are kind of superheroes because of the job they do. But they're very ordinary people."

Actor Richard Jenkins, who plays the CIA's Berlin Station chief, said Olen Steinhauer, the writer of the show, even made the city of Berlin a character.

"Olen, the creator, loves Berlin, loves the look of it, loves the feel of it and he wanted to capture that on film," said Jenkins, who has appeared on the big screen in movies such as "Stepbrothers" and "Eat Pray Love" and had a recurring role on the acclaimed HBO series "Six Feet Under."

The television series uses the city's graffiti-covered buildings and hedonistic nightclubs to paint an aesthetic that is gritty and raw.

Actress Michelle Forbes also spoke highly of Steinhauer's writing.

"When I first read this script, it just felt different than most of the other scripts I'd been reading at that time," said Forbes, who plays a stern administrator as the Berlin Station's internal branch chief.

"I just loved the rhythm of Olen's writing. The characters felt very real to me immediately. They sort of jumped off the page, which doesn't always happen," she said. "And I love Berlin."

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Bill Trott)