Skip to main content

Malcolm McDowell interview: The 'Clockwork Orange' star talks 'Truth Seekers' and more

Malcolm McDowell plays Richard in Truth Seekers
Malcolm McDowell plays Richard in Truth Seekers (Image credit: Amazon Prime )

Malcolm McDowell made his name as the star of Stanley Kubrick's classic movie A Clockwork Orange and has enjoyed a fine career in American film and TV since moving to the States in the 1980s. 

But he'll be appearing on our screens again when he plays Richard, the father of Gus (Nick Frost) an internet installation engineer who spends his spare time as a paranormal investigator, in Truth Seekers

Richard is cynical about his son's hobby. But when Gus begins staking out haunted churches, underground bunkers and abandoned hospitals with an array of homemade ghost-detecting gizmos, he's forced to reveal a dark secret from his past! 

The supernatural series also stars Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz), Julian Barratt (Flowers), Susie Wokoma (Enola Holmes) and Emma D’Arcy (Wanderlust). Here, Truth Seekers star Malcolm McDowell reveals more about this unusual comedy-horror series.

Malcolm McDowell on Truth Seekers

"I called it Suburban Ghostbusters. And they went, 'What? No, it’s not that.' It’s very quirky. Very interesting, this kind of comedy. It’s really a nice change up for me, to be doing that kind of comedy. And it’s also really nice to come back to London. That’s what I’m enjoying the most. It’s been terrific and it’s been a while since I’ve actually worked here!"


Malcom McDowell in "Truth Seekers."

Malcom McDowell in "Truth Seekers." (Image credit: Amazon Prime)

Malcolm McDowell on his character, Richard

"It's a sort of kind of a wonderful part in that, he’s supposedly the father of Gus, but he's hiding a bit of a secret. I can't say anymore than that! Gus has been struggling because his wife passed away, anyways she’s not around, put it that way. She’s a ghost or she’s been taken to the other side, or something. Which is where they want to take us. But I am the sort of skeptical one, the one that, you know, listening to this guru is making muttering under his breath. He says, ‘You are my flock,’ and I’m going, ‘Well flock off!’ That kind of thing."

Malcolm McDowell on A Clockwork Orange

"People ask if I'm enjoying doing comedy, but I always say Clockwork Orange is a comedy. It’s actually an outrageous comedy performance. Like Richard III is. It's always on the edge of a comedy, which makes it more aarrggghhh frightening. People often say my character was mad, but he's not. He’s just, has no real conscience. Put it that way. But learns to get one. And then loses it again. But that film is coming up to 50th anniversary. People are still talking about that damn film. It’s just amazing."

Malcolm McDowell Malcolm McDowell found fame as Alex DeLarge in the 1971 film "A Clockwork Orange."Truth Seekers

Malcolm McDowell found fame as Alex DeLarge in the 1971 film "A Clockwork Orange." (Image credit: Warner Bros/Hawk Films/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock )

Malcolm McDowell on living in America

"I only went to do a movie. But, I fell in love with my leading lady and we had two children, got married and eventually got divorced. But there wasn’t really any question of me coming back to England, because I had two children there. I wasn’t going to abandon my children.

"So really, I kind of got stuck, if you like. But didn’t feel like it at the time. I thought that I would come back at some point. But no. I think it’s really up to you, where your children are. My children are Americans. Even though they’ve got dual citizenship, they’re very proud of it, and the youngest is 10 and he’s dying to come. He’s never been. The only one, and he’s a little bit bummed out, but I can’t bring him over because he’s at school and you know, keep getting these emails from his master saying, ‘What is going on with Seamus and maths?’ I’m going, ‘You tell me. I don’t know.’ Not much."

Sean Marland
Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV, TV & Satellite Week and

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.