Condor star Max Irons has revealed he was “sweating and shaking” when learning how to use a machine gun for the thriller series.
The 34-year-old is returning as CIA analyst Joe Turner in the second season of Condor, which is set in the world of international espionage.
Irons had to become familiar with firearms to play a spy, with the son of actors Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack admitting he fears guns and found the training difficult.
He told the PA news agency: “I still don’t like guns, they really scare me. I guess that’s the normal reaction. When I was introduced to the guns, they send you to work with the guns specialist, who turned out to be a SWAT guy, ex-army and I’m telling you, his biceps were thicker than my head!
“He just looked grizzled, like he’d seen things. We walked into this room and I’m not exaggerating, every square inch of wall space, three solid rooms, was just covered in machine guns, and they sort of hand you a machine gun, and I dunno, man, I just started sweating and shaking.”
Irons added that because his character is an analyst rather than a field agent, it would be realistic for him to be apprehensive around guns.
He said: “Joe didn’t have kinetic training; he had a bit of it, but that’s not where his career took him. So I think if you can sense my discomfort, that’s probably OK in this case.”
Condor is based on the novel Six Days Of The Condor and its 1975 film adaptation, Three Days Of The Condor, which starred Robert Redford in the lead role.
Irons, whose other film roles include The Wife and Crooked House, said he had seen the original movie but was wary of watching it again in case it changed his portrayal of Joe.
He said: “I think that sort of thing is not a wise move for an actor, because I think subconsciously you do start to emulate or question instinctive decisions you made, that isn’t particularly useful. It’s too many variables, it was different times, and it’s a different character.”
Condor 2 starts Wednesday July 15 on Sky One and streaming service NOW TV.