Tom Burke: Integrity Intact Playing Rowling's Detective in 'Strike'

Tom Burke Discusses Empathy Amid 'Strike' and Rowling Controversy

by Zain ul Abedin
Tom Burke: Integrity Intact Playing Rowling's Detective in 'Strike'
© Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Tom Burke, renowned for his role as the one-legged detective Cormoran Strike in the BBC series "Strike," recently opened up about the complexities of working with JK Rowling, who has faced significant controversy. Burke, 42, has been the face of the series since 2017 and is set to continue his role in the upcoming sixth season, which began filming this February.

In a recent interview with The Independent, Burke expressed his thoughts on his association with Rowling, noting the nuanced nature of the situation. Despite the backlash Rowling has received due to her comments on transgender issues, Burke stated, "I’ve thought about these things a lot, and I feel fine doing that particular job, and my integrity sits fine with it.

I know it’s a complex issue." Burke revealed that he requested media training from the BBC on how to discuss the Harry Potter author appropriately, aiming for reconciliation among divided groups. "I want those disparate groups to find resolution.

I don’t want to say anything in the wrong context, or at the wrong time, which is going to make the situation worse," he explained, emphasizing his desire to avoid exacerbating the so-called 'culture war.'

Burke's Empathetic Stance

Regarding his peers from the Harry Potter series, such as Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, who have publicly disagreed with Rowling’s views, Burke respects their decisions to speak out, though he chooses a different path.

"It’s not for me to second-guess anyone’s integrity on speaking out. My integrity is to not. I’m aware that might mean people think I’m on the fence; it’s just what sits well with me right now," he said.

Burke also expressed his empathy towards those affected by the ongoing debates, including Radcliffe, who has faced criticism from anti-trans activists. "I feel sorry for anybody who’s facing any kind of anger, frankly.

It’s just the way I’m wired," he remarked. Rowling's stance has continued to ignite debate, especially following her recent comments on the Cass report, an independent review of gender identity services for children, which led her to criticize Radcliffe and Watson.

In addition to discussing "Strike," Burke also touched on his upcoming film "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga," and his roles in "Mank" and "The Souvenir," showcasing his versatility as a non-stereotypical leading man in contemporary cinema.