For Miller, Watson as Sherlock’s equal — and not a love interest — was a relief. “You can play with certain things, and you can bend and shape characters to a certain extent, but if you bend them too far, they’re going to break. I think there are some things that are sacred and need to remain solid — and their relationship is absolutely sacred.”
THR: Can you speak to specific traits that you noticed from the books that haven’t been so prominent in past iterations, like BBC’s Sherlock or the Sherlock Holmes film franchise?
Miller: In the books, I found him to be a much more understanding guy. I feel that he really likes people a little bit more than I had seen recently — not that he can necessarily communicate that very well. He likes the underdog, and he likes people who are downtrodden, who are having a hard time. He generally wants to help. I found him to be a much more helpful person, so I tried to put a bit of that in, even though he doesn’t quite pull it off.
THR: I noticed that you incorporated physical ticks and habits. How did you physicalize that aspect of the role?
Miller:I wanted him to be quite wild and erratic physically. I felt that that matched his brain; it’s almost what you see in people whose brains are moving very fast, and who are struggling [at the same time]. They often have those characteristics, physically. You don’t want to overdo it, but if you do it regularly, then it seeps subconsciously into the character, and people recognize things.
THR: How has your working relationship with Lucy Liu evolved as the series went on?
Miller: It’s something that you can’t ever account for. It either works or it doesn’t with someone, and thankfully from day one, Lucy and I worked fantastically together and really get on. We have the same sense of humor, we laugh a lot, we try and support each other, and you go through real ups and downs. We’re in each others’ pockets for long periods of time, and you better get on with each other or you’re done. Aside from that, professionally we click. I think she’s a fabulous actor to work with. She’s really subtle, and I’ve learned a lot from her.
THR: You’re active on Twitter. What has feedback been like?
Miller: Fascinating. It’s a fine line; I started up on Twitter for a very specific reason, and now I’m getting into it. I think it’s nice to see people all over the world’s appreciation of the things they find interesting. But it’s really nice and I have a bit of fun with it. But you’ve got to keep that at an arm’s length.