NEW YORK—Toby Stephens may be concerned about reviews of his portrayal of Captain Flint in the Starz's series "Black Sails." There is, however, one viewer he's not worried about—his mother, actress Maggie Smith.

"I'm used to it," Stephens said about his mother's judgments in a recent interview to promote the series which premieres Saturday at 9 p.m. Eastern. The 44-year-old actor added: "I'm not reliant anymore on whether she enjoys something."

Stephens said that while his Oscar-winning mother, who is currently in "Downton Abbey," would prefer to like the shows he's in, when she doesn't, "It's not going to ruin her day."

For Stephens, what's "nerve-wracking" is when Smith comes to see him in a play because he knows she'll pop backstage after the show "and it's palpable whether she's liked it or not."

"Black Sails" is a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" novel, in which Captain Flint is described as a notorious, terrifying pirate by the drunken seaman Billy Bones.

It was Flint whose loot is the treasure buried on Treasure Island and Stephens says that gives the creative team a lot of leeway in creating their Captain Flint. "They wanted to create a complex character who ends up as this person but isn't necessarily that at the beginning of this show."

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Online: http://www.starz.com


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