The Little Drummer Girl: Gadi’s Blue Beach Shirt

Alexander Skarsgård as Gadi Becker in The Little Drummer Girl (2018)


Alexander Skarsgård as Gadi Becker, aka “Peter”, mysterious Mossad agent

Naxos, Greece, Spring 1979

Series: The Little Drummer Girl (Episode 1)
Air Date: 
October 28, 2018
Park Chan-wook
Costume Design: Sheena Napier & Steven Noble


Between his breakthrough role on True Blood and his recent excellent turn as obnoxious tech entrepreneur Lukas Mattson on the last two seasons of Succession, Alexander Skarsgård’s credits included a starring role as Israeli agent Gadi Becker in Park Chan-wook’s six-episode BBC adaptation of John le Carré’s 1983 espionage novel The Little Drummer Girl.

Gadi has been re-recruited by spymaster chief Martin Kurtz (Michael Shannon) to follow an amateur acting troupe from England during their spring vacation through the Greek islands, specifically to make contact with the charismatic and flight wannabe radical Charmian “Charlie” Ross (Florence Pugh).

Charlie initially blows off Gadi, but—after the recent betrayal of her friend Sophie with Charlie’s on-and-off-boyfriend—Charlie shows more openness to the enigmatic man she knows as Peter Richtoven and had written off for his “international man of mystery” persona.

Florence Pugh in The Little Drummer Girl

I always thought this was a pretty cool move/shot.

Fed up with their dynamic, Charlie greets “Peter” one morning in her beachside taverna by coolly kicking the chair opposite her to open up a seat at her table, wordlessly inviting him to join her. The two get more warmly acquainted during a walk along the beach when he gifts her a yellow dress and announces that he’s leaving that day for Athens, inviting her to join him… though the little drummer girl has no way of knowing she’s about to take a high-heeled step into the dangerous world of international espionage.

What’d He Wear?

Gadi—or, more specifically, his gold watch—first catches Charlie’s attention while she’s ruminating over a postcard to send home to mum, and she allows herself to follow the pleasant new distraction instead. Time and time-telling appear as a major motif throughout The Little Drummer Girl, with prominent shots of wristwatches and clocks from the start.

We the audience should recognize Gadi’s timepiece as the same 18-karat yellow-gold Omega Constellation ref. BA 368.0847 that had been worn by the Palestinian bomber Salim Al-Khadar, aka “Michel” (Amir Khoury) during the opening scenes, establishing a few bread crumbs of deceit that would build into Gadi adopting Michel’s other affectations like his necklace, ring, and familiar green suede jacket.

Omega had introduced the tonneau-shaped BA 368.0847 in the late 1960s as the latest addition to its Constellation line, with a five-piece link bracelet that broke ground as the first watch bracelet to be truly integrated with its case (according to this European Watch Company listing). Powered by a 20-jewel automatic movement, the watch has a light gold squared dial that matches the metal and shape of its case, detailed with applied gold non-numeric hour indices and a date window at 3 o’clock.

Alexander Skarsgård as Gadi Becker in The Little Drummer Girl (2018)

Gadi drapes his left arm with the familiar-looking gold Omega over the back of a bench at the beachside taverna where he first encounters Charlie in Greece.

We get only a brief look at the off-white short-sleeved shirt Gadi wears for his and Charlie’s initial wordless encounter (in the above screenshot), but it appears to follow the same design as the sky-blue linen camp shirt that he wears for their more cordial beach walk several days later.

The shirt is roomy enough to look comfortable in the sunny heat of the Greek islands while trim enough to still flatter Skarsgård’s lean, athletic frame. The short sleeves are finished with sewn cuffs. The flat camp collar (also known as a “revere collar” or “resort collar”) is narrower than collars we associate with the late 1970s, left intentionally open at the top with five mixed light blue plastic buttons down the placket-less plain front. The shirt is intentionally worn untucked, with a squared patch pocket on each side of the front and short vents at the bottom of each side seam along the straight waist hem.

Alexander Skarsgård and Florence Pugh in The Little Drummer Girl (2018)

Gadi wears light olive-colored cotton chino flat front trousers, styled with belt loops, slanted side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms that he appears to have self-cuffed to keep them out of the sand. He holds them up with a brown leather belt.

Alexander Skarsgård and Florence Pugh in The Little Drummer Girl (2018)

Gadi’s shoes appear to be the same tan loafers he earlier wore with his golden shirt and blue trunks on the beach, designed with open-woven leather uppers and a braided strap across each instep. The quarters and side panels are smooth leather, perforated on the sides with open-weave braiding that extends back from the toes up to the solid heel quarter pieces. Apropos their huarache-like design, Gadi doesn’t wear socks with these shoes.

Alexander Skarsgård and Florence Pugh in The Little Drummer Girl (2018)

Gadi’s sunglasses follow the iconic browline-style design that was pioneered by Shuron Ltd. in 1947, defining a look through the ’50s and ’60s as popularized by wearers like Lyndon B. Johnson, Vince Lombardi, and Malcolm X. The style had generally fallen from vogue by The Little Drummer Girl‘s late 1970s setting, but browline frames would be revived as hot eyewear in the ’80s thanks to their appearance in movies like Rain ManReservoir Dogs, and Top Gun and the much-publicized introduction of Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses.

Gadi’s sunglasses are constructed of dark brown tortoise “brow” pieces, connected to a gold-finished frame with brown lenses.

Alexander Skarsgård as Gadi Becker in The Little Drummer Girl (2018)

What to Imbibe

“Fresh fish and Boutaris wine,” Gadi orders in Greek as he strides over to Charlie’s table, following her silent invitation.

Charlie: How do you know I like Boutaris?
Gadi: I don’t… I like it.
Charlie: Do you always drink at nine in the morning?
Gadi: Not in moderation.

Established in Naoussa in 1879, the Boutari Company has grown to become one of the top wineries in Greece.

How to Get the Look

Alexander Skarsgård as Gadi Becker in The Little Drummer Girl (2018)

Gadi dresses for a beachside morning in a timeless and comfortable warm-weather casual combination of a camp shirt and chinos, benefiting from light-wearing and breathable fabrics like linen and cotton. He appoints the commonplace shirt and trousers with more distinctive additions like his browline-framed sunglasses, gold tonneau-cased Omega, and woven-upper leather loafers.

  • Sky-blue linen short-sleeved 5-button camp shirt with patch-style hip pockets
  • Olive cotton chino flat-front trousers with side pockets and self-cuffed plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Brown leather belt
  • Tan open-woven leather loafers
  • Tortoise-framed browline sunglasses with gold-rimmed brown lenses
  • Omega Constellation BA 368.0847 yellow-gold tonneau-cased automatic watch with squared gold dial (with non-numeric hour markers and 3:00 date window) on integrated five-piece link bracelet
The cloth, color, collar, and two dropped patch pockets of Gadi's sky-blue linen camp shirt make identical alternatives difficult to find from retailers in 2023, but there are a few reasonable alternatives from gents seeking similar summer shirts:  

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the series, described by Troy Patterson for The New Yorker as “a chic, surreal adaptation… that approaches spy craft as a form of experimental art”, and read John le Carré’s 1983 novel.


  1. teeritz

    Alexander Skarsgård must be a fan of that Omega Constellation because he wore the steel version to The Met Gala last month. I’m thinking he kept the gold “Drummer Girl” model as a memento and then hunted down the corresponding steel version. Or, he wasn’t allowed to keep the gold version once filming wrapped and he then chased up the steel version.
    Either way, it’s always refreshing to see a celeb wearing a watch that wasn’t placed on his wrist by a brand or stylist. Similar to Daniel Craig’s collection of Rolex watches in his early Bond days (before Omega snagged him as an ambassador) and Ryan Gosling’s 50s vintage Rolex model. It shows that these guys made a little effort.

  2. Jim Brown

    Do read “Beyond Enkription” by Bill Fairclough – it is the first stand-alone fact-based espionage novel of six autobiographical tomes in The Burlington Files series. As the first book in the series, it provides a gripping introduction to the world of British intelligence and espionage. It is an intense electrifying spy thriller that had me perched on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. The twists and turns in the interwoven plots kept me guessing beyond the epilogue. The characters were wholesome, well-developed and intriguing. The author’s attention to detail added extra layers of authenticity to the narrative.

    In real life Bill Fairclough aka Edward Burlington (MI6 codename JJ) was one of Pemberton’s People in MI6; for more about that see a brief News Article dated 31 October 2022 published in TheBurlingtonFiles website. The series follows the real life of Bill Fairclough (and his family) who worked not only for British Intelligence, but also the CIA et al for several decades. The first tome is set in 1974 in London, Nassau and Port au Prince: see TheBurlingtonFiles website for a synopsis.

    Fairclough is not a professional but his writing style is engaging and fast-paced, making it difficult to put the book down as he effortlessly glides from cerebral issues to action-packed scenes which are never that far apart. Beyond Enkription is the stuff memorable spy films are made of. It’s raw, realistic, punchy, pacy and provocative. While the book does not feature John le Carré’s “delicate diction, sophisticated syntax and placid plots” it remains a riveting and delightful read.

    This thriller is like nothing we have ever come across before. Indeed, we wonder what The Burlington Files would have been like if David Cornwell (aka John le Carré) had collaborated with Bill Fairclough whom critics have likened to “a posh Harry Palmer”. They did consider collaborating but did not proceed as explained in the aforementioned News Article. Nonetheless, critics have lauded Beyond Enkription as being ”up there with My Silent War by Kim Philby and No Other Choice by George Blake”.

    Overall, Beyond Enkription is a brilliantly refreshing book and a must read, especially for espionage cognoscenti. I cannot wait to see what is in store for us in the future. In the meantime, before reading Beyond Enkription do visit TheBurlingtonFiles website. It is like a living espionage museum and breathtaking in its own right.

  3. James Robbins

    This kind of costume design irritates me. Painfully inaccurate to anyone with an even passing knowledge of the period without being interesting or beautiful enough to warrant the anachronisms.

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