How would you describe the show and your character?
The show is an irreverent take on the life of Catherine The Great. A costume drama with funny bones. I play Marial, a former lady of the court, now turned begrudging servant.
What drew you to the script?
I loved Marial! She’s a foul-mouthed, casually violent, force of nature with a witty heart. I knew I’d have fun playing her.
The script knowingly plays fast and loose with history – did that mean you approached your character differently than you normally might?
I’m a bit of a nerd, so I would normally have started the process of creating Marial with a deep dive into the history of the period. But from the first day of rehearsal it become quite clear that it would have been a slightly pointless task. Instead I worked on the character through her physicality. From the way she holds her head, to how she walks.
What was surprisingly difficult or challenging about inhabiting this role?
The script demands an enormous amount of speed. Especially when you’re (trying to) deliver the funny lines, you need to be able to whip through it - something that’s incredibly hard when a corset is stopping you from taking a full breath.
The period costumes look terrific. What were your reactions to your costumes?
I had a moment of jealousy seeing the other ladies dressed up to the nines, whilst I had to make do with my head wrap. But I channelled all that into the character, and actually in the end I think I dodged a bullet- my costume was much comfier, and with 12-hour working days, comfort is the holy grail.
Did you have a favourite scene to film? Do you have a favourite or most memorable line of dialogue?
“Shut up whore” has gotta be up there…
What Christmas or Holiday traditions do you always abide by or look forward to?
And can they happen this year, do you think? Is there, for example, a TV series or film or book you return to? I think we may have to forgo the game of rounders my family normally plays on Boxing day! Aside from that, my husband has already started talking about our annual re-watching of The Lord of The Rings trilogy- not exactly Christmassy but a tradition all the same.
2020 has been quite a year; how would you describe your own experience of it?
2020 has been crap. I have high expectations for 2021!