Fear FAC­TOR

Fa­ther-of-three David Mor­ris­sey har­nessed a ter­ri­fy­ing thought for his star­ring role in The Miss­ing, writes DAVID MEDDOWS

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TV GUIDE -

WHEN called upon to play the fa­ther of a young girl grabbed from the street and held cap­tive for more than a decade, Bri­tish ac­tor David Mor­ris­sey knew he could chan­nel his nat­u­ral fears as a dad of three.

But to truly un­der­stand what such a tragedy does to a fam­ily, he delved into the in­fa­mous case of miss­ing school­girl Madeleine McCann.

Mor­ris­sey stars in the much-an­tic­i­pated re­turn of BBC’s thrilling who­dunit

The Miss­ing, as Cap­tain Sam Web­ster, a ca­reer mil­i­tary man sta­tioned at a Bri­tish army base in Germany when his daugh­ter Alice dis­ap­pears with­out a trace in 2003.

The story is told us­ing dual time­lines, jump­ing be­tween 2014 – when Alice stum­bles into the Ger­man town from which she van­ished 11 years ear­lier – and the present day, where it be­comes ob­vi­ous the whole or­deal has de­stroyed the fam­ily, as the hunt for her ab­duc­tor con­tin­ues.

While Mor­ris­sey said he could re­late to Web­ster as the fa­ther of young chil­dren, he was chal­lenged to bring to life the an­guish and pain his char­ac­ter en­dures.

“As an ac­tor, you’re al­ways hav­ing to use your imag­i­na­tion about how you will tell the story,” he said. “But ob­vi­ously [with] a story about a fa­ther who loses his daugh­ter, you can tap into that part of your psy­che quite eas­ily. It’s some­thing that we have in our wor­ries and our fears our­selves.

“There was the fa­mous case in the UK of the McCanns – they wrote a book and I read that and their daugh­ter is ob­vi­ously still miss­ing.”

Mor­ris­sey, best known to those out­side the UK as The Gov­er­nor in The Walk­ing

Dead, is known for the metic­u­lous re­search he does be­fore film­ing a show.

Along with his re­search into the McCanns, he read tran­scripts from other miss­ing-per­sons cases in which chil­dren had been kid­napped and never re­turned.

“There are lots of tes­ti­monies of peo­ple whose chil­dren have still not been found. It’s quite har­row­ing, re­ally,” he said.

How­ever, he’s quick to point out story lines such as this aren’t a com­mon oc­cur­rence and feels “it’s im­por­tant to say

The Miss­ing is a drama that deals with some­thing quite ex­tra­or­di­nary – these are not ev­ery­day events”.

THE MISS­ING

SUN­DAY, 8.30PM, BBC FIRST

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