‘For me, this is a tug of love ... with a crime story on the side’

ITV’s new four-parter In­no­cent tack­les the sub­ject of a man jailed for killing his wife who may not have done it.

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - WEEKEND TV - Ge­or­gia Humphreys re­ports

If you’re look­ing for a dif­fer­ent sort of who­dun­nit to get hooked on, ITV’s In­no­cent should do the trick. The four-part drama is cen­tred around David Collins (Lee In­gleby), who has served seven years in prison for mur­der­ing his wife Tara, but has al­ways in­sisted he isn’t guilty. De­spised by most of his fam­ily and friends — es­pe­cially his wife’s sis­ter, Alice (Hermione Nor­ris), who now looks af­ter his chil­dren — his only sup­port comes from his brother Phil (Daniel Ryan), who has been tire­lessly cam­paign­ing to get him freed.

When David is sud­denly re­leased on a tech­ni­cal­ity, the ques­tion re­mains: what re­ally hap­pened on the night of Tara’s death?

“I was re­ally in­trigued and wanted to know who these peo­ple were, and whether David was in­no­cent or not,” says 42-year-old In­gleby, per­haps best known for BBC drama Inspector Ge­orge Gen­tly, of tak­ing on the role. “I thought it would be quite a chal­lenge to play some­body in that po­si­tion.”

Ryan, whose TV cred­its in­clude Linda Green, Mount Pleas­ant and Skins, con­fides he isn’t “re­ally drawn to who­dunits”.

“I love things that have got an emo­tional heart and that’s why I was drawn to this,” the 50-year-old says.

His char­ac­ter has cer­tainly gone through a lot, hav­ing sac­ri­ficed his ca­reer and liveli­hood, and even lost a re­la­tion­ship, while fight­ing to get the ap­peal and re-trial for his brother.

It’s a prospect once-child­less Alice is ut­terly dev­as­tated by, hav­ing now formed a suc­cess­ful fam­ily unit with David’s chil­dren and her hus­band Rob.

“It’s got a side or­der of crime story for me, this show,” Manch­ester-born Ryan con­tin­ues. “I found it very, very mov­ing, the tug of these kids caught in the mid­dle.”

As with many TV dra­mas, In­no­cent ex­pertly shows the world from other peo­ple’s points of view — and that’s some­thing Cold Feet star Hermione Nor­ris (51) thinks is “more im­por­tant to­day than ever”.

“We all live in quite small com­mu­ni­ties,” elab­o­rates the Lon­don-born ac­tress, “and naively be­lieve ev­ery­one shares the same view, when they don’t.”

Be pre­pared with In­no­cent — even as the story de­vel­ops, you’ll con­tinue to feel a real un­cer­tainty about who and what to be­lieve. And, of course, there are many un­ex­pected turns.

“It’s not quite as sim­ple as ‘you’re guilty’ — even with Hermione’s char­ac­ter,” says In­gleby, when asked if he thinks peo­ple will root for David to be found in­no­cent.

“It’s like any­thing — there’s rea­sons why cer­tain things hap­pen, why peo­ple have cer­tain opin­ions, which come later on.”

And how David deals with sud­denly be­ing freed was an in­ter­est­ing el­e­ment for Burn­ley-born In­gleby to ex­plore both “psy­cho­log­i­cally and phys­i­cally”.

“It will take a lot for peo­ple to change their mind about him, even if hard ev­i­dence comes for­ward,” ex­plains the star.

“Even if you are in­no­cent, some­times the dam­age has been done al­ready. There is al­ways that sus­pi­cion hang­ing over David. It’s hard to re­gain peo­ple’s trust.” All in all, David is a man full of rage. “It’s a big story in a small town,” says In­gleby.

“Peo­ple look at him ev­ery­where he goes. It’s hard. So some­times that anger bub­bles up.”

There’s def­i­nitely a lot of ha­tred be­tween David and Alice, hence some se­ri­ous con­fronta­tion on screen — es­pe­cially over his de­ter­mi­na­tion to re-in­tro­duce him­self to his chil­dren, who were very young when he was sen­tenced.

“Those scenes were great,” re­calls In­gleby. “David is say­ing, ‘He’s my son’ and she’s say­ing, ‘You gave up that right. I be­came their guardian and I’ll do any­thing to pro­tect them’. The re­la­tion­ship be­tween David and her (Alice) is a sim­mer­ing pot of re­sent­ment.”

For Nor­ris, sum­mon­ing up the rage that Alice feels to­wards her for­mer brother-in-law was un­der­stand­ably “tir­ing”.

“A day-long shoot can be quite ex­haust­ing,” she ad­mits. “When you’re film­ing a scene you’re not do­ing it once, you’re do­ing it loads of times. It’s very drain­ing.”

How­ever, there were fun times on set, too, and Nor­ris re­mem­bers one par­tic­u­larly funny mo­ment when she and In­gleby were asked to pose for a stills pho­tog­ra­pher to­gether.

“We had just played a re­ally in­tense and emo­tional scene and nei­ther of us could stop laugh­ing. It was ter­ri­ble. We lit­er­ally lost it, laugh­ing.”

Mean­while, In­gleby and Ryan, who had pre­vi­ously worked to­gether on BBC drama The Street, en­joyed go­ing out for drinks off set to fur­ther their broth­erly bond.

“We filmed in a very ru­ral spot north of Dublin, with noth­ing much else, but the lo­cal pub was kind of handy,” quips Ryan. “It was good to build that up.”

In­no­cent airs on ITV over four con­sec­u­tive nights, start­ing from Mon­day, 9pm

CHANGED SI­T­U­A­TION: Lee In­gleby and Hermione Nor­ris con­front one another in In­no­cent

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.