THE RE­PLACE­MENT is Joe Ahearne’s BBC One psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller about fe­male ri­valry in an ar­chi­tects’ prac­tice. Vicky Mcclure, who also stars in Line Of Duty, dis­cusses fe­male friend­ship, work­place eti­quette and Kate Moss…


Vicky Mcclure on play­ing a ma­nip­u­la­tive of­fice worker in the psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller.

In The Re­place­ment you play Paula, who’s hired as ma­ter­nity cover for an ar­chi­tect, Ellen (Mor­ven Christie), though she’s sus­pi­cions about Paula dur­ing the han­dover. How do you feel about your ma­nip­u­la­tive char­ac­ter?

I have sym­pa­thy for Paula. With a lot of char­ac­ters I’ve played, view­ers are thrown in the deep end. Yes, these char­ac­ters have got a bad side, but there is al­ways a rea­son for it.

Do you think so­ci­ety en­cour­ages women to be ri­vals?

No. Men fall out just as much as women. Some of the dra­mas I’ve heard from men! It’s the same. If you fall out with girl­friends, it can be overly dra­matic when you make up – “I love you so much!” – es­pe­cially if you’re drunk. So yes, women can be bitchy, but so can men.

Tell us more…

Grow­ing up as a girl, yes, you do go through bat­tles. You are in com­pe­ti­tion about your clothes and your hair. But then you get to an age where you don’t care and re­alise it was just child­ish ban­ter. We can all show that sort of catty be­hav­iour, and we can all have dra­mas with our fam­ily or mates. But I’m a grown wo­man now, and I don’t be­lieve in com­pe­ti­tion with other peo­ple. I do things my own way, and I pre­fer peo­ple to do things their own way, too. I’m not judg­ing them.

Did you en­joy film­ing The Re­place­ment in Glas­gow?

Ab­so­lutely. I took to the city very well in­deed. It felt like Not­ting­ham, where I grew up. It has the same sort of en­ergy. It doesn’t like to brag, but it still knows it’s re­ally cool. The city’s tagline is “Peo­ple make Glas­gow.” That’s com­pletely true. I loved it!

Have you ever en­coun­tered of­fice bitch­i­ness your­self?

Yes. I worked in an of­fice for eight years. I re­mem­ber one man­ager who came in and tried to change the rule that we were al­lowed to eat at our desks. I used to bring my full Sun­day din­ner to eat at my desk, and she told me not to do that. She just had it in for me. So I said to her, “As we’re only al­lowed a snack at our desks, if I cut up my din­ner and put it in a bag, is it then a snack?”

What other show en­cap­su­lates the idea of fe­male friend­ship, in your view?

I grew up watch­ing Friends re­li­giously, and I still do. If there’s noth­ing else to watch, I’ll im­me­di­ately put on Friends on Com­edy Cen­tral. That whole show is based around friend­ship. Those three girls had each other’s backs from day one. I’ll al­ways watch Friends. It’s such a feel­good show, but there is a re­al­ity to it as well be­cause that’s how my girl­friends and I are.

Which one are you?


Is it true that you once bumped into Kate Moss at a party and she raved about your style?

She did, yes. The first thing she said was, “Oh my God, I love you”. She was good fun, and there was the odd in­vi­ta­tion from her af­ter that.

The Re­place­ment is on DVD and at bbc­ Line Of Duty Series 4 is set to air this spring.

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