ALL IN THE MIND
ANNA FRIEL REVEALS WHY THE DETECTIVE WILL BE CONFRONTING HER DEMONS IN SERIES TWO…
When the first series of Marcella aired in 2016, if we’d had to describe the behaviour of its heroine in one word, we probably wouldn’t have gone for ‘stable’. So we were slightly surprised to see DS Marcella Backland at the start of series two acting all calm and professional – and as Inside TV joins star Anna Friel for a chat, it appears we weren’t the only ones.
“I thought, ‘Gosh, she seems really okay considering her husband’s run off with a woman half her age and her kids aren’t living with her’!” chuckles the star. “That was my first question – how can she be so okay? I think she’s thought, ‘Right, that’s life, let’s move on’ – but obviously Marcella’s journey is not going to be a happy one, is it?”
Without giving too much away, it’s safe to say that Marcella’s clean start doesn’t last the full hour, and a stressful situation leads her to lash out when she believes one of her kids is in danger. In the aftermath of this violent episode, Marcella is forced to confront her condition head-on at long last.
“We’re dealing with mental illness – we go much more into her fugues and why she has them,” promises Anna. “She has to face her fears. I think she needs time to sort herself out, and Marcella’s drive is to concentrate on her work as a distraction.
“As a mother, sometimes you can go to work and think, ‘That’s easier because I know what to do’,” continues the actress. “Then when you get home there are so many unanswered questions and it’s all on your shoulders. You’ll watch Marcella’s journey and see how she handles it.”
It doesn’t help that the case Marcella is working on is inseparable from her personal life – a body found within the walls of a flat during renovations turns out to be that of Leo Priestley, a seven-year-old boy who went missing four years ago and was friends with Marcella’s son Edward.
“It’s quite dark, because the serial killings this time are to do with children,” muses Anna. “Whenever you embark on something that sensitive, it’s a tricky thing to deal with.”
None of the cast knew the killer’s identity while filming series one, and the same was true of series two – but with one big difference for Anna.
“During season one I kept expecting to get to the end and go, ‘Well, it’s me, I’ve done it!’” recalls the star. “So I still didn’t know who the killer was, but at least I knew it wasn’t me this time!”
DURING SEASON ONE I KEPT EXPECTING THE KILLER TO BE ME!”
Crossing the line: Marcella attends a crime scene
Law and disorder: Anna Friel as troubled cop Marcella
Serial thriller: Another dark case for the murder squad