‘I Love Playing Strong Women’ With a new ITV drama under her belt, MK reveals all about balancing career goals, love and life in the public eye…
his is set to be Michelle Keegan’s year. With a career on the verge of going stratospheric, we have an inkling that MK’S about to own it – big time.
Michelle is currently working her magic on the small screen, with ITV’S new three-part drama series Tina And Bobby (Friday, 9pm). Joined by Lorne Macfadyen (The Level, Grantchester) the duo play the original ‘golden couple’.
When England won the World Cup in July 1966, Bobby Moore became a national hero. Swept up by the media frenzy and the country’s adoration, he and wife Tina became celebrity royalty and ITV’S bound-to-be-a-hit show charts the couple’s rise from humble childhood sweethearts to the dizzy heights of superstardom. There’s certainly a similarity to Mich’s own very public relationship with husband of two years Mark Wright.
Excitement for the show has been at fever pitch – no pun intended – ever since Michelle was spotted filming, complete with blonde hair, last year. So is the 29-year-old feeling the pressure now the show’s on air?
How much did you know about Tina and Bobby Moore before you took on the role? Mark’s a West Ham supporter and knew a lot about both of them! He gave me the lowdown. Being from Essex, Mark told me what Bobby meant to people there – how he was regarded as one of the greatest defenders and what he meant to football. To hear it first-hand was unbelievable. But I’ll be honest, I didn’t know a lot about Tina outside of Bobby. The first time I heard their story was when I watched the documentary Bobby. A few weeks later I received the scripts, so it felt like fate. Tina Moore attended the read-through. Was it awkward portraying her while she was in the room? It was really daunting. I’d forgotten Tina was going to be there until I walked into the room. By then I’d seen pictures of her and had done some research. As soon as I saw her, I thought: ‘Oh my God, it’s Tina Moore – she’s here at the readthrough!’ I panicked. It’s a really daunting thing to do – I’m portraying Tina and I want to tell her story to the best of my ability. Tina shared a lot of stories and memories about their life together. It’s a real coincidence as I now live in Essex, close to Moorlands [the name of Bobby’s former home], so we had lots to talk about. You had to go blonde to play Tina. Were you scared? I went through a massive transformation. The colourist, Vernon Deysel at the Paul Edmonds salon, did a great job with changing the colour of my hair, though. I was apprehensive at first but I wanted to embrace the character fully. A lot of actors make dramatic changes to their appearance for the characters they’re playing. I thought this was a great role and I wanted to give everything to it. It was so different to Georgie in Our Girl who I’d just played for five months. You’d worked with the costume designer before, right? Yes, Andrew Cox worked on Our Girl too. We have a great relationship and he instantly knows my style and what I like. A lot of the crew from Our Girl worked on Tina And Bobby, so it was nice to be starting a new project and working with friendly faces. I worked with director John Mckay on the BBC’S Ordinary Lies too. How would you describe Tina? She’s a very confident and strong woman. She’s very independent too. A lot of the time Tina was the backbone of their marriage and Bobby always went to her for advice. Although she was in the background when it came to his career, in their marriage she was always at the forefront of their relationship. Was Tina’s strength part of the appeal? I love playing strong women, but I also loved the script. Tina’s story engaged me mentally and emotionally. She’s a really caring person. She’s a great mum and a brilliant wife. Her life was Bobby and you can tell that from the outset. Tina’s life was her family and she did everything she could for them. Could you relate to Tina? A little bit, yes. I think having a relationship that’s in the public eye certainly related to me.
I panicked when I saw Tina at the readthrough
Michelle gets some practice in for the future on the show