‘Doc­tor Foster was fun,’ says Corrie ex Su­ranne

Corrie ex Su­ranne Jones tells us about the Sec­ond Se­ries of her hit drama, doc­tor foster… and Shares her new love of dan­ger­ous driv­ing!

Soaplife - - Hot This Issue - Words: ali­son James | Main Pic­ture: tony Briggs/cam­era press

Su­ranne Jones is cur­rently wow­ing view­ers all over again in the sec­ond se­ries of uber-grip­ping BBC1 drama Doc­tor Foster. But al­though she’s play­ing a driven char­ac­ter, dead-set on get­ting re­venge on her ex-hus­band, the for­mer Corrie ac­tress, who played Karen Mcdon­ald, says that hav­ing a baby last year in real life has given her fresh in­sight into Dr Gemma Foster. ‘ob­vi­ously, you don’t have to be a mum to play one and i played moth­ers be­fore be­com­ing one my­self,’ says su­ranne. ‘But now i am one, it’s made me re­alise the grav­i­tas of what hap­pens when a fam­ily is fall­ing apart – like in Doc­tor Foster. af­ter a day’s film­ing, i’d go home at night and have a baby to put to bed. it’s made me more aware of how, when a cou­ple splits, it’s im­por­tant they do ev­ery­thing they can not to dam­age their child. the chil­dren should be their pri­or­ity.’ We couldn’t agree more…

How is life as a work­ing mum?

the work-life bal­ance is hard for ev­ery­one and i try to keep my work sep­a­rate. i’m grate­ful that while i’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of work, i also have a lot of time off when i fin­ish. i’m off now un­til christ­mas, so i’ll be down at the play park till then!

Why do you think peo­ple re­late to your char­ac­ter, Gemma Foster?

she’s ev­ery woman. if you’re not her, you know some­one like her. Most peo­ple have had re­la­tion­ships that have gone wrong and they know what it feels like to be in

the same room as an ex, es­pe­cially when he or she has a new re­la­tion­ship.

So you think peo­ple con­nect with her prob­lems?

Yes. Ev­ery­one can re­late to those thoughts and feel­ings you have, but they don’t nec­es­sar­ily speak about them. Hope­fully, men and women will recog­nise some of them­selves in our story – Si­mon as well as Gemma. It’s un­com­fort­able and you keep think­ing, ‘Oh my! What are they go­ing to do?’ The drama has a weird, sexy, tense edge to it, too, which is good.

How do you man­age to cre­ate that sex­ual ten­sion on screen?

It’s about cap­tur­ing the en­ergy – but also the anger. What’s re­ally in­ter­est­ing is that while you may hate some­one, you’ve for­got­ten to tell your body about it. Your head says one thing, but your body says an­other.

Do you speak from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence about that?

Like I say, ev­ery­one’s had re­la­tion­ships that have gone wrong. Both Ber­tie Carvel, who plays Gemma’s ex, Si­mon, and I have had ex­pe­ri­ences we’ve been able to draw on. But the style of writ­ing means that you’re able to go fur­ther with the part.

Are you pals with on-screen ex Ber­tie off-set?

While we were film­ing, I was train­ing for a ‘plank­ing’ chal­lenge for char­ity, so I’d be ex­er­cis­ing off-set and Ber­tie would ‘plank’ with me! It was an­noy­ing, as he man­aged it so eas­ily. The fact you have a great re­la­tion­ship off-set means you’re able to go to some very dark, deep places and do good work to­gether.

Is it a sim­i­lar story with other cast mem­bers? Doc­tor Foster

Yes. It’s the same with ac­tress Jodie Cor­ner, who plays Gemma’s neme­sis and Si­mon’s new wife, Kate. She’s so great to have around. We’re a very strong team and we love work­ing to­gether. This show is ac­tu­ally made with so much love!

How do you feel about play­ing Gemma Foster sec­ond time around?

I feel very for­tu­nate to be work­ing on a drama writ­ten by Mike Bartlett. As ac­tors, we read scripts all the time and Mike’s are bril­liant. He pushes char­ac­ters, feel­ings and sit­u­a­tions, and he takes you on an ex­cit­ing, bizarre and un­usual ride. His scripts make you feel lots of dif­fer­ent emo­tions. With­out be­ing rude, there are lots of scripts that don’t in­ject that same ex­cite­ment and en­thu­si­asm.

Gemma seems much nas­tier in this se­ries. Has she got worse?

Be­trayal can make peo­ple be­have badly – and Gemma doesn’t be­have well. She’s been chan­nelling anger about Si­mon’s in­fi­delity and be­comes dark and twisted.

Doc­tor Foster’s mad driv­ing tech­nique is cer­tainly a bit twisted!

I had a lot of fun do­ing those scenes. I did all the driv­ing my­self, too. Some­times, our di­rec­tor would be crouched down in the back with a mon­i­tor hid­den un­der a cover. He got rocked around quite a bit as a re­sult! The stunt peo­ple have asked me if I want to spend some time do­ing stunt driv­ing with them. Maybe that will be me and my hus­band’s next date night!

Ex Si­mon and Kate cause fur­ther angst for Gemma Su­ranne as Doc­tor Foster is left with a bit­ter taste… De­tec­tive work with Les­ley Sharp in ITV’S Scott & Bai­ley

Lady in red Su­ranne, with hus­band Lau­rence Ak­ers

Su­ranne played Steve Mcdon­ald’s feisty wife, Karen, in Corrie

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