Jenna Coleman has had her fair share of acting challenges during her time as the companion on Doctor Who and the Queen in Victoria, but this new four-part psychological thriller puts her through the mill from the first few seconds, and doesn’t let up. The drama’s intense focus on the troubled state of mind of Coleman’s character Joanna is played out in multiple timelines, all swirling around the central fateful moment when Joanna’s baby goes missing in the middle of a tense family trip to australia. strap yourselves in.
What did you think when you first read the script?
I thought it was so cleverly pitched that I genuinely didn’t know who to trust or where it was going. It’s a really finely tuned psychological thriller which just gets darker and darker as it goes on.
Was it challenging being in the middle of the show’s complex storytelling? Well, you’ve got all these stories happening at once, it’s the most complicated script I’ve ever worked on. We’re doing scenes that need to read from various angles. It was just like playing chess, there were absolute mind-worms that you had to keep going down. I had no idea what we were making!
You really have to go through a whole gamut of emotionsv in this role… on set we were talking about going down the vortex because so much of the drama is about what you keep from the audience. You [the viewer] are in Joanna’s mind a lot, so you see her leading you to the plane or the psychologist’s office, with a lot of the sound faded out.
How was it seeing it for the first time?
I wasn’t going to watch it. Because we shot so much, I always knew in the edit suite it could be a million things. The order you put the scenes in gives you a different feeling. so it was really lovely to see which version we got. and it’s quite different from the script as well.
Why didn’t you want to watch it?
I can watch myself if I’m playing someone not like me but if it’s close to me I don’t like it so much. I thought I might watch it in a year. It’s not about being precious or neurotic. It was such an emotional marathon, it was nice to put it to bed for a little bit.
Did you manage to have a laugh on set inbetween filming all the tense scenes? The rollercoaster of where they go with it is so bleak you’re just clinging to lightness. It was surprisingly a very giddy shoot.
Jenna Coleman tells us about playing a woman on the edge