Empire (UK) - - The Watch List -

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

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