In my mind, dementia is the cruellest disease there is
leave a toddler in the home all day on their own, you’d be prosecuted for it, but that is what’s happening to people in the community. “We need more nursing homes, and it’s not the fault of the NHS because 24% of their beds are taken with people over the age of 65 with dementia. It can’t carry on.” LINCOLNSHIREBORN Sheridan, and her co-star, Irish actress Sinead, are asked if they tried to laugh in between takes on set for Care, to detract from how dark the material was. “I think every actor takes it differently and does their own thing,” suggests 40-year-old Sinead, who plays Mary’s other daughter, Claire.
“Myself, if I’m doing heavy scenes, you go, ‘Oh, this is going to be a fun day’,” she quips.
“You keep yourself to yourself. You’re not exuberant, you’re not bouncing around in between takes.”
“Sinead is incredible at staying in the zone, so to act opposite her was a dream,” gushes Sheridan, known for her intense roles in shows such as The Moorside and Cilla.
Discussing the challenging role further, she says: “In my mind, dementia is the cruellest disease there is.
“I can only go on being a carer for a parent (her father lost his battle with cancer in 2016) and trying to put my experiences into it. But it doesn’t really come close to how I imagine that must feel.
“You don’t tell jokes (in between takes), especially when this is the subject matter, and Gillian’s been through it, and so many people have been through it. You stay in it when you’re in those moments.”
However, the outgoing star confides she finds it really difficult to stop crying once the tears start falling.
“I’m a nightmare, because I cry at everything!” how differently Jenny and Claire deal with their mum’s health issues.
“Claire’s moved away, and Jenny is the one who does the lion’s share of all the caring, which I think an awful lot of people can empathise with, because, more often that not, people move away from their families,” Sinead – star of dramas such as Little Boy Blue and Being Human – notes thoughtfully.