I’d be re­ally aw­ful as a spy... I’m too clumsy

The Galloway News - - HOT SEAT -

NEW­COMER IN THE TI­TLE EMMA ROLE FOR AP­PLE­TON, POST-WARTIME 27, SHINES SPY THRILLER, TRAITORS. SHE TELLS GEMMA DUNN MORE ABOUT HER CHAR­AC­TER FEEF, WHO HAV­ING JOINED THE CIVIL SER­VICE IN 1945, AGREES TO SPY ON HER OWN GOV­ERN­MENT ON BE­HALF OF THE AMER­I­CANS How would you sum­marise new Chan­nel 4 se­ries Traitors – and your role?

IT’S a po­lit­i­cal spy thriller, it’s post-Sec­ond World War, and my char­ac­ter Feef is des­per­ate for ad­ven­ture.

She’s very am­bi­tious and she sud­denly gets drawn into this world of pol­i­tics, White­hall and se­crets.

She’s des­per­ate to get out of liv­ing with her fam­ily who aren’t proud of her and who don’t see any as­pi­ra­tions (for her), other than to get mar­ried and set­tle down.

That’s not on her agenda what­so­ever; she’s will­ing to push the bound­aries.

Did Feef’s free spirit ap­peal to you?

I HADN’T ever read a char­ac­ter like Feef. I in­stantly fell in love with her and I think I saw quite a few com­par­isons with my­self, which al­ways helps if you can re­late.

Small things, her at­ti­tude to­wards cer­tain things, be­ing quite am­bi­tious, again look­ing for ad­ven­ture... there were just lit­tle things here and there that re­ally en­deared me to her.

You have a won­der­ful era-led wardrobe in the show. How did that add to the char­ac­ter?

A LOT of it, for me, is a pack­age deal.

So when you’ve got the hair and you’ve got the out­fit and a gir­dle – which is not com­fort­able – with the stock­ings and ev­ery­thing, it re­ally makes you feel of that time.

It’s just all the lit­tle de­tails that make the dif­fer­ence.

Did you do much re­search on the pe­riod, your­self?

WE WERE lucky in the fact the script was so de­tailed – (cre­ator) Bash (Do­ran) got it as his­tor­i­cally ac­cu­rate as she could, while also us­ing dra­matic li­cence.

And we were given a re­search pack­age, which was fan­tas­tic, but at the same time you’re also do­ing a lot of char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment and learn­ing your lines, so you’re try­ing to do a bit of ev­ery­thing all at once.

As a rel­a­tive new­comer to TV, were you ner­vous ahead of your first day on set?

AB­SO­LUTELY. But I also re­ally did want to get in there and em­brace it and get go­ing be­cause I was very lucky in the fact I had two months to pre­pare, which was quite a lux­ury.

Think­ing about it was more nerve-wrack­ing than ac­tu­ally get­ting in there and do­ing it, but a few days in, I found my feet.

You worked with some won­der­ful ac­tors such as Michael Stuhlbarg and Kee­ley Hawes, too...

(MICHAEL) is in­cred­i­ble. I wasn’t sure what to ex­pect, but he’s so warm, so hard­work­ing, very me­thod­i­cal and cares so much about his craft and his work.

(Kee­ley) is just an ab­so­lute joy as a per­son, so warm, very funny, but in­cred­i­bly hard work­ing.

She’s so skilled in her ex­pe­ri­ence, tech­ni­cally, and when you’re work­ing with her you’re in the zone.

How do you think the six-part se­ries will re­late to a mod­ern au­di­ence?

IT’S a time of un­cer­tainty and (the coun­try) be­ing in a state of flux and peo­ple hav­ing dif­fer­ent ideas and opin­ions, which re­ally re­lates to our cur­rent land­scape.

Hope­fully it will con­nect to the mil­len­nial au­di­ence that will be watch­ing and I hope it’s some­thing that, as well as be­ing an en­joy­able show, can be a talk­ing point – which is al­ways a big bonus.

You in­vested a lot of time in this project – will your next job have a lot to live up to?

IT IS dif­fi­cult when you’ve worked on some­thing you’ve loved so much and you’ve been very close to, but there’s so many bril­liant writ­ers out there and bril­liant projects, that it’s al­ways ex­cit­ing to see what else comes along.

And it’s ex­cit­ing to have the op­por­tu­nity to play some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

That’s an­other thing that’s so great about this job – you can be re­ally var­ied.

On that note, what are you do­ing next?

I’M READ­ING a lot of scripts at the mo­ment, which is re­ally ex­cit­ing, be­cause I want to be care­ful about what I do next. It’s just see­ing what’s out there and see­ing what hap­pens.

It will be nice if the phone rings, but I think it’s good not to think too much about that.

Fi­nally, would you make a good spy?

I’D be aw­ful. Re­ally aw­ful. I’m too clumsy. But I can make it look be­liev­able, I hope. Fin­gers crossed!

But no, I don’t have the nerve for it at all. Feef does. The next episode of Traitors is on Chan­nel 4 on Sun­day at 9pm.

Emma Ap­ple­ton as Feef Sy­monds in new spy thriller Traitors

Kee­ley Hawes and Emma Ap­ple­ton at a pho­to­call for new Chan­nel 4 drama Traitors, above, and in the se­ries, right

From left are Traitors stars Luke Tread­away as Hugh Fen­ton, Michael Stuhlbarg as Rowe, Emma Ap­ple­ton as Feef Sy­monds, Kee­ley Hawes as Priscilla Gar­rick and Bran­don P Bell as Jackson Cole

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