Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm | 0 Comments |
BBC has released some new photos and interviews to promote Happy Valley series 2. Matthew is new to the cast this year and will be playing Sean Balmforth. They have also shared the first photo of Matt as Sean. There is still no firm premiere date for series 2, but it will be some time in February. Their interview with Matt can be read below.
Everyone I knew had seen the first series and told me how spectacular it was. I was working when it aired so I missed it but once I’d been cast in series two I went back and was absolutely blown away. A few bits from that first series still stay with me!
How did you come to be involved in series two?
I got sent the script and the character breakdown which as you’ll see was a fascinating prospect. I knew it’d be a challenge, probably my biggest to date, but I was eager to be involved and to work with Sally Wainwright so I went in to see her and she gave me the job.
How would you describe your character?
Sean has had a bad start in life and it’s defined him in ways that are out of his control. He’s not an alcoholic, as in he doesn’t need it to function but he is well on his way to becoming one. He’s angry and lost and finds it difficult to express his emotions which when coupled with his drinking can become a tinderbox.
Was your character challenging to play?
It was tough to get into his mind. I can’t say too much without giving away parts of the story that we will discover along the way with Sean but he’s in a very dark place and it gets worse for him throughout. Getting into the mind of somebody like that with those problems and those thought processes was daunting. Luckily I had a superb cast and crew around to help out.
How did you prepare for the role?
I spoke to Sally quite a bit and was sent several character breakdowns for Sean. There wasn’t
masses of research involved with this role as Sally writes in such a way that it’s all on the page for you. I read the script a lot, to go over again and again those emotions and the frustrations that Sean was going through. And to a lesser degree I studied the effects of alcoholism and how it affects motor function and things like that.
What appealed to you about this project?
Sally Wainwright and Sarah Lancashire. I hadn’t seen the first series until after I’d been cast but I knew the sheer talent involved in the project and how successful the first series had been. I’d worked with Sarah and Siobhan Finneran about 20 years previous and the chance to do that again was amazing. The opportunity to work with Sally and the complexity of the character she had created meant I couldn’t say no even if I wanted to.
Have you ever worked with any of the cast before?
Roughly 20 years ago I had a part in Where The Heart Is which Sarah was the lead in. I was about six years old and my mother was played by Siobhan! I have really fond memories of that shoot so getting back together with those two after so many years was incredible. They are so lovely and the way they work together is spectacular. To be around and watch them both as they were playing sisters opposite each other was such a privilege.
Are there any anecdotes you can tell us about that happened during filming?
There was a wonderful moment off set when the crew were setting up and Sarah and Siobhan were talking about a big scene they had coming up in a few days. Sarah half knew it and Siobhan hadn’t really looked at it. They decided to run it together and I feel so fortunate that I was there to watch it. It was a big scene, about ten pages or something and after about 4 or 5 pages Siobhan had gotten as far as she’d prepared. Sarah kept going and so Siobhan basically guessed what her character would say in the situation and it just fit. Every single time it fit and Sarah had a cue and was able to keep going with her dialogue. It was mind-blowing, they inhabit their characters so well and they work off each other like real sisters. It was such a pleasure to watch. I wasn’t there for the actual shooting of the scene a few days later but I bet it was a corker.
What projects do you have coming up?
I shot a film for Warner Brothers called Me Before You a few months before Happy Valley so that’ll be out in 2016 and I’ve just finished a new season of Ripper Street which is also on in 2016. Filming on the next season of that starts late January so I’m growing my 19th century sideburns and moustache back as we speak.