Thursday, November 20, 2014

Laura Donnelly Talks About 'The Fall' and Jamie

Belfast Telegraph - Much to her [Laura Donnelly] surprise and amusement, she was considered fortunate by some women to be bumped off by Jamie Dornan's serial killer Paul Spector in BBC2's gripping thriller The Fall. Laura played solicitor Sarah Kay in series one, who was stalked and then murdered by Spector in the fear-inducing opening episode.

"You know, it's funny, I've had so many women come up to me and say 'You're so lucky to have been killed by Jamie Dornan'," she says.

Did she feel spooked playing the victim of a serial killer?

"It's strange, actually," she says, "I became more affected watching it than being in it. I guess because my experience of The Fall was not being in a house on my own, being stalked by this man, but being in a room with 50 other people meant it didn't get to me as much. Usually I would be sensitive to something like that; it can be extremely vulnerable being a woman all alone in a house and I think I would have been terrified if I'd watched it back on my own.

"But on set, Jamie was so lovely and always very careful to make sure I was comfortable about how things were going because he knew I was in a vulnerable situation."

Nevertheless, Laura admits it was a pretty tough shoot, given the nature of the plot. But she says she is incredibly proud to have been part of it and that she jumped at the chance to be involved once she read Allan Cubitt's script.

"It was one of the most exciting, smartest scripts I'd read in a long time," she says. "Allan writes incredible drama and suspense. The fact it was filmed in Belfast but was not focusing on our history, the Troubles or politics but was using Belfast as backdrop, was really exciting too."

Series two of The Fall returned to our screens last week and is already proving a ratings hit again for BBC2. The drama has managed to win over viewers and critics alike, with the Guardian newspaper stating "Dornan and Anderson remain magnetically watchable, and the tension is still on a level that necessitates the double-locking of doors and windows".

But the series hasn't been without its dissenters, facing accusations of glamorising violence against women. Laura says that people are entitled to their opinions but is quick to point out that there is another side to the show's portrayal of women.

"We should not overlook the fact that this is one of the few shows on television that has a female lead and a powerful, sexual woman," she says. "In the same way it portrays females as vulnerable, it also portrays them as being intelligent and being in control of their lives. The violence is only one aspect of the drama."

Gillian Anderson was a joy to work with, she says, although in the scenes they shot together, Laura had to play dead. And Dornan, who has since gone on to land several film roles, including that of kinky billionaire Christian Grey, was already a star in the making.

"I certainly had an idea, while we were filming, that things were going to happen for Jamie," she says. "It was a really intelligent choice for him to take the role of Spector and a very brave and faithful decision on the part of the producers.

"When people take risks like that, their bravery usually pays off. Combined with the fact he is incredibly good-looking, I'd say it was inevitable he was going to catch other people's eyes."

Will she go and watch him in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey film?

"Well, I'd have to say that I've never read the books and can't count myself among the billions of fans of the trilogy," she laughs. "But maybe I'll give the film a look."

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