Amanda Abbington has appeared in a few crime dramas, most notably as the duplicitous Mary in Sherlock. Now she appears in the BBC’s new eight-part uniform drama Cuffs, which is roundly being described as the ‘new Bill’ (which Amanda also appeared in, fact fans). The ensemble cast also includes Ashley Walters, Peter Sullivan, Shaun Dooley, Paul Ready, Eleanor Matsuura, and Alex Carter, and the BBC has scheduled Cuffs in an 8pm timeslot, which is quite bold (although it didn’t do Holby Blue any good). Anyway. We managed to get hold of an interview with her, and it’s after the jump for your pleasure…
The Killing Times: Tell us about your character…
Amanda Abbington: I play Acting Detective Sergeant Jo Moffat. She’s a really good CID officer. She’s very, very tenacious, really good at her job, wants to get the bad guy, and believes in justice. Her personal life sucks. It just falls apart. She’s unravelling in her personal life. She’s very lonely. She’s got a very toxic relationship with somebody completely inappropriate, but as far as her work is concerned, she’s bang on it. She’s got her exams to become detective sergeant, and you see that journey throughout the show. You see her flower and blossom, and shed that horrible, toxic side of her personal life and become this really strong detective sergeant who absolutely loves her job. It’s a beautiful journey. It’s a really lovely, strong character. I really like her. I’m very pleased I’m playing her.
TKT: Who does she work with?
AA: She works with Felix Kane, played by Paul Ready, and Detective Constable Carl Hawkins, played by Shaun Dooley. It’s a joy working with those two. They are two of the best actors. I love them.
TKT: You mentioned she’s having an inappropriate relationship. Is it someone she works with?
AA: There are two main relationships she has; Chief Superintendent Robert Vickers and Detective Constable Carl Hawkins. They’re the people that she bats with. She’s having an affair with the chief, which is a terrible, terrible thing, and she hates it. It’s doing her no good, and she feels really bad about it. Carl, the detective constable that she’s usually paired with, is her best friend. We, Shaun Dooley and I, decided that they were beat bobbies together. They’ve been best friends for a long time and they’ve shared each other’s personal lives and professional lives. I think the rapid response constables like Jo, and I think they respect her.
TKT: It’s quite a bold thing Cuffs, especially because it’s on in an 8pm timeslot…
AA: I hope ‘Cuffs’ will appeal to all demographics. It’s going to be on before the watershed, so I’m hoping it’ll appeal to the younger generation. We’ve got some brilliant younger actors in it. We’ve got Ashley and a new, young boy called Jacob, who’s fantastic. Alex Carter and Ellie Matsuura. We’ve got this wonderful woman called Bhavna. There’s a nice mix of slightly older actors and quite young ones, so I’m hoping it will be a family thing.
TKT: It’s another crime drama for you. Did you enjoy it?
AA: This job has been so much fun. I remember reading the script when I went up for it, and just thinking, I really want to do this. I love it. I then found out Ashley Walters was doing it; I love him. I think he’s a fantastic actor. Then I found out my mate Shaun was doing it, and my other mate Paul Ready was doing it. I’m a big fan of Ellie, and I love Alex. Peter Sullivan’s in it as well. It’s just this great group of people, and the crew are fantastic. It’s one of those lovely, serendipitous jobs that has just come together. It’s tough and its hard work, but it’s joyous. We’re like a family. We all WhatsApp each other and have chats and go out. We went out on the pier the other day. We’ve had a really nice time. I love this job and I hope I get to do it again very soon.
Cuffs: Wednesday 28th October, 8pm, BBC1