Could you start off by telling us about your character, Maya?
Mays runs a children’s charity called The Whitman Foundation which is going from strength to strength.
She is totally focused on it and she loves the fact her company is helping people. She seems to be quite
wealthy and has come from a good background. She’s married to a man called Vince who didn’t have
the same upbringing; he’s a working class self-made businessman who is quite self-absorbed. His
company is currently receiving negative press and when we meet them their relationship is on rocky
ground and the reputation of his company seems to be damaging their marriage.
Do you like creating back stories for your character?
I think that actors always tend to want to create a back-story together. Jason, who plays my husband
Vince, myself and our first director Charles Martin sat down together and talked it over. In fact, I think
Charles had already talked to Jason, so I’m sure we were being gently steered in a certain direction from
the boss man!
And what was your initial reaction after reading the scripts?
I loved them! I felt confidently confused if that makes sense?! Working on Marcella is like watching it as
a viewer. Even though you have inside information you still seem to respond going ‘Oh my goodness,
what just happened’; it’s quite fascinating.
I’ll be watching series two almost the same as I watched series one – with my jaw dropped, probably a
tiny bit of drool and losing sleep because it’s so compelling.
I had always known after watching the first series that I would love the chance to work with Hans
Rosenfeldt, Tony Wood, Nicola Larder and Anna as it’s just an incredible team.
How has it been joining an already established cast?
I hadn’t previously worked with any of the other cast members and everyone has been extremely nice
and very welcoming.
I remember when I was working on Trial and Retribution we were all very aware when new cast
members came into the established working family because we all wanted to make sure they were
welcomed and comfortable. It was exactly the same on Marcella.
The key themes in this series of Marcella are focused on relationships and families. When playing a
relatable character do you draw on any of your own, personal experiences?
Well you’re right, of course, when I’ve played characters such as Cruella there’s definitely not an
opportunity to draw from personal experiences!
With regards to my character in Marcella, of course you don’t know where the series is heading so you
take on the role knowing very little about it. To a degree, I’ve probably drawn on my own life more
than I have done recently for other characters. It’s interesting as Maya is part of the elite set in London
but it goes to show, no matter what you do and who you are, you still have to deal with the trials and
tribulations of daily life and emotions.
Have you had any particularly hard scenes to film so far?
I have been so lucky and managed to get all the glorious locations – the trickiest thing I’ve had to
negotiate is wearing the high heels!
You’re mainly based in LA. Can you tell us what the main differences are working in the US compared
to working in the UK? Apart from the weather obviously!
I’ve actually only filmed a few bits and pieces in Los Angeles itself. Ironically no matter where you live
you never get to actually film there, much like the UK. Most of the filming I’ve done has been in
The main difference I’d say is the hours. When I was playing Cruella, we filmed for 17 hours a day and it
was pretty intense. When you’re filming in the UK the hours are more civilized.
The Canadian crews are very much like the British crews; very funny and chatty, it’s very lovely.
Thinking about this, though, the main difference is the catering. If some of my American colleagues
could see the British custard creams as part of catering they would be absolutely horrified! Me on the
other hand. I was delighted. I was so excited to see a British biscuit. Catering over in LA is more along
the lines of ‘Would you like a green smoothie with some quinoa salad?’
Other than Custard Creams, if you could take anything from home over to LA what would it be.
For sure it would be my friends, family and I would take sausages. Food and people!
And finally, do you have anything in the pipeline following Marcella?
I’ve produced and starred in a short film in Ireland called The Secret Market which I’m so proud of. I’ve
also just appeared in a film called The Lears with Bruce Dern which should be coming out soon.
I’ll be heading back out to the US for pilot season, which is also called ‘the corridors of doom’, so please
if I can get another job back in the UK before then I’ll be given a pass so I don’t have to put myself
through it again!!