Criminal's Katherine Kelly: I'm a rule breaker, which isn't good for a real-life detective
Criminal, set within the confines of a police interview suite, is back for a second series. We quizzed star Katherine Kelly (40) about it
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE NEW SERIES OF CRIMINAL?
One of the most exciting things about the show is you get to see some of the world's greatest actors playing roles that you probably have never seen them play before. There's a real versatility that you get to show and, to me, they're like plays on screen. For instance, Kit [Harington] – obviously he's one of the most famous actors in the world, right, for playing a particular role. I actually saw him on stage, way before Game Of Thrones, in a play called Posh, by Laura Wade, and he was brilliant, so I know that he can absolutely play that type of role and he brings a lot of what I saw on stage in that play into his character of Alex. I think people will be really excited to see that.
YOU PLAY DETECTIVE NATALIE HOBBS. WHO DO YOU THINK SHE IS OUTSIDE OF THAT BUILDING?
I think Natalie is a way better friend than work colleague. I think she'd be quite tough to work for; she's an absolute perfectionist and very highly motivated, highly driven and obsessed with work. She's still all those things but, with a vodka and tonic in her, she's a bit easier to be around. You'd definitely rather meet Natalie in a pub than in our observation room, that's for sure.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE READING THE NEW SCRIPTS?
It's like reading a novel. Like with a great novel, it just stays with you. We've got no action shots, all we've got are the words, so we have to create the adventure and the thriller through the twists and turns. The obvious thing to think is, ‘Innocent or guilty?' and it's never that; there's far more nuance to it than that. I think the more [episodes] George [Kay, creator] makes, the richer it gets.
HOW DID THE PANDEMIC AFFECT FILMING?
It's a very Covid-friendly show. We have a screen. We don't touch each other. We are at least a metre away from each other at all times. I can't speak for all actors but all my friends who are have said the same [as me], that they can't wait to get back to work. I mean, people are working in terms of this kind of thing and voiceovers, but we love being on set. To use the analogy of footballers, or any sporting professional, you do the training for those moments for the match or the game. We've got a great team and can't wait to get back.
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU'VE LEARNT ABOUT POLICING AND THE LAW FROM DOING THIS SHOW?
George pointed us to a handful [of YouTube videos filmed] in North America of these confessions, which is a camera in the top of the room. They go on for hours and hours and it's just slow and steady and that, for me, in the first series, was a revelation. It was nothing like the idea I had in my head of how police get a confession. We gather the evidence. A confession is not the goal actually, and that surprised me; we need them to talk as much as we can, and that takes a lot of time and patience.
DO YOU THINK YOU'D MAKE A GOOD DETECTIVE YOURSELF?
I suppose they have to follow the rules, as it's the law. But for me, rules were made to be broken. And that's not good if you're a detective, is it?!
:: Season 2 of Criminal will launch on Netflix on Wednesday September 16.