Best known for playing Tanya Branning in EastEnders, Jo Joyner stars alongside The Thick of It’s Chris Addison in Sky1’s new comedy drama Trying Again, about a couple trying to reunite after one has an affair.
Here, she talks about going from crying to comedy…
Trying Again centres on Matt and Meg, a couple that gets back together after one of them has an affair. So, is it worth them Trying Again?
“Matt and Meg split up when Meg had a fling with her boss at the doctor’s surgery where she worked. They’ve moved back in together, they’re going on dates to try and get back on track – they’ve clearly not given up on the relationship, which is why they’re back fighting for it.”
It’s interesting that it’s Meg, the woman, who’s had the affair…
“Yes and I’m keen to see how people take to it. I think it’s important that viewers warm to Meg, who’s essentially a nice person who made a mistake. Of course she’s sorry about what she did, but she’s not a soppy girl, she’s a do-er, who knows there’s a problem and that they just have to get on and fix it!”
But Matt and Meg’s trust issues soon resurface when Meg is forced to take her old job back at the doctors’ surgery – and doesn’t tell Matt!
“Yes, Matt and Meg are both struggling to move forward and it doesn’t help that Meg’s boss, Iain (Charles Edwards, Downton Abbey), is back in their lives. As the guilty party, Meg needs to fight harder to prove herself.’
How does Matt compare to Iain?
“Matt has flaws and isn’t really in control of his life, unlike Iain, who’s got a career and all this money and who drives a nice car. But Meg’s comfort zone is being sloppy and messy with Matt – I don’t think she would be happy being a doctor’s wife, she’d have to learn to cook for a start!”
Is it difficult to make such a painful subject funny?
“The most painful things in life are often the funniest aren’t they – things certainly get complicated for Matt and Meg and they use humour to get through their misfortune. There’s such a nice balance in this where I’m sure viewers will be laughing one minute and saying: ‘Oh crikey!’ the next.”
You cried a lot as Tanya in EastEnders – do you cry much as Meg in Trying Again?
“I don’t think I cry at all in this. Doing comedy on the spot can be challenging – but I had years of training in how to do tears!”
Trying Again starts on Thursday, April 24 at 9pm on Sky1.