Law & Order: UK actress Freema Agyeman talks acting heroes, her worst job and Doctor Who…
Was it daunting joining another big series after Doctor Who?
“Everyone knows the Law & Order format but it is new for the UK so I feel both excitement and nervousness. With Doctor Who, I didn’t have that fear because it was already successful. It was like a speeding train and I just hopped aboard in the hope it wouldn’t go off the rails.”
How are you enjoying playing a lawyer in Law & Order: UK?
“I love the fact my character Alesha is the eyes of the audience. It’s a real challenge to play her because she is a lot more sober, contained and contemplative than the people I normally play. I caught an old Doctor Who episode the other day and I saw myself running around going, ‘Aargh’ all the time!”
Are the rumours that you’ll be going back to Doctor Who for one of the specials true?
“Well, nothing is confirmed, but I know that I will be associated with Martha for ever. That’s fantastic because I love the character and I still feel part of the Who family. I would always resurrect her when the time is right. I might not do it until my sixties – but if it comes up sooner, it comes up sooner.”
What do you think of the new Time Lord Matt Smith?
“He’s great, isn’t he? He looks the part already with his quirky look and mannerisms. He is clearly a very talented actor, too. He must have been to get through the whole audition process.”
Who are your acting heroes?
“I’ve recently fallen in love with Julie Walters. I watched her in A Short Stay in Switzerland and I’ve never been so moved. I went straight out and bought her autobiography because now I want to know everything about her. I love Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley, too.”
Would you ever like to work in America?
“That would be the ultimate. It would be good if it was a natural progression. A crossover with one of the other Law & Order shows would be perfect.”
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
“Working in a clothes shop in London. It was rubbish and I think I only lasted a day. You got paid a tiny amount and then got commission for items you sold, so anyone who walked through the door had six people jumping on them. It was a really pressured environment.”
Do you have any hidden talents?
“Not really. I was going to say I’m quite good at chess, but I’m not. I’ve just been beaten 10 times by my boyfriend.”
What do you watch on TV? “It won’t make me popular with other actors, but I love reality telly. The X Factor is my most favourite thing in the world. It’s easy to dip in and out of which is good for me because I don’t have much time to watch telly.”