Anna Friel talks about her new ITV drama about three women who make questionable decisions as they struggle to keep their heads above water...
The Lake District in Cumbria is known for being one of the most picturesque parts of the UK, with its sprawling hills, vast waterways and sleepy villages making it a popular destination for family holidays. Nothing scandalous could ever happen here… or could it?
In new ITV drama Deep Water, it seems that, behind all the peace and tranquillity, hides a murky world of secrets, lies and deceit.
The six-part series follows the lives of Lisa Kallisto (Marcella’s Anna Friel), Roz Toovey (Little Boy Blue’s Sinead Keenan) and Kate Riverty (Rellik’s Rosalind Eleazar), three women, all struggling to keep their heads above water, whose lives become intertwined after meeting at the school gates.
As we arrive in Coniston, close to Lake Windermere, where the drama is set, we’re greeted by actress Anna and her delightful dog, Maggie May.
Here Anna Friel, 43, reveals all about ITV’s Deep Water…
What can you tell us about your character Lisa?
“Lisa’s got three children and looks after dog kennels, so she spends her days going between school runs and walking people’s dogs. She had dreams of becoming a vet but life took over. She’s grown up in The Lakes and has lived in the same house ever since she was a kid. Lisa doesn’t really have much time for herself and hasn’t had a haircut in about 10 years. Lisa and her husband Joe, who’s a taxi driver, live a quiet life but they’re like passing ships in the night and she’s starting to get a bit bored with life.”
Lisa makes friends at the school gates with Kate (Rosalind), who’s very wealthy. Does Lisa envy her?
“There are few schools in the area, so you’re going to have a mix of people that go to that one school and different types of wealth. What’s interesting is the sense of community because everyone lives in such close proximity but Lisa pretty much likes to keep herself to herself. Kate lives in a huge house with a jetty leading onto the lake, so I’m sure Lisa looks up to her. But what is she really looking up to? This drama explores what’s happening in this beautiful place that all the world comes to visit and reveals what’s REALLY going on behind closed doors…”
In the first episode, Kate invites Lisa and Joe to a dinner party at her house but the evening goes spectacularly wrong for Lisa when she makes a “spontaneous decision”. Can you give us any teasers?
“Mmm… all I can say is a lacy thong is found. Question is: ‘Where did the thong come from?’”
In shows like Marcella, Broken and Butterfly you’re playing women battling against society. Do you ever want to play a character who’s more in control?
“I’d say Lisa is probably the nearest I’ve played to someone who is quite together and happy with her lot. But I think this drama will make the audience ask: ‘What life would you want? Who really IS the most stable?’ If everything is hunky dory and you’ve got the perfect life, it’s hard to relate to the characters and there would be no drama or story to tell. Most people don’t have perfect lives.”
What sets Deep Water apart from other dramas?
“It’s an emotional drama. There’s no terrorism or crimes taking place – it’s a normal, everyday life drama, without someone having committed a murder or doing something terrible. You root for people at different points and in different ways. Hopefully there are enough twists and turns to keep people tuning in.”
Have you been able to enjoy your surroundings while filming in The Lake District?
“When I’m filming something like Marcella, I’ll have a two-hour commute there and back. But, here, I’m a long way from my home in Windsor, so I have to stay but it’s lovely. Later, I’ll get my wellies on and take Maggie May up to the mountains and walk. It’s really accessible and I find it really peaceful. I did a yoga class in the woods, too, which was amazing!”
As Lisa looks after dogs, does Maggie May have a role in this drama?
“No but I did ask whether, as Lisa’s got 20 dogs, could Maggie be one of them because she’s so obedient. It would be nice for her to be next to me and me not have to rely on everyone else to take care of her! Maggie May is a Pomeranian and miniature poodle cross. She isn’t just owned by me – she’s a dog share with one of my best friends. We do a week on, a week off, then swap again. Everyone said it couldn’t be done, but it’s worked out pretty well. She’s two now and I adore her.”
Deep Water starts on Wednesday August 14 at 9pm on ITV.