Home Fires star Daniel Ryan talks about butcher Bryn Brindsley’s family heartbreak and working with Richard Attenborough’s grandson, Will…
Are the Brindsley’s still in shock at the surprise return of their son, David, who was presumed dead?
“What Bryn and Miriam are feeling is so complicated. It felt like a miracle when they came out of the air raid shelter last week and then out of this mess of trucks going by and a house burning, David appeared. For all intents and purposes David looks like nothing has changed and he’s perfectly well. He’s got two arms, two legs, and he’s walking towards them.”
Sadly that’s not the case. Last week his mother Miriam (Claire Price) briefly glimpsed horrific injuries on his back. How are they coping as a family?
“It’s hard to know what goes on behind closed doors. How the Brindsleys present themselves on a working day is completely different to when they take their aprons off and go home. They really struggle.”
Will Attenborough as David Brindsley (ITV)
What do you think is the secret to Home Fires’ success?
“The surprising thing about Home Fires are the aspects of war you haven’t thought about. It really gets under the skin of the period’s enormously high stakes of life and death. We’ve seen the re-enactment of every battle, but to see these personal battles, it’s really, really touching.”
What scenes have touched you most personally?
“I remember when Claire and me played the scene where the telegram came saying David was missing in action. I’ve never experienced it as an actor before… but it was very easy. There wasn’t a time I could do it and not cry. I didn’t have to summon anything because it was so moving to play. I’ve never had that before. It’s a naturally powerful thing to picture yourself in that situation.”
How has it been working with Claire Price and Will Attenborough, who play Miriam and David?
“I’m very lucky with my cohorts! It all plays very easily. Claire has a clever balance of fragility and strength. Watching her work sometimes is so affecting.
“And Will is a very talented actor. He was doing a play called Photograph 51 with Nicole Kidman in the West End when we were filming. So he was working [on Home Fires] first thing on Monday morning and then getting on the train to go back to Nicole Kidman!”
Home Fires is currently on ITV on Sundays at 9pm