Joséphine Jobert reveals why she couldn't say no to a return to Saint Marie...
Joséphine Jobert returns to Death In Paradise for the drama’s upcoming 10th series, after initially leaving the show during series eight. Her character, DS Florence Cassell, departed Saint Marie heartbroken after her fiancé Patrice Campbell was murdered.
However, Florence is back in her former job alongside her old friends in the new series – and with previous cast members Ben Miller (DI Richard Poole) and Sara Martins (DS Camille Bordey) also due to reappear, the 10th anniversary is set to be a treat for long-term fans.
We chatted to Joséphine Jobert, 35, about why a return was too tempting to turn down…
Welcome back to Death In Paradise! How does it feel to be back for Death in Paradise season 10?
Joséphine Jobert: “It feels great! Death In Paradise is like a family – the crew, the island, the series. I never thought I would be back. When I left the series, I was like, ‘okay, I’ve done my work, it’s fine’. When they called me back especially for this anniversary, I hesitated a little bit – but not for long! It feels really good, I’m really happy.”
It’s great to see Florence back and looking happier, but she’s obviously still working through a lot of trauma. How was that to play?
JJ: “I remember, in series eight, when the producer called to tell me how they were planning to make me leave, I was so shocked but so happy because it was very dramatic. For an actor, it’s always so much fun to do those kinds of scenes. This year, I was like, we know she’s lost her fiancé, I knew we would not talk about it too much, but I was excited to see how she would have recovered. Florence is like a friend to me, so I was really happy to have a chance to see how she would have moved on in her life.”
And how is she getting on?
JJ: “It’s not easy – I’ve never experienced it, but I imagine how hard it is. When you’ve lost someone, you never really recover, you have to carry this pain with you. But she’s a strong woman, she loves her work, and I think that’s the way for her to move on – to go back to her normal life. And she has very, very good colleagues – even the new inspector, Neville. He is bizarre, but he has a little something else, and I think she will help him in some way, and that will help her too, to move on and be happier.”
What can you tell us about some of the cases in this series?
JJ: “There is one case on an archaeological site, which is very interesting – what they’ve done with the set, you believe it’s a real archaeological site! We have another one on a boat, which is always pretty cool, but I have seasickness! I am lucky because when we filmed, the boat was still in the harbour, but the guest cast had to go out to sea to film all day long. I was so grateful I didn’t have to go as well! And we have an episode in two parts – those ones are my favourites, because the suspense goes on for two episodes…”
How was getting to work with Ben Miller in this series?
JJ: “Ben Miller is a legend! When you think of Death In Paradise, you think of Ben Miller first because he started the show. I was really excited, and he’s the nicest guy. He didn’t stay very long on set in Guadeloupe, but we had dinner together, so I would talk with him a little bit. He told me about his experience of the first series, which was very interesting. It’s not that they weren’t prepared, but filming on an island can bring you some surprises!”
Death In Paradise is always a show that brightens up our January – do you think we’ll need that more than ever this year?
JJ: “Yeah, for sure. I keep posting things on Instagram, pretty much every day, just to keep people posted, and all the messages I have are just like, ‘we can’t wait for the next series!’. I think you’re right, every single year Death In Paradise is like a rendez-vous, people wait for this show. But because of Covid, because of everything that happened in 2020, people need to see beautiful things more than ever, so I know they are going to like series 10! I really hope that it’s going to bring us a bit of joy – to spend a good moment with your friends and family watching TV and just thinking of something else for an hour!”
Death In Paradise returns to BBC1 at 9pm on Thursday 7 January.