As Home Fires gears up to an explosive finale on Sunday we’re on tenterhooks as to how Pat and Bob Simms’ abusive relationship is going to pan out. Will Bob reveal he knows about Pat’s affair with Marek? Will Pat run off with her new lover? It’s all to play for as the second series draws to a close!
What’s on TV talked to Mark Bazeley on the set of Home Fires about evil Bob Simms’ intentions for his warped marriage…
Things look grim for Pat – she doesn’t realise Bob knows about her affair with Czech Captain Marek Novotny…
“Weirdly Bob’s done nothing since he saw Pat and Marek (Alexandre Willaume) together in episode four. He’s acting like nothing’s happened, so you can’t help but think ‘this is really odd.’”
We’re convinced Bob’s going to do something terrible. What outcomes to you anticipate?
“You don’t know whether Bob’s got some really odd plan. Is he going to kill her? Or will he tell Pat (Claire Rushbrook) he’s sorry he’s been so bad and can change? There are so many shades to this marriage and they’re all going to play out…”
How do you prepare for a role like this?
“It’s a really strange headspace to be in. I can’t go straight into it, and need time to prepare. I read a lot of Wilfred Owen poetry and much about the First World War because Bob had been in it when he was about 18-years-old. He’s a man suffering trauma pre-therapy. He’s very complex and it’s a very complex marriage.”
Do you think he’s beyond redemption?
“It’s very much an abusive, controlling relationship. He’s been diminishing Pat’s sense of herself but also, strangely, he loves her. Claire and I always based it on the fact it was a loving marriage that’s become warped and toxic over time. Personally I think you cross the line the minute you strike someone and there’s probably no way back. Nowadays we’d probably go to the police but then the sexual politics were different and there was a stigma about a bad marriage.”
What reaction have you had to the role of Bob?
“I’ve not played anyone like this before and it’s certainly touched a nerve. It’s been quite strange on the street – people see me and sometimes say things like ‘you bastard’. I don’t know if they’re serious… I don’t stick around! But I was forewarned by the production team to be careful after last year’s response on Twitter.”
The Home Fires finale is this Sunday at 9pm on ITV