Indian Summers: ‘My character is a bigot and a racist,’ says Julie Walters

TV Times goes on location in Malaysia where Julie Walters, 65, tell us how the heat will only increase for the second series of Indian Summers

Your character Cynthia Coffin runs The Royal Simla Club, an outpost of British civilisation, it is business as usual in the new series?
Fortunately, the library escaped when a pack of Macaque monkeys broke in and trashed  the club a couple of weeks ago. I have my own little outhouse there where Cynthia’s wonderful costumes and wigs are kept. It saves me having to trundle up and down the hill every time there’s a costume change.  I’m far too old for all that.

There’s a particular intense encounter between Cynthia and Lord Hawthorne, played by James Fleet this series, isn’t there?
Poor James had only just arrived when we had to film it.

It’s fair to say, you’ve  shocked audiences with your performance as Cynthia….
She’s a bigot, and a racist and for reasons which become more apparent in this series, she’s determined that Ralph will be the next Viceroy of India, by fair means of foul. And the problem is she doesn’t really know the difference.

Are your fans more wary about approaching you since you took on this role?
They’ll pluck up courage and say something like, “Oh.. She’s such a bitch, isn’t she!?”’

Who’s who and what’s coming up in Indian Summers….

Cynthia Coffin

(Julie Walters)

Still presiding over the Royal Simla Club and chief puppeteer of Ralph’s future. Her meddling and general naughtiness goes up several notches in series two.

Ralph Whelan
(Henry Lloyd Hughes)

Now one half of a power couple, he’s married to Madelaine, but still in cahoots with Cynthia. His ambition; to be the next Viceroy of India.

Madelaine Chambers

(Olivia Grant)

Mother to two-year-old Vivienne, is more interested in her marriage to Ralph this time around, despite his roving eye.

Alice Havistock

(Jemima West)

A ‘widow’ in series one, Alice and Charlie are now living the lie that he is a new husband. Though still in love with Aafrin, she must toe the line or risk losing her son.

Charlie Havistock

(Blake Ritson)

Outwardly a jaunty, ‘banjolele’ playing husband who adores his wife but, inside, driven by a desire to reclaim his honour –and his son- after being deserted by Alice in series one.

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