Jamie told What’s on TV that reading about Kev’s disfiguring burns injury and how it affected his mind and relationship with girlfriend Trish (Broadchurch star Jodie Whittaker) led him into signing up for The Smoke.
“It was what sealed the deal – I’m not joking,” explains Jamie, who played Lee ‘Apollo’ Adama in hit US sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica and also starred in ITV series Law & Order: UK. “I was in bed with my wife, Kerry, in Los Angeles and reading the script. When I came to the scene of Kev revealing his burns, it was something I’d never come across before for a male lead in a TV show.
“I wanted to know more about this hero firefighter who’d been totally emasculated. He now spends every minute of his life being brutally aware that he’s no longer a man, but of course he’s doing the most manly job in the world – everyone wants a firefighter calendar don’t they? Kev won’t even commit to his relationship with Trish any more, and he’s bringing her down with what he’s going through, too.
“As actors we relish playing characters going through something most people will never go through. I did some research and really the only injuries that happen like this are to servicemen, particularly in the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, so I went online and looked at some documentaries to immerse myself in the reality of it. To faithfully portray a situation like that is what made me sign for The Smoke.”
Jamie revealed the secrets behind Kev’s prosthetic injuries.
“The make-up artist and I had a look through books with pictures of men with similar injuries and picked out examples that worked for us,” he said. “There were several false starts – mostly with cycling shorts – but basically it was a case of lose all modesty in a closed room, then tuck and shave and have the latex prosthetic fitted. There was no dignity!”
The Smoke continues every Thursday at 9pm, on Sky1