Maxine Peake: ‘Julie Walters would be fabulous as Grace in The Village’

Series creator Peter Moffat wants The Village to become a long-running drama and some cast members have already been thinking about who they’d like to play their characters in the future.

Last year’s first series covered village life during the First World War, the new six-part installment brings the action into the 1920s and Moffat has hinted that the Second World War, post-war austerity and even the miners’ strikes of the 1970s could be covered in the future.

“I wouldn’t mind being aged-up or maybe they’ll bring in different people as the show goes on,” says Maxine Peake, who plays Grace Middleton, mother to young Bert, The Village’s principle character.

“But if they did get another actress in to play Grace my first choice would be Julie Walters because I think she’d be fabulous… Or maybe not actually! If they got someone really good everyone would just say ‘Oh she’s much better than Maxine!’ Maybe I should stay!”

The year is 1923 and Bert is 21 as the second series arrives on our screens this month but, while some aspects of modern life such as cars and electricity have arrived in the village, life is still difficult on the Middleton farm.

Life is no bed of roses for Maxine either and she reveals that although this year The Village was filmed in spring and summer rather than winter, it was still pretty cold on the farm.

“Last year we filmed in winter,” she explains. “The sun was out a bit more this year, but it was still cold. The grass on the farm was soaking and it would just go straight through those shoes so you’d spend the whole day with freezing feet!

“I didn’t get punched in the face as much as last year though,” says Maxine. “Last year I had to fall over in the mud quite a lot! We did it so many times I thought I might need a tetanus shot, but the crew said I’d be fine. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac!”

The Village series two premieres on BBC1 on Sunday, August 10

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