Young Scottish star Mirren Mack talks about her role as teenage surrogate Kaya in gripping BBC1 thriller, The Nest and reveals there will be more big twists in store.... contains spoilers!
Rising Scottish star, Mirren Mack, currently starring in BBC thriller The Nest, was still in drama school when she found out she’d landed the starring role of teenager Kaya, alongside household names Martin Compston (Line of Duty) and Sophie Rundle (Gentleman Jack).
As the five part drama, that’s been keeping the nation gripped on Sunday nights, continues, the shocking truth is now out about Kaya’s child-killer past and Kaya, who’s acting as a surrogate for rich couple Dan (Martin Compston) and Emily (Sophie Rundle), is now 24 weeks pregnant.
But the huge twists keep coming as the drama, written by BAFTA-winning screen-writer, Nicole Taylor, (Three Girls, The C-Word) continues.
We met up with Mirren, 22, during filming on set in Glasgow, to talk about landing the dream role, fake baby bumps and crossing paths with Shirley Henderson who joins in this week’s episode as Kaya’s estranged mum Siobhan….
We talk to Mirren Mack who stars in The Nest on BBC1
How would you describe Kaya?
Mirren Mack: “She’s very street-smart, independent and go-getting. She’s a young woman who knows what she wants and has her own interests at heart but there are a lot of questions surrounding her and her past, and what her real motives are.”
What do you like most about playing her?
MM: “Playing Kaya is a total dream because there is so much depth to her and the story has so many twists and turns. I could never have imagined someone like her, she’s so complex. The more the series continues, the more you discover about her past.”
How has it been working with Martin, Emily and Shirley who plays your estranged mother Siobhan?
MM: “Incredible. The idea was a little daunting but once we got on set and got going it was such an amazing experience. I’ve learnt so much from all of them. I’d seen Martin and Sophie on TV before and Shirley actually went to the Guildhall School of Drama where I did my acting course. She came to give a talk to all the students while I was there.”
Do you remember what words of wisdom she imparted?
MM: “I do because it really stuck with me. She told us how important it was to live life and do things that make you happy rather than worry about the phone ringing and when you’re going to get your next acting job. It made me focus on food, friends and going for walks. If acting becomes an obsession you can lose the joy and it can become quite a poisonous thing.”
What do you think makes The Nest so gripping?
MM: “What I love is it’s really difficult to tell who’s a goodie and who’s a baddie. Even playing Kaya I still can’t figure out who I’m rooting for and who my morals align with because it’s constantly weaving in and out. There are so many big shocks still to come. Everyone is hiding their own secrets and everyone has their own agenda.”
What’s it been like filming in your native Scotland?
MM: “My home is in Stirling so I was going back and forth between Glasgow and there. The familiarity of the accent, knowing where everything is has been really lovely. It would have been a very different experience if I’d been based far away or abroad for my first ever job, I would have found that quite hard. My heart will always be here. I bleed tartan!”
Has it been strange wearing a prosthetic baby bump?
MM: “There was one time that I fell asleep in the trailer with it on and I woke up and got such a fright. I was like, ‘Oh my goodness. What’s going on?’ I’ve actually grown quite attached to it and it’s kept me warm in some of the colder areas we’ve been filming in.”
Have people mistaken it for a real bump?
MM: “People do come up and go ‘Aah, do you mind if I touch it? I’m like ‘Yeah go for it. It’s not me!’ It was my graduation ceremony during filming and I was going to see if I could borrow it for when I went up in my gown to get my degree. I thought it would be funny, ‘Ta-da! Things have changed!’ But I didn’t actually do it. It would have been a bit too much trying to steal the limelight.”
The Nest continues on BBC1, 9pm, Sunday nights
Pictures: (C) Studio Lambert – Photographer: Mark Mainz