Broadchurch star Olivia Colman has admitted that being a parent made parts of ITV thriller Broadchurch tough to film.

The actress, who plays Detective Ellie Miller in the hit show, has two young sons in real life – and said that the show, which focuses on the murder of an 11-year-old boy in a small seaside town, was an emotional experience as a result.

“I’ve always been the first in the cinema to burst into tears,” the actress told the Mirror. “Since having kids I find things much rawer. Making Broadchurch, I couldn’t stop crying.

“It’s just awful, the idea that your children could go before you. I’d have a scene and they’d say, you’re not crying in this scene, and I’d think, yeah right, good luck with that.”

Olivia – who is nominated for two actress awards at next month’s Baftas, for her roles in Accused and Twenty Twelve – added that she almost did not take the part due to only accepting roles which allow her to remain close to her family in south-east London.

“Slightly stupidly, when I took the job I didn’t realise it would be away from home. It was a shock,” she admitted. “I don’t take jobs away from London because I don’t like being away from the boys. This is the longest I’ve spent away from them ever. By a long way.”

However Olivia added: “They’ve been lovely to me here, they’ve got me home every Friday night and I’ve had a pretty easy run of it. It turns out it’s me that’s bothered by it – I run in and say ‘give me a kiss’ and the kids are doing their own stuff. They’re like, ‘Have you been gone?’ They’ve got their own little lives.”

Meanwhile, the actress refused to offer any clues to the one thing viewers are anxious to know – the identity of Danny Latimer’s killer.

“I’ve signed so many secret documents and I’m so likely to muck it up,” she told the paper. “Please don’t ask me.”

The culprit will be revealed in Monday night’s Broadchurch finale, with bookies recently revealing that Joe Miller, Ellie’s husband, was currently the favourite.

Ellie’s son Tom, Rev Paul Coates – played by former Doctor Who star Arthur Darvill – and the Latimer’s best friend Nige Carter are also high in the betting.

The episode will be screened at 9pm on Monday April 22.