Worried about her daughter, DS Janet Scott’s mind wasn’t on the job when tragedy struck in Scott & Bailey, as Lesley Sharp reveals…
How does the murder case Janet’s working on with Syndicate 9 creep into her home life?
“The main case is about a rather unpleasant fellow who uses the darknet to play out what is essentially a real-life snuff game, inciting people to murder. We then see that reflected in Janet’s home life because the internet comes into her daughter, Taisie’s, bedroom and she ends up running into trouble because of it.”
How does Janet feel when Taisie is arrested for the possession and distribution of indecent images of a minor?
“It’s devastating for Janet. When kids disappear off into their bedrooms with their smartphones and computers, you don’t know what they’re looking at or who they’re talking to and some young people have got no idea what they’re doing when they send messages or upload certain images. She’s going through every parent’s worst nightmare.”
In Wednesday’s episode, it seems Janet blames herself for the situation Taisie’s in. Why is that?
“Well, I think she feels, like a lot of parents would do, that she should have known what her daughter was doing, she should have been there. She starts questioning herself: Has she missed something? Was there a conversation that Taisie needed to have with her that Janet wasn’t available for? It’s just all of those things that parents feel – that if their kids mess up, they should have been there.”
Janet supports daughter Taisie as she’s questioned by police
Taisie probably thought she wasn’t doing anything wrong…
“We’re living in different times now – the sexualisation of young people and the way they’re expected to behave now in a sexual way is something that’s very difficult to control and it’s very difficult to help kids understand that they have to be careful because there’s a sort of recklessness about young adults. They just always think things are never going to happen to them.”
What impact does Taisie’s arrest have on Janet’s work?
“Janet’s feeling conflicted. She’s got to figure out how she can support Taisie while managing to still be a good police officer and whether Taisie being in trouble means she’ll have to make compromises at work.”
Indeed, we know a serious incident occurs at work when Janet becomes preoccupied with Taisie. Does Janet blame herself for what happens?
“Janet’s job isn’t just about walking the streets, knocking on doors and taking people’s statements. It’s often about putting your life on the line and for Janet, in that moment, to be reminded of that is brutal.”
Does Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones) offer support while all this is going on for Janet?
“Yeah, totally. When things like this happen what you need is a colleague that you can trust, that you respect and that you can lean on – Rachel and Janet have that in each other.”
Janet Scott with Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones)
Do you always enjoy reuniting with Suranne on the show?
“Yeah, I love working with Suranne. She’s a really amazing actress, a delightful colleague and we have great fun together – we always joke about how nerdy and geeky we are about learning the lines!”
What have you most enjoy about playing Janet across all five series?
“I’ve enjoyed exploring someone who’s really quite buttoned up and keeps it all together and then every now and again, something pops out. There’s that thing about swans looking very serene on top of the water but underneath their legs are going really fast and I think that definitely applies to Janet. What you see – and what she attempts to be – is not necessarily what’s going on inside, and that’s been great to play.”
Janet’s been through quite a lot hasn’t she?
“Yeah, she has. She’s had a lot on the go… family, husband, boyfriend, children, murder cases, it’s all there!”
If this series is a final farewell for Scott & Bailey, will you miss Janet?
“Yes, I will miss her. As a character, she’s been a good loyal friend and she’s been complicated and very three-dimensional, so sometimes she’s terrific and sometimes she’s not very nice – but that’s what people are like in real life.”
Scott & Bailey continues Wednesdays at 9pm on ITV.