ITV's new drama Brief Encounters centres on a group of women who become demonstrators for sexy underwear firm Ann Summers. And it seems actress Sophie Rundle had LOTS of fun during filming...
Sophie Rundle has described filming the Ann Summers’ party scenes in new ITV drama, Brief Encounters, as ‘endlessly funny’ and ‘never seedy’.
The Peaky Blinders actress plays Steph, a woman whose life changes dramatically when she starts hosting parties for the sexy underwear firm.
Talking to What’s on TV about her new role, Sophie said: “Steph is this young mother, she’s married, she’s sort of the girl next door and she’s living a life that’s been set out in front of her. When we first meet her there’s the beginning of this feeling that she just wants something slightly more from life but she hasn’t figured out what that is yet or who she might be.”
In next week’s opening episode, it seems Steph might just have found what she’s looking for when she spots an ad in the local paper: ‘Ann Summers Demonstrators required to run parties selling exotic lingerie. Earn £30-£40 for an evening’s work’.
Steph signs up to become a demonstrator – but she gets a bit of a shock when she discovers that, alongside sexy underwear, she’ll be selling… marital aids!
Talking about filming scenes with the products, Sophie said: “When we started shooting, I thought it’s probably going to be funny for five minutes, when we first see them, and then it’ll get old but they’re so silly, especially the early models, so it was endlessly funny.”
But she was quick to add: “At no point is it ever ‘seedy’ or a bit ‘Oh gosh, what’s that?’, it’s always done positively and it’s always fun and about sharing and discovering.”
As Steph begins holding these Ann Summers parties, she bonds with three other women: Nita (Angela Griffin), Pauline (Penelope Wilton) and Dawn (Sharon Rooney).
And, according to Sophie, these relationships are at the heart of Brief Encounters.
“This show is about four unlikely friends; four very different women who are searching for the same things, searching to find out who they are in the world,” she said. “These are ordinary women; they’re not brain surgeons on another planet, fighting crime. Their ordinariness makes them extraordinary and that’s what appealed to me about the show.”
While Brief Encounters is set in 1982, Sophie wasn’t actually born until six years later – but said she would have enjoying growing up in the decade.
She said: “It’s such an interesting decade because there was experimentation everywhere – it was bold and it still is so much of our popular culture. So it was fun playing around with shoulder pads and hair and clothes and all the girly things.
“I think I would’ve enjoyed [living in the decade] for a little while. Maybe the summer of the Eighties I would’ve quite enjoyed and gone full Madonna!”
One thing Sophie does want to do now is attend a REAL Ann Summers party.
“I’ve never been to one and I’m really annoyed that I haven’t – but I’d love to go now, knowing what I know.”
Brief Encounters starts on Monday July 4 at 9pm on ITV.
Watch our full interview with Sophie Rundle, above…