Jodie Whittaker / Credit: Sky 1

She's a household name following her role in Broadchurch and now Sky 1's The Smoke, and we got the chance to chat to the star about her most recent project, and just what we should expect from her going forward.

For those who may not yet have seen The Smoke, how best would you describe the show?

I think it's a fantastic exploration of action and drama and comedy all kind of wrapped into one. It covers all taste in television really, particularly in the first episode. You've got that opening first 15 minute sequence which essentially sets it up - this is about a world which involves firefighters - but then by the end of the episode it's flipped on its head because you realise actually, what we're dealing iwth is the lead character suffering a life-changing injury and how that affects every single person, and every aspect of his life.

So really it's like a disfunctional family, like the White Watch firefighting team are a family and the head of that family which is Kev is broken - emotionally he's broken and physically he's broken - and the dad of that family is struggling to keep his head above water and how that affects everyone involved - obviously my character is his girlfriend.

So yeah I love that, I love that it's equally character driven as it is action driven.

In the first scene the crew are trying to save a family including a baby from a fire, it's quite an emotional scene, did you find the filming of the series an emotional one?

Yeah - if you said that about Broadchurch I'd be like 'absolutely 100%', but with this there's a mix of everything. There's a lot of scenes where being upset has nothing to do with the scene so for me it was more of a - my character in it goes through much more different emotions in this. It's not focused around my grief or something. It's certainly about grief because it's about the end of a certain part of your relationship - you can't have sex anymore, that's gone and how does that affect you - and certainly the breakdown of their relationship, that affects them but as a lot of people cope with them, it's coped in a kind of dismissive or a banter way and that's what was interesting for me, was that I felt I knew these people, and every character has a secret, and that's true to life. You don't always know everything about everyone, even the closest people to you, and I think that's what makes it an interesting thing and keeps people interested, to find out what's gonna happen.

What would you say it is about Trish that drew you to taking on her role?

Well, I was really excited by the fact that she was pretty flawed. She was an exploration of a character rather than a female character. Her sex was kind of irrelevant in the writing of her which was really interesting to me, because sometimes you play 'the wife' or ;the mother', or 'the affair', or 'the bitch', whereas my behaviour in it is - she makes a lot of mistakes but she's treated like a male character would be treated, as someone who we can see they've made that mistake, but we forgive them, if you know what I mean, and I love that about it, and no-one's as they seem.

Ziggy's character is a great exploration of someone who prefers to be at work than they do at home, and a lot of the time that character would be a guy. So it was great for us - this piece is about masculinity. It's about what happens to the hero and the leader in a very masculine environment which is a fire station. There are women who work there but in the majority it is men, and then what happens to that man when his ability to be a man - one part of that is taken away from him.

So that's what the series is about and it was really exciting to know that no other character ticked an obvious box - we weren't playing token people.

As a viewer you grow emotional attachments to these characters, so I imagine that's magnified for you playing a role in the show?

Yeah, I mean you film it over - we did it for five and a half months - you love everyone, and that's what's great about being part of an ensemble. The responsibility is spread over 20 shoulders rather than three. The poster's had you think it's about me, Rhashan (Stone) and Jamie (Bamber), but it isn't it's about the whole team and the whole family. That's wonderful. I think every single character is brilliantly written and wonderfully different. The dialogue and the banter between the characters Rob and Little Al played by David Walmsley and Gerard Kearns is amazing. It's such a great thing to run alongside Taron Egerton's character, the ASBO character. Then obviously, the love triangle between us three.

So, I just think you don't know what you're getting at any point and the first episode tells you that. You think it's one thing then actually you see a man with his genitals burnt off, and you go, 'OK, this is something else then'.

So I imagine the chemistry on-set was really quite good then?

Yeah, brilliant. I mean, them guys were together all the time, like I had it, I'd bob in once every few weeks to do my domestic scenes, but those guys were really tight. They had to trust each other 100% because they were in heightened filming environments that involved stunts, and action, and fire, and working as a team, and that's what's lvoely about acting, is that you're like a football team. You've all got your responsibility, you have to keep the ball going and you've all got the same aim, so that's what's brilliant about it, there's no individual journey - you do it all together.

If the show does return for a second series is it something you'll be onboard with?

Yeah, we're all attached to a second season so we're all keeping our fingers crossed! (laughs)

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline that you can share some details about?

Well, until we know about that I don't know what I'm doing post-this.

But, I was in a film called Black Sea. I have just completed a film called Get Santa and it is just amazing.

So yeah I've had a really exciting time. I'm lucky, I get to do all three.

So no news yet on Broadchurch?

No, I know! Look at this! I've got no gossip for you, I'm rubbish! (laughs)

Hard-hitting drama The Smoke, from the creators of Broadchurch, makes its DVD bow today - 14 April 2014 - courtesy of RLJ Entertainment’s Acorn Media, following its run on Sky One.


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