Written by Bill Gallagher, British drama television series Jamestown saw incredible reviews and a response from the public upon the debut of its first season a little earlier this year. Now hitting Blu-ray and DVD, we have a brilliant, exclusive interview to share with readers from one of the shows leads, Naomi Battrick. Read on to discover what she has to say…

Naomi Battrick stars as Jocelyn in Jamestown

Naomi Battrick stars as Jocelyn in Jamestown

What sort of woman is your character in Jamestown, Jocelyn?

I’m totally in love with Jocelyn. She comes from a different class from the other two girls. She’s incredibly intelligent and political. She immediately makes things happen in Jamestown. She’s a true believer in equality for women. Jocelyn, Alice and Verity are three fierce, amazing women. I love them!

What has brought her to Jamestown?

She desperately needs to leave England in a hurry because of a deep, dark secret; which of course, all the best characters have! This dark secret follows Jocelyn around throughout the series. It comes to a beautiful climax when all the women join in together. It’s a wonderful girl-power scene!

What relationship does she have with Samuel?

She has several beautiful scenes with Samuel. Jocelyn sees him as a true, solid-gold, moral human being. She loves that because her previous experience of men has been horrific. She wants him to do more, but it’s a completely different landscape in Jamestown. Politically, there are many dangers. Jocelyn is very driven, but that means she has to try to manipulate other people.

What were conditions like for the women in Jamestown?

It must have been so hard. A lot of women at the time perished. They were living on the edge. When the crop failed, that was you done. I was pleased that it was a tough life to portray. It was not easy filming, but it was great because it was real. Things did happen like we show them. When you have that honesty is when you get really good drama.

How do you think you would have found it living in Jamestown?

Jocelyn thinks it’s disgusting when she is first shown around Jamestown. Animals are being gutted and there is poo everything. But I would have loved it. I would have been more of an Alice-type person. I love growing things. My mum has an allotment and I go down there and help her all the time.

Why do you think this era and these circumstances are such a good backdrop for drama?

It’s a very good arena for drama because there is inherent conflict in it. The women brought that with them. They didn’t just make things pretty with flowers and nice dresses. They made a real contribution, but they also caused a lot of friction.

Did you do much research about women’s position in Jamestown?

No, hardly anything is recorded from the women’s point of view. It’s all about the guys. So, this is a great opportunity to see things from the female perspective.

Do you think the women of Jamestown are good role models?

Absolutely. They are fabulous role models for young women. Their storylines will resonate with audiences because they’re true. We’re playing real people and real stuff is happening to them. All three women are very strong and powerful people. Verity is feisty, and Alice is forceful. And Jocelyn really should be Governor – she’d be brilliant at that. She believes in equality and she truly understands politics. She does manipulate her husband and use her sexuality, but needs must! It’s that kind of time.

Is there a good relationship between the three central female characters?

Definitely. Alice and Jocelyn have a conversation on the ship where Jocelyn confesses her deepest, darkest secret. That forms an instant and genuine bond between them. Jocelyn says to Alice, ‘I may be of higher status, but if you ever need me, I’m here.’

How did you find it working on the Jamestown set?

It was such an honour and a joy to work on. It’s so intricate and so beautiful. The details are incredible. When you walk onto the set, it’s all there. It just gives you something you can’t explain. The ground feels different, and the smell is different – especially when the pigs are there! When we are not filming, we go for a walk by the lake. This is our life. It’s glorious, and very peaceful.

What was it like filming scenes of the women crossing the Atlantic?

It was terrifying. We went to Cadiz and filmed there in a real boat three miles out to sea. We only did it for a few days, but it was very tough. And to think that they did it for three months, with people dying all around them and no food, is just terrifying. Jocelyn is very lucky. She has a home in Jamestown and knows who she is marrying when she gets there. A lot of the women were simply going into the dangerous unknown.

Have you enjoyed filming in Budapest?

Yes, we’re very lucky to be here. It is such a great city. Our hotel is like student accommodation. We go out onto our balconies and cry out to each other.

Why do you think that no one has ever made a drama about Jamestown before?

I’ve absolutely no idea. But I’m very glad they’re doing it now because I’m in it!

How have you found wearing these authentic costumes?

I stay in the same costume all the time, and I’ve now been dressed like this for many months. I can’t lie, I’ll be very glad when I no longer have to wear corsets and am allowed to wear jeans and T-shirts!

Have you become good friends with your co-stars Sophie Rundle and Niamh Walsh?

Yes. We’re very close. We’re now friends for life. We’re all going on holiday together to decompress at the end of the shoot. At weekends we go to spas together. We have even gone to a ‘sparty’, which is a party at a spa. You know when something is so grim that it’s brilliant? That is a ‘sparty’! there is just a sea of people in there. Things happen in there that really shouldn’t. it’s like a dodgy nightclub, but in a pool!

Jamestown season 1 is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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