Fiona Button stars in the third and final series of top BBC legal drama THE SPLIT, which is back on our screens tonight. We caught up with her to find out what she could share about the next instalment of the hugely popular TV show and why the topic of divorce is such a huge pull for audiences. 

Fiona Button

Fiona Button

For those who are eager for the next series to begin, what can they expect from The Split 3?

More drama, more conflict and more tears!

The show is hugely addictive, so what is it about the topic of divorce that is so captivating? 

For those who have been through it, which is a large percentage of the population, it’s captivating because you can compare experiences and it’s always cathartic to see other people going through the same experiences as you, especially when they are so difficult. And for others who haven’t experienced it for themselves, I suppose you get to sit on the sofa and think ‘I’m pretty lucky that I haven’t had to’. And we all love drama don’t we? We all love to see other people be miserable. 

Please tell us about your character, what she has gone through so far and what is in store for her this season.

Rose has been on a bit of a journey in terms of her conception. She had a miscarriage last season and came to the realisation that she might not be a mother. She’s a person who has always been a nanny and always looked after children, it was really difficult for her because I don’t think she even considered that as a reality. That is where we are at at the beginning of season three- she is considering adopting and got quite far along in the process with her husband James. 

What drew you to the character of Rose when you initially saw the script?

When you get an audition through, you always get told the character you are going to meet for so when I get asked that question I say I got told I was going to audition for that part. So that is the one I zone in on and concentrate on, so I suppose what you look for is things that excite you about the part, things that you think you could excel at in her story and you look for the similarities and differences. I come from a family of divroce; I was the youngest of two and later on, I now have a younger sibling from a second marriage so those are the things I related to. In terms of the differences, there are many- I liked how seemingly carefree she was, I liked that she was her own person, that she was funny and it’s quite fun to play someone who is a bit self absorbed like that. 

What advice would you give her if you were one of her sisters?

I think I might have told her not to marry James. I think she married her best friend, which is a great way to have longevity in a relationship. But I think there is something that is really niggling at her, so I might have said, really think about it. And I might also say, get a job, try and find a vocation that you really love. But that’s hard and I know that’s really difficult to do, but sisters are harsh! 

Of all the female characters in the show, who do you connect with the most?

Bits of each one. I connect with Nina’s anarchy, I like her rebellious side, I connect with Rose’s levity and I admire Hannah’s capability and mind- Hannah is incredibly clever. 

As it is a show with four incredible women at its heart, can you tell us about the female influences in your own life and how they have shaped you?

I have an older sister and we are very different- she is not in this industry and is an incredibly capable and successful businesswoman. Ever since we were little and our parents broke up, she always looked after me and protected me so I think that shaped me in a really big way because she gave me a feeling of invincibility a little bit. I remember there was a girl who wanted to beat me up and she said, ‘you will have to go through me first’. 

My mum is her own person and a feminist in a big way so it never crossed my mind that things wouldn’t be possible for me because I was a woman. That wasn’t how my mother was, she wasn’t a traditional wife character or subservient, she was incredibly strong and intelligent. 

You work alongside some amazing talent in Nicola Walker, Annabel Scholey and Deborah Findlay so what is the atmosphere like on set and is there a strong bond between all the women behind the camera?

Yes, 100%. We are all great friends, we have a Whatsapp group, it’s called Defoes. We text each other a lot, we see each other often. We all went around to Deb’s for dinner the other day and we will be mates for life I think. 

I found myself thinking about the show long after each episode had finished, so how does the cast and crew go about making the viewer experience linger long after the credits have rolled?

It’s all down to Abi’s (Morgan) writing I think. She has an incredible ability to really pierce your heart. I remember this from the first season during the scene where the sisters all found their letters from their father right through to the scene in the tapas bar with Nathan and Hannah telling the children that they were going to get a divroce. One of her great skills is really understanding matters of the heart and when you see that on screen it does stay with you. 

What is next for you?

I’m not allowed to say, it’s a secret! But I am really excited about the opportunities that are coming up so watch this space!

Fiona Button stars as Rose Defoe in the final season of The Split on BBC One, Monday 4th April at 9pm. All episodes will also be available on BBC iPlayer.

RELATED: The Split Series 3 trailer: How will the much-loved trilogy end when it returns to BBC One in April?

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