Sheridan Smith says 'The Teacher' makes for "incredibly uncomfortable viewing".
The 40-year-old actress portrays the titular role of teacher Jenna Garve in Channel 5's four-part psychological thriller about a schoolteacher accused of sleeping with a student, but she has no memory of the alleged incident as she was under the influence of alcohol at the time.
And Sheridan, who has recently won wide praise for her starring role in another hard-hitting drama, ITV's 'No Return', has admitted it will be a tough watch as viewers will struggle to decide whether they like her character or not.
Sheridan told RadioTimes.com of her character: "I think she is a bit naïve. She's on a mission to save working-class kids because that’s where her mum comes from, and she really hates the fact that privileged kids can get further in life.
"She tries to be a mate to her students, which is her undoing in the end. There are teacher-student boundaries and she has maybe let that slip.
"And then of course her life outside of the classroom is chaotic. I really hope people don't know what to think about her. There were scenes where I was thinking, ‘This is so terrible, you'd be fired immediately'."
She added: "Her actions didn't sit right with me, but I enjoyed playing them as well. It will make incredibly uncomfortable viewing and you won’t know if you like her or not."
Ackley Bridge's Samuel Bottomley plays the role of the 15-year-old pupil, Kyle.
The star-studded cast also includes Kelvin Fletcher, Cecilia Noble and Sharon Rooney.
'The Teacher' begins on Channel 5 at 9pm on Monday, 31 January, and continues at the same time over four nights.
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