Sherlock: Lara Pulver and the show’s female stars confess all

From landlady Mrs Hudson and lab mouse Molly Hooper to dominatrix Irene Adler, meet the women who love Sherlock Holmes


Speaking about Benedict Cumberbatch’s good looks, Martin Freeman’s sense of humour and how it really feels to bare all for the cameras, actresses Lara Pulver, Louise Brealey and Una Stubbs gather to give us an insight into what it’s like to be a Baker Street babe. 


Lara Pulver, who plays Irene Adler, tells Radio Times that she performed that scene in A Scandal in Belgravia genuinely naked: “They give you a self-adhesive bra that sticks to you… [Director] Paul McGuigan very sweetly said to me, ‘OK, the choice is we spend hours shooting it to avoid seeing straps or we take all that off and shoot it quickly.’

“I thought I couldn’t put myself through being there all day, practically naked anyway, so I might as well get completely naked and get it done in a few hours.”

Louise Brealey, who plays lab technician Molly Hooper, muses on Sherlock’s appeal to women: “I remember saying to Benedict when we were doing the pilot three years ago, ‘You do realise you’re not going to be able to walk down the street if this becomes a series?’ He couldn’t imagine himself as a sex symbol.

“He was like, ‘Well. Maybe among the emo girls.’ He just couldn’t see it.”  

“There’s nothing more unattractive than a man who thinks he is attractive,” adds Una Stubbs, who plays Mrs Hudson. “I think the fact that Benedict doesn’t think he’s attractive is so attractive to women.”  

And when asked if there are any funny stories from the set, Una comments: “None clean enough to tell! [Martin tries to] shock me all the time. I remember seeing Paul McGuigan doubled over laughing, thinking, ‘But she’s a granny!’ Like I shouldn’t be allowed to hear these things.” 


Find out more in the new issue of Radio Times magazine