Anne-Marie Duff: a role in Homeland would be fantastic

Former Shameless star praises the power of television and reveals which theatrical character she found hard to shake off

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Favourite TV role?

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People talk to me most about Shameless because that is the most commercial part I have played, but I have been lucky in getting to play lots of interesting women. Choosing one really is like singling out a favourite child.

But being involved in a television show like Shameless is very exhilarating. Television is the most powerful medium because it is in everyone’s house and is incredibly egalitarian in that way. It unites us all and you feel involved in the world when you are in a good television drama and everyone wants to talk to you about it.

Favourite role on stage?

I had an astonishing time playing St Joan at The National – the commitment was exhausting but it was an amazing experience. It was hard to shake her off after the three-month run. She had a big impact on my psyche.

TV role you covet?

I would jump at the chance to be part of a big television drama. Something like Homeland would be fantastic but I don’t like to tempt fate by saying them out loud – I am insanely superstitious about revealing things like that. I don’t want to give it away.

What are the challenges of going from TV to the stage?

They each have their own challenges but there is an immediacy to the fear of theatre because you have to come out and expose yourself…emotionally, not physically, of course!

But the increasing demands of filming for television are also scary because I hate to come off set and feel like I didn’t do something quite as well as I should have done and that it is a moment lost.

Anne-Marie Duff (previously twice Olivier-nominated) recently played Alma Rattenbury in Rattigan’s Cause Célèbre at the Old Vic.

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See pictures and interviews with Britain’s leading actors – including Joseph Mawle, Russell Tovey, Eve Myles, Celia Imrie, Mackenzie Crook, Anne-Marie Duff, Jessica Raine, Kara Tointon, Tom Chambers, Ben Miller and many more – in Radio Times magazine’s fantastic Olivier Awards special! Also in the new issue: Paul Weller, Jools Holland, Pamela Stephenson, Mary Beard, Clare Balding, Two Greedy Italians and Dara O Briain. In shops now.