Live webchat with Sherlock’s Louise Brealey

Molly Hooper herself joined us for an epic webchat about the series, her character, philosophy, feminism, religion, music and ice-cream...


What was in the Christmas present Molly gave Sherlock? (A Mankini) How did the detective manage The Fall? (A bouncy castle) Sherlock star Louise Brealey – aka lab geek Molly Hooper – revealed all this and much, much more in an epic 90-minute webchat…


Live webchat with Sherlock’s Louise Brealey

12:19 Paul Jones: Hi all, welcome to today’s webchat with the lovely Louise Brealey, also known as Sherlock’s Molly Hooper. I’ll be your host for the next hour or so.

12:20 Paul Jones: And I can exclusively reveal that Louise will be chatting to you from her bed, wearing mismatched pyjamas, which I think you’ll agree is just excellent.

12:25 Louise Brealey: I’m not ill. I’m hungover.

12:25 Louise Brealey: Oh. We haven’t started yet.

12:26 Paul Jones: How’s that for professionalism ladies and gentlemen – actually clocking in EARLY?

12:28 Louise Brealey: Are you sitting comfortably?

12:29 Comment From Séverine: Hello Louise! Hello Paul! f for some (obscure) reason Sherlock and Molly ended up dancing, to what song would it be?

12:30 Louise Brealey: That’s easy. Dancing In The Dark, the Blaster remix.

12:30 Paul Jones: What an excellent opening question. I very much hope that sets the tone for what’s to come.

12:30 Louise Brealey: I’m listening to it now.

12:31 Louise Brealey: I think you all should too.

12:31 Comment From Charlotte Giles: What is your favourite line from Molly?

12:31 Louise Brealey: The first ‘Okay’ at the end of my first scene, the scene where we meet Sherlock.

12:31 Comment From Bry: What is the best bit about playing Molly Hooper, on and off screen?

12:32 Louise Brealey: The marriage proposals.

12:32 Comment From Anna: Do you have any pets, or any kind of animal that you’d like to have as a pet?

12:33 Louise Brealey: I have three tomato plants. My mum grew them in her greenhouse.

12:33 Comment From hero: Would Louise be as attracted to Sherlock as Molly is, if you were to meet him…?

12:35 Louise Brealey: Before he spoke, maybe. The coat, the curls.

12:35 Comment From Ailish :): Do you know how Sherlock survived?

12:35 Louise Brealey: Yup.

12:35 Paul Jones: Tease…

12:36 Comment From Claire: Hi Loo, how did the press night for Birthday go last night?

12:37 Louise Brealey: Well, I said all my lines in the right order. And I’m still in bed at twenty to one the next day. Not bad, thanks.

12:37 Comment From lyd: how do you think sherlock survived the fall ?

12:38 Louise Brealey: Bouncy castle.

12:38 Paul Jones: I KNEW it!

12:39 Paul Jones: Here’s a question someone posted yesterday Louise…

12:39 From Jessica Broderick: Hello! What do you think of the first choice of names that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was going to give to Holmes and Watson – Sherrinford Holmes and Ormond Sacker?

12:39 Louise Brealey: I think Sherrinford’s a bit of a mouthful and Ormond Sacker just makes me think of testicles. So the second choices are definitely superior.

12:39 Comment From Guest: When you begin shooting the new season of Sherlock?

12:39 Louise Brealey: January 2013.

12:41 Comment From Claire: Do you think she’s attracted to Sherlock’s intellect, his looks, or both?

12:41 Louise Brealey: Both.

12:41 Comment From Hannah: What’s your favorite scene you’ve filmed in Sherlock so far?

12:42 Louise Brealey: The Christmas scene at 221B because we were all together and I got to have a silver present bow in my hair.

12:44 Comment From Katie: What’s the single most important piece of advice you would give to young women who view you as a role model?

12:46 Louise Brealey: It’s Nora Ephron’s… “Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”

12:49 Paul Jones: For those who don’t know Nora Ephron, she’s the writer of When Harry Met Sally, amongst many other things, who passed away earlier this week.

12:50 Louise Brealey: If I could give advice to my eighteen-year-old self if would be: Don’t spend your three years at university tying a jumper around your waist because you think you’ve got a fat bottom.

12:50 Paul Jones: Two equally important pieces of worldly wisdom there, I think we can all agree.

12:51 Louise Brealey:  Sorry I’m a bit slow reading these questions.

12:51 Paul Jones: Not at all. There are a LOT of questions for Louise to navigate her way through (thanks all!).

12:51 Comment From Fulya: Hello Louise, all hugs and kisses from Turkey. We love you so much 🙂 Are we going to see more Molly in series 3?

12:51 Louise Brealey: Hope so.

12:51 Comment From Lucy: I know you’re a journalistic writer but have you ever/ would you ever consider writing fiction?

12:52 Louise Brealey: I’m trying to pluck up the courage.

12:52 Comment From Gerti (Radio Magic City 6: Hi Louise! We’re all great fans of the Sherlock Series over here – and of course of your Molly. Any plans of coming to Berlin in the near future?

12:52 Louise Brealey: Yes. I’m coming for the first time for a holiday in August. See you round the Strasses.

12:53 Comment From Kay: Robert Downey Jr or Jude Law?

12:53 Louise Brealey: RDJ.

12:54 Comment From Neli: Hi!!! It’s so great to talk to you!! I was wondering… what was you thinking about when you had to look at Sherlock (Cumberbatch) as you really loved him? or just how did you do it?

12:55 Louise Brealey: I was thinking about hair products.

12:55 Comment From Charlotte: What do you like the most about your character Molly?

12:55 Louise Brealey: Her heart. And her rubber gloves.

12:56 Comment From Cassie: Hello! I was wondering what you would think of Molly going dark side? As in working for Moriarty! Personally I think it would be an amazing twist for her character, one she deserves.

12:56 Louise Brealey: Evil Molly? Now there’s a thought.

12:56 Comment From MeganM: Who is your favorite character to have played?

12:57 Louise Brealey: Sonya in Uncle Vanya. She’s basically Molly in a corset.

12:57 Comment From Andy Simpson: After you championed The Heartbreaks, what other music would you recommend, as I proper trust your judgement now? 😉

12:58 Paul Jones: “Molly in a corset” currently trending on Twitter in the UK…

12:59 Louise Brealey: They’re wonderful, aren’t they? [ Too much amazing music to think of now but I tweet stuff all the time.

12:59 Paul Jones: (If for some insane reason you’re not already following Louise on Twitter… @LouiseBrealey)

1:00 Louise Brealey: Sorry. Distracted by Polly. Thank you for all these questions, by the way. You’re ever so nice.

1:01 Comment From Renee: What (if anything) have you been offered to spill the reichenbach secret?

1:01 Louise Brealey: Nothing! What’ve you got?

1:01 Comment From Maddy: Hello! Was Molly a completely original character for Sherlock, or was she based on anyone from the ACD stories? Thank you!

1:02 Louise Brealey: She’s a Steven Moffat/Mark Gatiss original.

1:02 Comment From Kathie: What do you think about ‘Sherlolly’ fanfiction?

1:02 Louise Brealey: I actively encourage it.

1:02 Comment From George: You’re proud to describe yourself as a feminist. Do you worry about the lack of good roles for women on mainstream (peak viewing) TV?

1:04 Louise Brealey: I think it gets particularly bad for women over thirty. It’s so boring and retrograde. As if we’re not interested in women and their stories…

1:04 Comment From Bruce: Can you give us any advice on how to act like Molly? (Planning on being Molly for Halloween)

1:04 Louise Brealey: Don’t forget to pin your heart to your sleeve.

1:04 Comment From Marina: Which are your favourite Series a part from Sherlock?

1:05 Louise Brealey: Twin Peaks.

1:05 Comment From Sarah: Have you ever tried Photography? You’re obviously a very creative person, you could be great at it 😀

1:07 Louise Brealey: I used to take a lot of 35mm but I still haven’t got a digital camera! Not even on my phone, which is from 2002. It’s an ice-breaker.

1:07 Comment From Sarah Williamson: Have you ever received a strange gift from a fan??

1:07 Louise Brealey: Not strange no. But. A packet of quavers. A small bag of coffee.

1:08 Comment From Alicia: What do you think about the Sherlock Fan Orchestra? We’re all massive fans of you and the show! 🙂

1:08 Louise Brealey: You rock.

1:10 Louise Brealey: I don’t think going to bed at 4 a.m. before this was a very good idea.

1:10 Comment From Marly: Do people recognise you when you’re out and about? Do they call you Molly?

1:10 Louise Brealey: They often think they know me. But I do that all the time with actors on the tube.

1:11 Comment From Mary: Hello from distant Russia.) What is the reason why you’ve been taken to play Molly? Similar tempers maybe, or passion for dissecting people?

1:11 Louise Brealey: We’re both handy with a bone-saw.

1:11 Comment From Abbie :3: What do you think about John Watson being played by a female in the American version of Sherlock?

1:11 Louise Brealey: I think it’s nonsense.

1:12 Comment From Laurie: Vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream or another flavor altogether?

1:12 Louise Brealey: Pistachio.

1:13 Comment From Abbie :3: What are you religious views (if you don’t mind me asking)?

1:13 Louise Brealey: Atheist who likes churches.

1:13 Comment From Eliza: If you had a time machine where would you go?

1:13 Louise Brealey: The Civil War. I’d be a Roundhead.

1:14 Comment From Anne: Would you like to play some action scenes?

1:14 Louise Brealey: I’d like to be a ninja. The closest I’ve got is the part I’m playing in Birthday (at the Royal Court Theatre) is called Natasha Inge. NInge. See?

1:15 Comment From Harper: did una stubbs give any good advice?

1:15 Louise Brealey: Yes. “Happiness is a choice.”

1:15 Comment From Ronja: Your favourite book?

1:16 Louise Brealey: East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Moominvalley in November, Tove Jansson.

1:16 Comment From Charlotte: Some actors/actresses don’t like watching themselves on Tv. Do you? If so, Did you cry whilst watching Reichenbach for the first time? I did!

1:16 Louise Brealey: 1) I hate it. 2) Yes.

1:17 Comment From Agnese: I’ll be in London in August. I’m deepy in love with the city. Any suggestions for me? (places to go, plays to see, anything!) Thanks! Hugs from Italy xx

1:17 Louise Brealey: I’m still on stage in August if you fancy a bit of dark comedy about birth?

1:17 Comment From Kim: Would Molly be on Team Duckie or Team Blaine from Pretty in Pink?

1:17 Louise Brealey: TEAM DUCKIE.

1:17 Comment From Xavier M: If you could have any role in the world, on stage, film or TV what would it be?

1:20 Louise Brealey: I want to do some Shakespeare. And more Chekov. I always wanted to play Jane Eyre. I remember reading it as a teenager and being completely overwhelmed by it. But there’ve been too many adaptations recently so I’ll be too long in the tooth next time.

1:20 Comment From Sarah: what do you do for a living?

1:20 Louise Brealey: I do a bit of acting a bit of writing a bit of producing and a bit of documentary research.

1:21 Comment From Laura: Do you like football? What is your football team?

1:21 Louise Brealey: Yes. Arsenal.

1:21 Paul Jones: YES!

1:21 Paul Jones: You have to love this girl.

1:21 Comment From Melissa: Are you aware of your massive fanbase on Tumblr??

1:21 Louise Brealey: I am now. x

1:21 Paul Jones: Get tickets for Louise’s play Birthday (I believe there are one or two other people in it but we’re very much calling it Louise’s play) here:

1:21 Comment From Liz: What do you do when you aren’t writing or filming?

1:22 Louise Brealey: At home? Practice guitar (I’m very bad), faff about on twitter, listen to records.

1:23 Comment From Rachel Fox: What’s your favourite movie ever?

1:23 Louise Brealey: I know all the words to It’s A Wonderful Life.

1:23 Comment From Thais: Can you firstly tell us about your childhood, and then when was the first time that you knew that acting was for you? 🙂

1:25 Louise Brealey: Like every other actor in the world, I was in a school play. I was eight. I auditioned for the Wicked Witch but was cast as Snow White. When Mrs McCarg asked me in the playground if I wanted to play her I said, “Who’s playing Prince Charming?”

1:25 Paul Jones: Horribly, we have just five minutes left with Louise before we call time, so get your questions in NOW…

1:25 Comment From Manon: Do you have any pet peeves?

1:26 Louise Brealey: Mumford & Sons. Indoor water features. Pink Lego.

1:26 Comment From Bree~: Who is your favourite band to see live?

1:26 Louise Brealey: PULP. And Richard Hawley. And The Heartbreaks.

1:26 Comment From Julia from Russia: Russia loves her so much!!! Is it possible to be answered??? Have you ever wanted to visit Russia?

1:26 Louise Brealey: I’ve been to Nizhny Novgorod.

1:27 Comment From Mary: What’s your favourite thing about Benedict Cumberbatch?

1:27 Louise Brealey: His cupid’s bow.

1:27 Comment From Milli: Do you keep diet? REALLY INTERESTING x

1:28 Louise Brealey: Nope.

1:28 Comment From Reality: Do the pros of being an actress outweigh the cons?

1:28 Louise Brealey: Today, yes.

1:28 Comment From Alishia: Greetings from Australia!! Would you ever consider coming down here?

1:28 Louise Brealey: One of my best friends lives in Brisbane, so yes. One fine day.

1:28 Comment From Tama: Were you at all involved with the tie-in Molly Hooper blog?

1:29 Louise Brealey: No.

1:29 Comment From Janine: Any tips for people who want to start writing?

1:29 Louise Brealey: Start writing.

1:29 Comment From Faith: Do you like Mangoes?

1:29 Louise Brealey: Yes. But I eat them alone.

1:29 Comment From Renata: Hi! What do you think about Moffat being called a misogynist by the portrayal of Irene Adler in Scandal?

1:29 Louise Brealey: I think it’s bullshit.

1:29 Paul Jones: Woah, Louise is on fire racing against the clock here to get in as many questions as possible in the remaining minute we have left!

1:29 Comment From Natalie: How do you like your coffee?

1:30 Louise Brealey: Small. I go crackers on caffeine.

1:30 Comment From Sonia: Do you think youi’re coming in Italy sooner or later?

1:30 Louise Brealey: God I hope so. Rome is my favourite city.

1:30 Comment From Claire: If you could write one scene between Sherlock & Molly, what would you have happen or say between them?

1:30 Louise Brealey: A rather shocking kiss.

1:31 Paul Jones: Sorry people, we have hit the 1:30pm mark and are going to have to wind things up. Louise,as w know was up late last night and needs to catch up on her sleep…

1:31 Comment From Naomi: Favourite Pulp song?

1:31 Louise Brealey: Something changed. Babies.

1:31 Paul Jones: Or we could just keep going – I’m easy, this is the best thing I’ve been able to call “work” for ages…

1:32 Louise Brealey: Let’s keep going for a minute.

1:32 Paul Jones: Totally!

1:32 Comment From Zoey: Where is your favourite place to holiday in the UK?

1:32 Louise Brealey: Oldshoremore. Top Northwest of Scotland. My heart’s land.

1:32 Comment From M: Do you think Molly was happier before she knew Sherlock, or did he add something to her character? Thank you!

1:33 Louise Brealey: There’s a brilliant Steinbeck quote on this. Let me have a look.

1:33 Paul Jones: Steinbeck watches Sherlock?! Cool.

1:34 Paul Jones: Despite her claims that she’s been too slow, Louise has answered at least 97,000 questions, which is a new record.

1:35 Louise Brealey: Steinbeck: “First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.
[Love] can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had…. It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.”

1:35 Louise Brealey: It was a letter to his son.

1:36 Comment From Isabel: Secret talent?

1:37 Louise Brealey: I can make a noise like a dolphin. You heard it here first. (It’s quite annoying). I try – and fail – to work it into every job I do.

1:37 Comment From Isabel: Favorite breakfast?

1:37 Louise Brealey: Ready Brek in the winter. Branflakes in the summer. Rocknroll.

1:37 Comment From Ailish: Do you think Molly was happy when she was with “Jim from IT”?

1:37 Louise Brealey: No. She was pining.

1:37 Comment From Kate: Are you going to watch the Euros Finale tomorrow?

1:38 Louise Brealey: Damn straight.

1:38 Comment From Krista: Are you aware of the Sherlock flash mobs, for example the Vatican Cameos in Finland and the dance in Italy?

1:38 Louise Brealey: I’m not. I’ll look ’em up.

1:38 Comment From Charlotte Giles: Do you like Wales? I live in Wales. Rydw i’n hoffi Sherlock

1:39 Louise Brealey:  Rwy’n caru Cymru.

1:39 Comment From Bel: What is your biggest phobia?

1:39 Louise Brealey: I don’t much like balloons.

1:39 Comment From Maria: What do you think about Lestrade/Molly?

1:40 Louise Brealey: Bring it on.

1:40 Comment From ron: have you watched Maurice?

1:40 Louise Brealey: *coughs* Yes.

1:40 Comment From Annie: What is the best thing about acting?

1:41 Louise Brealey: The people.

1:42 Comment From christine: Celebrity crush?

1:42 Louise Brealey: Plan B.

1:42 Comment From Fiona: What is the best thing you have discovered on Twitter?

1:43 Louise Brealey: That Edwyn Collins from Orange Juice was playing in a room of twenty people.

1:43 Comment From Mac: Will the dolphin noise make its way into Sherlock?

1:43 Louise Brealey: I’ll do my best.

1:43 Paul Jones: Perhaps during a love scene with Benedict…?

1:43 Comment From Emma: Ever been to Scandinavia?

1:44 Louise Brealey: I’ve been to Moominvalley in Tampere, Finland.

1:44 Comment From Violet: Thoughts on Balotelli?

1:44 Louise Brealey: A god amongst men.

1:44 Comment From Abbie :3: What do you think Molly and ‘Jim from IT’ talked about when they were on dates?

1:44 Louise Brealey: Cadavers.

1:44 Comment From Denny: Favourite cocktail?

1:44 Louise Brealey: The cuban one with dark rum and coke. Oh god I’ve lost my mind.

1:45 Paul Jones: She’s a webchatting MACHINE!

1:45 Comment From Rachel Fox: My little dog Woody is a huge fan and told me to tell you hi from her. X

1:45 Louise Brealey: Hi back, Woody.

1:45 Comment From abbykate: Hobnobs or custard creams??

1:45 Louise Brealey: Digestives.

1:45 Comment From Jess H: What’s the worst thing about acting?

1:46 Louise Brealey: The waiting. Being judged and found wanting.

1:46 Comment From Melissa: Do you know about the yummy Molly Hooper tea blends a fan made on Adagio?

1:46 Louise Brealey: Ha. No.

1:46 Comment From Laura A: Have you thought about playing the trombone?

1:46 Louise Brealey: Not recently.

1:46 Comment From Bree: Comedy roles or serious ones?

1:46 Louise Brealey: Both.

1:46 Comment From Terri: How many marchmallows can you fit in your mouth?

1:47 Louise Brealey: 20.

1:47 Comment From Simon: What are your thoughts on video games?

1:47 Louise Brealey: I like killing dinosaurs in arcades. I scream.

1:47 Comment From Abbie :3: Worst ever audition?

1:47 Louise Brealey: Too many to list.

1:48 Comment From Sarah: How much of you is in Molly and how much of Molly creeps into you?

1:48 Louise Brealey: She’s infectious.

1:48 Comment From Sannie: What was the worst dream you’ve ever had?

1:48 Louise Brealey: Sleep paralysis. Look it up. It’s not pretty..

1:49 Comment From Zsofi: are you a cat person or a dog person?

1:49 Louise Brealey: Woof.
1:49 Comment From Emma: My nana is celebrating her 103 birthday. She just sent me an e-mail that if she croaks before the 3rd series of Sherlock airs I’m to bring a portable CD player to her burial plot. Oh…and She loves Molly…Nana is showin’ her age.

1:49 Louise Brealey: Heheh.

1:49 Paul Jones: I have notified the Guinness Book of Records and they now have a representative observing the chat – they think Louise has a shot at two records here: longest ever chat and most questions answered in an hour during a webchat. Go Louise!

1:49 Comment From Claire: This stumped Moffat & Gatiss when it was put to them, but what do you think Molly gave to Sherlock as a Christmas present?

1:50 Louise Brealey: A BORAT MANKINI.

1:50 Comment From Ericka Jane: Advice for those starting out or who want to start acting?

1:51 Louise Brealey: Don’t let them make your heart grow cold. AND. Have another thing you can do to fall back on.

1:51 Paul Jones: Yes, I will get on to Photoshopping Benedict Cumberbatch into a Borat mankini as soon as we’re finished here…

1:52 Comment From Emma: How would Molly handle a Zombie apocalypse?

1:52 Louise Brealey: Calmly.

1:52 Comment From Arron: are you aware you’re a big hit with the gay community?

1:52 Louise Brealey: Excellent.

1:52 Comment From oaktreeonahill: Salty caramel vs. peanut butter brownies- which would you choose?

1:53 Louise Brealey: Salted caramel, no contest.

1:53 Paul Jones: Right on.

1:53 Comment From Natasha (SUPERWOLFz): What’s your favourite type of bird?

1:53 Louise Brealey: Blue tit.

1:53 Comment From Kate: Are you a good driver? Do you sing while you drive?

1:54 Louise Brealey: I’m amazing. Ask my dad. Yes I sing.

1:54 Comment From Faith: Can I have your permission to get a tattoo of a half Molly and half motorcycle on my arm?

1:54 Louise Brealey: Good god.

1:54 Paul Jones: Which half?

1:54 Comment From Eden Capuyan: Can you please please say hi to Tumblr….

1:54 Louise Brealey: Hi tumblr.

1:54 Paul Jones: What time are you due on stage today Louise?

1:54 Comment From Sandra: Do you know what Anderson’s first name is? If not what do you guess?

1:54 Louise Brealey: Hans?

1:54 Comment From Mel: Strangest thing a fan has ever said to you??

1:55 Louise Brealey: A nice girl showed me her bra. I think it said “I am” on one cup and “Sherlocked” on the other.

1:56 Comment From JanPattersonRN: Hi from California- Thank you so much for Molly. As a critical care/ICU nurse, I’ve come to love *my* pathologists because in so many ways, they’re our detectives- sorting biopsies to help the living, cause of death when necessary. Bless Molly for being there for Sherlock, and hurray for you for a feminist and a woman with a brilliant sense of humor.

1:56 Louise Brealey: You’re very nice.

1:57 Comment From Bree: Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate?

1:57 Louise Brealey: Very dark.

1:57 Comment From Eden Capuyan: Is the photo where Martin Freeman holding your boobs true?

1:57 Paul Jones: Just say yes.

1:58 Louise Brealey: I’m glad to clear this up. His hand is at least three centimetres away. It was a joke. It was funny. He’s the perfect gentleman.

1:58 Louise Brealey: Too many brilliant questions I haven’t answered. My lap’s getting too hot from an ancient laptop and I need a glass of water. Let’s do this again when Sherlock 3 comes out?

1:59 Paul Jones: You are so on!

1:59 Paul Jones: Well, an incredible insight into the mind of Louise Brealey there, taking in philosophy, feminism, religion, travel advice and ice-cream flavours – there was even some stuff about Sherlock – what more could you ask for?

2:00 Louise Brealey: Good bye. Thank you so much. Remember to pay for music. And buy Funtimes by The Heartbreaks. See you soon. xx

2:00 Paul Jones: Thanks so much Louise, you’ve been an utter star – answering 15 million questions by my last count and doing an extra 30 MINS more than agreed!

2:01 Paul Jones: See you back here for Sherlock 3, Lousie – in the meantime good luck in Birthday!

Remember Brealey fans (there should be a name for them – answers on a tweet to @RadioTImes, please), Louise is currently appearing in Birthday at the Royal Court Theatre in London – go see it now!

2:01 Louise Brealey: Thank you…

2:02 Paul Jones: And for more Sherlock news, features, photos – and the full 110,000 word transcript of this webchat – visit our dedicated Facebook page Sherlock Times:

2:03 Paul Jones: Thanks one more time to Louise, and thanks to everyone for joining us and for all your great questions. Time for a sandwich…


Louise Brealey is currently appearing in Birthday at The Royal Court Theatre