Rebecca Front on Humans, her obsession with the Kardashians and why she’ll never go on I’m a Celeb

The Thick Of It and Lewis star has learnt how to be a robot... but would she learn how to dance?

In Humans, you play Vera, a scary nurse “synth”. Did you have to learn how to act like a robot?
Yes, it was all done with enormous attention to detail. They sent all the synths off to this “synth school” with a movement expert. It was enormous fun – like going back to drama school. We had to relearn everything, starting from the basics. From the breathing, the blinking, where you hang your arms – it was the most fascinating things to get to grips with.


What was the hardest part about playing a scary robotic human?
Being quite a daunting presence, but conveying that without all of the things that you would normally use to show that you were getting cross. I had to just do it physically – without raising my eyebrows, or huffing and puffing. That was my challenge. When my husband saw it he said he couldn’t tell the difference!

Is Humans all TV nonsense or should we be afraid?
It isn’t tosh at all. It’s immensely credible. I’m talking to you now on a phone that I can control with my voice. I find it terrifying that we’ve already let these things into our homes; it’s just that – for the moment – they’re in a different shape. 

What can’t you miss on TV at the moment?
My husband and I are hooked on The Affair (Sky Atlantic). Dominic West is brilliant. We saw Ruth Wilson at the Donmar a couple of years ago and she was breathtaking, so we thought with those two together we had to watch. It’s entirely credible and absolutely gripping.

Rebecca Front as Vera in Humans

What is your guilty pleasure?
Keeping Up with the Kardashians. My daughter and all her friends watch it and I started watching it with her – anything we can do together is a good thing. I am now completely hooked and I know all of them inside out. I am very, very sad.

Who controls the remote control in your house?
I hate to be stereotypical, but it’s the blokes. I’m not that bothered, it’s just worked out that way.

What do you think of the BBC’s decision to ban all-male panel shows?
Obviously it would be better if it had happened organically, but it’s taking quite a long time to right direction.

What makes you reach for the “off ” switch?
Anything with violence in it. I can’t deal with visual violence since I’ve had children. There have been a few things that I’ve started to watch and had to walk away from. My kids will warn me off stuff.

How much would it take to get you into the I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! jungle?
There is not a fee on this planet large enough. I just wouldn’t do it. Strictly doesn’t appeal either, but never say never. I bumped into Rory Bremner when he was doing Strictly, and he was evangelical about it, telling me I had to do it if I was asked. 


Humans is on Channel 4 tonight (Sunday 5th July) at 9.00pm