So, Luke – tell us a bit about your character DS Anthony Boyce in From Darkness.
Boyce is the new cop, who has been fast-tracked through Oxbridge. He’s thrust into a big case, and sort of flounders at times, and finds himself in quite comic situations.
And he’s getting married, and isn’t sure whether it’s the right decision, and ultimately has to decide between the job and his marriage.
Is he a posh character?
I think there’s an element of…up north, people might consider him posh.
Because of the Oxbridge connection?
Yeah, and he dresses very well. I think maybe he has that put on him a bit by people, and that’s why he finds it a bit alienating in the office.
What attracted you to playing Boyce in the first place?
It’s a brilliantly written series – Katie Baxendale has written something that is quite unique, all the characters are incredibly layered. We think they’re one thing, and then…they don’t just fall into boxes. They’re all quite hard to pin down.
Also, Boyce is a slightly older character than I’ve played recently, and there was an attraction in playing someone who was a little further on in life, if that makes sense.
What is your character’s relationship like with Anne-Marie Duff’s character Claire Church?
Well, I think he knows there’s a seedy history with Claire and John (Johnny Harris, with Newberry below). And he uses Claire to try to gather information about John, and how he can work better with John. Because he doesn’t think John likes him. And he’s desperate to impress everyone, and make a good impression – and do his job well! He really wants to do his job well.
I think he’s a reminder of them at that age, starting out, and kind of represents the purity of starting the job. They’re flawed, and they’ve been broken by the job over the years. And Boyce is at the beginning of his career, and while he’s seen difficult things he’s not been scarred yet. He’s sort of untouched in that way.
Did you do any extra research for the role?
I’m from a family of police – a police dynasty of seven. So I sort of have an inside-ish knowledge. And we had some great advisors on set.
How did your family of police officers react when they found out you were going to be playing one on the telly?
I don’t know, I mean they’re not policemen any more. I loosely based my character on my dad – or my romantic imagination of what it was like for him starting out.
Does he know that you based it on him?
Hmm…I think so, I don’t know actually. I’m not sure.
What do you think sets From Darkness apart from other police dramas on TV?
The way that we see violence in it, actually, is very different. We don’t graphically see any violence against women. We see it through Claire’s eyes, and it kind of makes it harder to see. We get a bigger response from it because we’re not just bombarded with loads of graphic images.
Do you think that’s a problem – too much explicit violence on TV at the moment?
Um, I don’t know about TV – I think it’s everywhere really. If you go to the cinema or play video games it’s kind of a given. I think it’s interesting that it’s actually now a creative angle to exclude that from something.
Finally, what would you say to somebody to get them to tune into From Darkness?
I’d say it’s an absorbing, dark, exciting drama. I’ve only seen one episode, but I’m excited to see more!
From Darkness begins on ITV tonight (Sunday 4th October) at 9.00pm