Prime Suspect 1973 star Stefanie Martini: why I won’t be doing a Helen Mirren impression

Martini plays the young Jane Tennison but says copying the woman who first brought her to life "just won't work"

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She may be stepping into Helen Mirren’s shoes when she takes on the role of a young Jane Tennison but Prime Suspect 1973 star Stefanie Martini says she won’t be following in her footsteps too closely.

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“My biggest fear was doing an impression of Helen Mirren,” Martini reveals in an interview in this week’s edition of Radio Times.

“When I got the part I watched four series in the two weeks before filming – and then I thought, ‘Turn it off! Let it go!’

“I know where Jane Tennison ends up, but I’m not playing that Jane Tennison. The one I’m playing has no idea where she’s going to end up, so if I copy Helen Mirren’s performance, it just won’t work.”

Martini, who has previously starred in Endeavour and Doctor Thorne, will be joined by New Tricks actor Alun Armstrong, Whitechapel and The Riot Club star Sam Reid and The Inbetweeners and Dad’s Army actor Blake Harrison in the cast of the six-part ITV drama.

Based on Lynda la Plante’s novel Tennison, it tells the story of Jane’s early days on the force. La Plante was initially involved with the prequel, but has since stepped away from the project.

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This article was originally published in March 2017