Meet the cast of Channel 5 thriller The Deceived

The dark Channel 5 drama about gaslighting stars Normal People's Paul Mescal alongside Emmett J. Scanlan and Emily Reid.

The Deceived cast

Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee and her co-writer/husband Tobias Beer have penned a dark new thriller: Channel 5’s The Deceived, starring Emmett J Scanlan, Emily Reid and Normal People’s Paul Mescal.

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The series promises to explore the dangers of “gaslighting, of infiltrating another’s mind and how that can affect a person,” and is set in Cambridge and in Donegal, in northwest Ireland.

Emily Reid leads the cast as a young Cambridge student who falls for her married lecturer, before travelling to Donegal to find him. Read on for everything you need to know about the cast and character in The Deceived.

Emily Reid plays Ophelia Marsh

The Deceived
Channel 5

Who is Ophelia Marsh? A Cambridge undergraduate reading English, who embarks on an affair with her married lecturer, Michael Callaghan. Her mother has recently died and she never knew her father, so she pins all her hopes of a family onto Michael.

Speaking about the issues of gaslighting that the show raises, Emily Reid said, “As an actor, I was lucky to have the disconnect, but shooting this project did make me think how terrifying and incredibly abusive it must be to have this happen to you.

“We have had a big movement over the past few years looking at the way women, throughout society and over the years, have been abused in relationships but often that is looked at from a physical or sexual point of view and it is really important to also look at it from a psychological and emotional point of view.”

Where have I seen Emily Reid before? Reid recently appeared in ITV’s period drama Belgravia, in which she starred as Sophia Trenchard, whose love marriage forms the basis of the series.

She’s also starred in Curfew, and played Roxanna Dubiki on the ITV’s Dawn French comedy drama The Trouble with Maggie Cole.

Catherine Walker plays Roisin Mulvery

The Deceived
Channel 5

Who is Roisin Mulvery? An award-winning fiction writer, she’s married to Michael – and her success is a potential source of conflict for the pair.

Catherine Walker said of her character, “She is a bit of a star. However, she is having to deal with a man – her husband – who is not so celebrated and that has been really interesting to explore. It doesn’t sit comfortably for her to be the celebrated writer in this relationship and she has to take care of this man who is not dealing with that incredibly well.”

Where have I seen Catherine Walker before? The Irish actress has starred in Strike Back, Critical, Versailles, Rig 45 (as Andrea), Shetland (as Alice Brooks), and Finding Joy (as Audrey). She also played Kayleigh in the film Leap Year.

Emmett J Scanlan plays Dr Michael Callaghan

The Deceived

Who is Dr Michael Callaghan? A charismatic Cambridge lecturer who embarks on an affair with his student, Ophelia. He also has a “peculiarly close relationship” with his wife’s mother, Mary, stepping into the role of the son she never had.

He’s never enjoyed success in fiction writing before, but that seems about to change with the imminent publishing of his new book, The House of Knockdara.

Where have I seen Emmett J. Scanlan before? The actor recently played Jack O’Doherty in Gangs of London. He’s also starred in Butterfly, Peaky Blinders (as Billy Grade), Women on the Verge (as Kieran) and Treadstone.

Paul Mescal plays Sean McKeogh

The Deceived
Channel 5

Who is Sean McKeogh? A volunteer firefighter and skilled builder living in Donegal, he oversees renovations at Michael and Roisin’s house in Knockdara.

Paul Mescal said of his character, “Sean is a simple man, in a good sense. He is a man directly invested in the community, he has a very strong and good moral compass and he has his eye on Ophelia. He is attracted to her but also there is a slight concern he has for her. Most of my scenes are with Emily (Reid), who is phenomenal in this and she is a wonderful person and was very kind and generous with her time.”

Where have I seen Paul Mescal before? You’ll of course recognise Paul Mescal from his leading role (and first on-screen part) as Connell in BBC Three’s adaptation of Normal People, the Sally Rooney bestseller.

Eleanor Methven plays Mary Mulvery

The Deceived
Channel 5

Who is Mary Mulvery? Roisin’s mother, who is obsessive, erratic, and even unhinged.

Where have I seen Eleanor Methven before? She played Mrs. Lefroy in the film Becoming Jane, and has starred in Derry Girls (as Aunt Bride), the recent Little Women mini-series (as Hannah), and Come Home.

Ian McElhinney plays Hugh Callaghan

The Deceived
Channel 5

Who is Hugh Callaghan? Michael’s father, who is struggling with the beginnings of dementia.

Where have I seen Ian McElhinney before? The Northern Irish actor is best known for his big-screen role as General Dodonna in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; as Val-El in Krypton; and as Ser Barristan Selmy in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. He also plays Granda Joe in Derry Girls.

Dempsey Bovell plays Matthew

The Deceived
Channel 5

Who is Matthew? A choirmaster at Cambridge and Michaell’s best friend and confidante.

Where have I seen Dempsy Bovell before? The actor has starred in Krypton (as Van-Zod), Vera (as Jojo Walters), and had small parts in Patrick Melrose and Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Shelley Conn plays Ruth

The Deceived
Channel 5

Who is Ruth? A teacher at Cambridge and Roisin’s longtime friend, she is fiercely protective – “if anything were to happen to her friend, Ruth would stop at nothing to get revenge”.

Where have I seen Shelley Conn before? She is known for films including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Nina’s Heavenly Delights (as Nina) and How Do You Know. She recently played DI Vanessa Harmon in Liar, and starred in both The Rook and Deep State.

Louisa Harland plays Cloda O’Donnell

The Deceived
Channel 5

Who is Cloda O’Donnell? A local woman in Donegal who is the local psychic medium in Knockdara.

Where have I seen Louise Harland before? She’s best known for playing the eccentric Orla McCool in Derry Girls. She’s also starred in Love/Hate (as Kayleigh), Finding Joy, and Handy.

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The Deceived will air from Monday August 3rd at 9pm on Channel 5. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide.