Fans gathering to watch Sherlock being filmed makes playing John Watson much harder, says Martin Freeman.
“It’s like trying to act at a premiere,” he said of the phenomenon known as #Setlock, in which crowds hang out at location shoots of the BBC1 show.
“When we’re [filming at] our stand-in for Baker Street, it is hard to do your job. And I don’t love it,” Freeman said in an interview with The Independent. “I don’t love it.”
Filming for the Sherlock 2015 special is under way, and co-creator Mark Gatiss has already said that fans on set has forced producers to change the way certain scenes are shot.
“When we were filming Baker Street exteriors last time, the fact you’ve got about 300 people behind crash barriers is… interesting,” Gatiss told RadioTimes.com. “[So] we have factored in trying to minimise large scenes outside.”
Freeman explained that trying to perform in that situation was sometimes nigh-on impossible: “I wasn’t in The Beatles. But I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “There’s such a heightened sense of excitement, so every time we come out there’s applauding – and it’s like, ‘No, can you n–’ Or, if we do anything – ‘Cut!’ – applause… It’s like, ‘No, this isn’t a gig…'”
His co-star Gatiss has agrees that such scenes are a problem for actors. “First of all it gives a lot away, which is a shame, but also just in terms of concentration it’s hard when you feel like you’re being observed by more than just the crew,” he said.
Freeman added that while the whole cast appreciated the fact that the show is held in such affection, fans appearing during filming made all their jobs harder.
“Of course you want to be gracious with it,” he said. “And I obviously very much appreciate, as do we all, the fact that people love it. But also, yeah, it doesn’t make you doing your job any easier.”