Aidan Turner says meeting with Parkinson’s patient for ITV’s The Suspect was “invaluable”
"I feel like everything we talked about was vital, crucial to me finding Joe's character."
ITV's The Suspect will bring Michael Robotham's best-selling novel of the same name to screens, telling the story of Doctor Joe O’Loughlin as played here by Aidan Turner.
Joe is a clinical psychologist who meets with a detective in order to aid them with a potential murder enquiry. However, questions abound as to whether he knows more about this case than he's letting on, and whether he might have something to hide.
In the series Joe has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and at a recent Q&A attended by RadioTimes.com and other press, Turner spoke about his research around the illness for the role.
He said: "I met up with a great guy, his name is Drew Hallam. He's 39 now, the same age as me. And he was diagnosed with Parkinson's when he was 35, which is very young to be diagnosed with that illness.
"He's an amazing guy, we met up a few times. We talked endlessly about the details of how the medication makes him feel, what was it like in the early days? What were the first few weeks like? Do you remember them? Because I was talking to him about how reckless Joe might be, he said 'Absolutely. I didn't know what to do with myself.'"
Turner explained that Hallam found it most difficult upon diagnosis to be told that he couldn't hold his children.
Turner continued: "That's hard, I can't imagine what that would feel like. And he's a really accomplished musician, he’s an incredible guitarist, amazing, he showed me videos, off the charts. He can't do any of that anymore.
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"So he was really interesting to talk to, because I felt like there were these parallels with Joe. I feel like everything we talked about was vital, crucial to me finding Joe's character with the Parkinson’s. So that was invaluable, moreso than any of the books I read, which were also helpful."
The Suspect is made up of five episodes and also stars Shaun Parkes, Sian Clifford, Camilla Beeput, Adam James, Anjli Mohindra and Bobby Schofield.
Additional reporting by Morgan Jeffery.
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