DI Ray star teases "real step up" for season 2 of ITV drama
Steve Oram was speaking to RadioTimes.com about his new film Mind-Set.
Steve Oram has teased that the second season of ITV police procedural DI Ray is "a real step up" compared to the first run.
The actor plays DS Clive Bottomley in the drama, which debuted in 2022 and starred Parminder Nagra as the titular Detective Inspector.
And during an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com about his new film Mind-Set, he revealed that filming had recently wrapped on the follow-up season.
"We finished at the end of July," he said. "And it's kind of building on what we did before. I think it's really… it's very gripping, and it's got a sense of tension. I've only seen small bits of it, but I think it's a real step up from what it was before."
Speaking about the series more generally, he said: "I think it's a very interesting world and you've got a brilliant lead in Parminder Nagra, a powerful and compelling actor. And a South Asian lead in a cop drama – that's pretty brilliant, isn't it?"
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He added: "And it's in Birmingham as well, which is good to see Brum on screen – because it looks really cool!"
It was revealed in May that Line of Duty and Breeders star Patrick Baladi and Our House's Dinita Gohil would be joining the cast, along with Witney White (Father Brown), Michael Socha (Chernobyl), Syreeta Kumar (Apple Tree Yard) and Lauren Drummond (Holby City).
The official synopsis for the new six-part season teases that DI Ray will investigate the murder of a high-profile criminal, but that sensitive ethnic issues relating to the case ignite racial tensions.
This causes a personal conflict for Rachita, both as a British Asian woman and as a police officer, and she must fight to prevent a turf war from erupting on the streets of Birmingham.
Oram also spoke at length about new independent film Mind-Set, which is the directorial feature debut of Mikey Murray and which he describes as "a warm, engaging and bittersweet comedy-drama that will devastate you in certain ways."
The main part of Paul – an agoraphobic screenwriter who spends his time watching tennis and listening to his vintage record collection – was written especially for Oram by Murray, and the actor said that the "passion project" nature of the film was a big part of its appeal, explaining that "all of my favourite projects have had that element to them".
The film follows the character's rather dysfunctional marriage to office worker and former actor Lucy (Eilis Cahill), who begins an affair with a new work colleague while Paul is stuck inside trying to finish his screenplay.
Despite their relationship clearly being on the rocks, however, Paul and Lucy still have a great deal of affection for one another.
"I think they would do anything for each other, but they're very irritated by each other at the same time," Oram said. "It just reminds me of many, many long-term relationships that you see – I think it's very accurate. but underneath it all there's this... tenderness, I think.
"And they have a lot in common – they're both damaged and sort of not very well in slightly different ways. But there's that bond between them – they're not functional, they're both introverted and slightly strange people."
He added that the film manages to blend comedy and tragedy so well because of a "lack of cynicism" on the part of Murray's script and direction.
"It's just liking your characters and not sneering at them," he said. "They're fun, they're just ordinary people. And I think every rounded character that you create has humour, otherwise it's not rounded.
"So, I think that's the key to it. And being just being relaxed with it and not being afraid to fail. I think everything has to be played truthfully, and comedy is probably the one you have to play most truthfully out of everything. Otherwise, it doesn't work."
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