Freddie Fox has said that his performance as real-life White House Farm murderer Jeremy Bamber will be open to interpretation, leaving it up to audiences to decide whether or not Bamber is guilty.
Fox stars in ITV’s dramatisation of the 1985 killings, which saw five members of the same family (including twin six-year-old boys) murdered in an Essex farmhouse. The police initially believed that Sheila Caffell had shot her adoptive parents and children before turning the gun on herself, but suspicion later fell on her brother Jeremy, who had first alerted the police.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Fox said that “there is always an element of mystery and enigmatic nature to what Jeremy would have been thinking, what he was thinking, certainly if you believe he is innocent”.
He continued: “The Jeremy Bamber that I play is, I think, at least initially, charming and [there’s] certainly something that draws you towards him, something you can’t quite place. At lot of description of him at the time, which I found very interesting, [is] of him bringing an atmosphere into every room that he was in… something that didn’t make you feel quite at ease.
“We discussed a lot how he should receive the information of the deaths of his family, and we wanted to play it as truthfully as someone who had that happen to them would have received it. Leaving the audience to establish, or decide, whether that was someone faking it or not.”
14 months after the initial crime, Sheila was eventually vindicated, and Bamber found guilty of the five murders and incarcerated; but to this day he maintains his innocence and has made repeated attempts to have his case reviewed.
Fox revealed that he initially toyed with the idea of reaching out to the real-life Bamber as part of his own research for the part, but ultimately decided against it.
“It was probably not the right decision for me [to contact Bamber] because the Jeremy Bamber I’m playing is a combination of the Jeremy Bamber that I’ve created as an actor, in my imagination, and factual, assiduous factual research. And he’s a different man now, it’s 35 years on, and he maintains his innocence.”
The six-part drama White House Farm, also starring Stephen Graham, Cressida Bonas and Mark Addy, airs on ITV at 9pm on Wednesdays