Maxine's Jemma Carlton has revealed that she took inspiration from David Tennant in Des when preparing to play Maxine Carr – the girlfriend of convicted murderer Ian Huntley.

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Carlton makes her TV debut in the Channel 5 true crime drama, which explores the 2002 Soham murders case and the relationship between Huntley and his then-girlfriend Carr.

On how she prepared to play Carr, who was sentenced to over three years in prison for conspiring to pervert the course of justice, Carlton said that she went through "a really interesting process".

"I'm from the West Midlands, Maxine is from the East Midlands, so getting those details right was so important. She moves very differently to me, so getting into the right posture of being more delicate in the way I held myself was key."

San Shella as Walker with Jemma Carlton as Maxine Carr in Maxine.
San Shella as Walker with Jemma Carlton as Maxine Carr in Maxine. Channel 5

She went on to say that the "biggest moment of transformation came in costume" and that "the detail of everything was really important", with the actress wearing an Italia '90 t-shirt which was printed in newspapers at the time.

Carlton added that she was "drawn to" the performances of David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen in Des and Maxine Peake as Myra Hindley in See No Evil when portraying Carr.

"Maxine is one of those roles that when it lands in your inbox, you don’t ignore it. It's a kind of a once in a lifetime role," she said. "I knew that there would be difficulties that came with it, but I got a lot of reassurance from Channel 5 and Laura [Wray, director] that the project was going to be handled with a lot of care."

She continued: "Over the years, I’ve been drawn to performances like David Tennant in Des [which followed the story of serial killer Dennis Nilsen] and Maxine Peake [who played child killer Myra Hindley], and so I felt Maxine was a mountain to climb as a part, but wanted to see how I can push myself in a complex real life role."

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Tennant portrayed serial killer Dennis Nilsen in ITV's 2021 drama Des, with the actor picking up a National Television Award for Best Drama Performance last year.

Meanwhile, Maxine Peake starred as murderer Myra Hindley in ITV's 2006 drama See No Evil, which was awarded the BAFTA for Best Drama Serial the following year.

Carlton stars opposite Line of Duty's Scott Reid, who plays murderer Ian Huntley, in the upcoming drama, while the likes of Steve Edge, Natalie Britton, David Ryan and Shane Nestor round out the rest of the Maxine cast.

Maxine airs on Monday 10th October at 9pm on Channel 5. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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