Interview with Nicola Walker
Currently treading the boards at the National Theatre in The ‘Curious Incident Of the Dog in the Night-Time,’ Nicola Walker is probably best known for her role as Ruth Evershed in BBC One’s spy drama ‘Spooks’. This Autumn Nicola can be seen in Sally Wainwright‘s ‘Last Tango In Halifax‘ as Gillian the daughter of Alan, played by Sir Derek Jacobi. Read what Nicola had to say about her part in the BBC One drama…
Tell us about Gillian
Gillian lives on her farm with her son and her father. She always wanted a farm but she wasn’t born into it and when her husband died, she was left to run the place on her own. She works part time at the local supermarket but the farm is her real passion.
What’s Gillian’s relationship like with her dad?
The most important people in her life are her son and her dad. Gillian and her father are incredibly close, they understand each other and trust each other completely. She thinks she knows everything about him and it shakes her to discover that she doesn’t.
How does she feel when he reunites with Celia?
At first Gillian is really happy for her father. She doesn’t want him to be lonely and Celia makes him happy. But as it becomes clear that her father has loved this woman for a very long time, it leaves Gillian to rethink some of the family myths.
On first impression Gillian doesn’t think much of Celia’s daughter, Caroline – how does their relationship develop?
When Gillian first meets Caroline, she thinks she’s a stuck up idiot. But events force the two women together and they find unexpected common ground and a very real mutual respect.
We get the impression Gillian has a few skeletons in her closet?
As with all families there are secrets kept closely guarded. Gillian, with her father’s help, has tried to protect her son. Some say she’s lied. She would say she has protected him. In her private life, Gillian has always behaved with a fabulous lack of forethought or caution. She does what she wants to do and doesn’t really care what anyone else thinks, but now she’s involved herself with a much younger man who threatens to damage her relationship with her son.
Does Gillian remind you of yourself in anyway?
I love Gillian’s bravery and honesty and her ability to put her hands up when she’s made a mistake, and she takes the consequences without an ounce of self pity. But she can open her mouth before she’s put her brain in gear – I can relate to that. And I completely understand her love for her father.
Tell us why we should watch Last Tango In Halifax
Sally Wainwright takes you on a fantastic journey with these people. Every time you think you know where the story is going, it darts off in an unexpected direction. She peels back the layers of these people lives and what is revealed is funny and painful, messy and very true.