Exclusive Interview: ‘Field Of Blood’ star Jayd Johnson on series 2

“Paddy’s such a great character and I think there’s a lot more we can see of her.”

Field of Blood: The Dead Hour

(C) BBC Scotland

In August 2011, BBC One showed a new two-part drama Field Of Blood, based on the bestselling Denise Mina novels. Although it was shown at a late 10.15pm time-slot the drama attracted nearly 3 million viewers and positive reviews. So when the BBC announced the commission of a second series of two episodes in a prime time 9pm slot, I was very pleased to see the return of the 80’s journalistic team and an unexplained murder to investigate.

With the two-parter beginning on the 1st August I caught up with star of the series Jayd Johnson who plays Paddy in the drama alongside David Morrissey, Katherine Kelly and Ford Kiernan. Find out what she had to say about series two below…

The new series has moved on in time. Where do we find the team and your character this series?

This series finds us in 1984 in the heart of the miners strikes. Paddy is working the call car with McVie. She has moved up since the last time we saw her from a copy boy to a journalist. There is a new boss in the office, Maloney, who is enjoying stirring things up.

The two-parter is adapted from Denise Mina’s ‘The Dead Hour’, did you read the book before filming?

When I got the job initially I began reading the books but as they are slightly different to the scripts, I didn’t want to use them too much. The scripts are my main focus as Davey [Kane – writer] puts everything you need to know in there. I had read the second one though so nothing was too much of a shock. Denise has written such amazing characters and the books are brilliant!

Katherine Kelly’s character Maloney becomes a kind of ambiguous mentor for Paddy. How does she take to her new boss?

Paddy loves the fact that there is a woman coming into the office and taking charge. Maloney is strong-minded and incredibly smart so Paddy really admires her to begin with. But she soon learns Maloney’s a little more ruthless than she could ever be and keeps an eye on her.

You spend quite a bit of time in the first episode sat waiting in a car with Ford Kiernan? Is he as funny as everyone says?

Ford is hilarious, he really would have everyone in fits of laughter. Ford Keirnan dancing to Gangnam Style. Enough said? I loved getting the chance to spend so much time with him. He’s a great man and he gave me some brilliant advice throughout filming.

Field of Blood: The Dead Hour

Ford Kiernan (left) keeps Jayd Johnson and the cast laughing

What’s it like filming on an 80’s set?

The sets were incredible we had such a talented team. Every single detail was period. We had old Irn-Bru cans, biscuits even a giant coffee machine for the office. It just makes it that much easier getting into character when you look around and you’re there in that office exactly the way it would have been.

You’re young enough not to remember the 80’s – did filming on the series influence how you viewed the era?

I definitely look at the 80s differently now I have a greater knowledge of the whole decade which I never really had before. For this series in particular I researched the politics a great deal. The miners strikes and Margaret Thatcher. So getting to really research that was eye-opening. I love the fashion and the music too. Listening to Depeche Mode and Blondie everyday was brilliant.

Has Paddy’s relationship with Devlin changed?

Paddy still looks up to Devlin. She has so much respect for him and he really is teaching her so much about the way a newsroom is run. There’s a moment or two in this series however when Devlin’s put on the spot and Paddy sees a different side to him. It’s interesting how much Maloney can stir up between everyone. She really tries to come in and shake thing up. But Paddy and Devlin will always have each others backs.

Field of Blood: The Dead Hour

Maloney (Katherine Kelly – right) stirs up trouble for Paddy (Jayd Johnson) and Devlin (David Morrissey)

Are you hoping the series will continue. Would you like to play more of Paddy?

I would love to. The thing about this show is every time we make it everyone just has the best time. It’s like going to work with family. All the crew are brilliant and I just love working on it. I would love it if they let us continue making them. Paddy’s such a great character and I think there’s a lot more we can see of her.

What’s coming up for you in the future?

I am currently producing my first film. I’m working on a project called ‘Mate’ written and directed by Mark Dorrian. We have just finished casting and hoping to start shooting later this year.

Field Of Blood: Dead Hour starts on Thursday 1st August at 9pm on BBC One.