“She doesn’t disappoint, does Marcella… she’s a very compelling character…”
By Virgin TV Edit
Billed as a “Nordic-noir set in Britain” back when the first series aired in 2016, Marcella certainly hasn’t disappointed. Co-created and written by The Bridge creator Hans Rosenfeldt, the previous two series have seen Anna Friel at the top of her game, and consistently kept audiences gripped and guessing.
The concept of a blackout-suffering detective who can’t remember the extent to which she is involved in cases that she is almost certainly personally involved in is, to say the least, genius. As such, the first two series were acclaimed by critics, with Friel even bagging herself an International Emmy Award.
Following the earth-shattering finale of series 2, the near three year wait for the third series’ arrival has been a fraught one for fans. A wait that, we’re very, very pleased to report, is now almost over.
At long last, Marcella is back. And it isn’t just that fetching new hairdo that’s different for series 3 either. Now living undercover as “Keira Devlin” in Northern Ireland, this series sees Marcella infiltrating the infamous Maguire crime family and attempting to put her past life well and truly behind her.
Nerve-wracking as it can be to watch at times, series 3 looks every bit as tense and thrilling as the previous two. But don’t just take our word for it! Luckily for us, we were able to have what Bob Mortimer would call “a zoomerang” chat with star and executive producer Anna Friel to discuss all things Marcella, and what audiences can expect…
What brings Marcella to Northern Ireland?
“Well she was going undercover,” Friel says, “so it’d be harder to do that in the country where she tried to fake her own death. To try and operate as an undercover detective whilst having children and an ex would make it a lot more difficult.
“So Hans and [executive producer] Tony Wood, when we were talking about it, found it really fascinating that a lot of my roots were in Ireland, and said, “Well, why don’t we use that?””
How does Marcella cope with working undercover?
“That’s really the arc of the season, to be honest… “Is she liking being Keira a little bit too much?” Because it helps her to get away from Marcella, and what happened in her life before all this. I think she’d given up, before becoming Keira, but has ended up really enjoying who this woman is, with the lifestyle and the cars.”
Does it take much preparation to get into Marcella’s headspace?
“The difficultly with this series wasn’t so much getting into Marcella’s headspace, but more getting into Keira’s. I’m playing two characters at the same time, and shooting none of it in sequence, so it was more a challenge to navigate my way through that.
“Mapping it out in my head was very challenging. Instead of filming in three blocks of three episodes, this series we shot two episodes, then block shot episodes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Which meant, on any given day, I could have scenes from any of six episodes!
“So that was hard, considering the trajectory of that character and the complexity of being Keira and Marcella. I had to write quite long diaries about where Marcella was at, and what she was doing at those times.”
What’s with the new hairdo?
“Ha! When it was decided that we would set the new series in Northern Ireland, I asked if I could do use my Belfast accent and they said “No”, unfortunately. Given she’s a cop, and it’s quite a difficult accent, she wouldn’t be able to do accents like an actress would. So instead we changed her whole look and made her blonde!”
Will this be the last series?
“It was always intended to be a trilogy, but the end of this series is left very much open. It’s been very well received in all the other territories where it’s been released, but it was always meant to be a trilogy…”
Do you think fans will be satisfied with how it ends?
“I think they’ll be more satisfied than shocked, this time around. There’s still a twist, but it’s not cutting faces and taking hair off, like previous series.
“It’s still very much, “Wow, you’re really gonna do that?!” She doesn’t disappoint, Marcella, she’s a compelling character, and makes a very cool move come the end.”
When is Marcella series 3 on TV?
Marcella series 3 airs on Tuesday 26 January at 9pm on ITV HD (CH 103/113). Also available in Apps & Games > ITV Hub.
Series 1 & 2 are also available in Apps & Games > ITV Hub now.
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