Gemma Chan (‘Bedlam’: Series 2) interview

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The new series of supernatural drama Bedlam sees Secret Diary of a Call Girl star Gemma Chan and a new cast take up residency at the bedevilled Bedlam Heights to vanquish the demons that plague their lives, but their adversaries prove to come in both ghostly and human form.

Series 2 is currently airing at 10pm on Wednesday nights on Sky Living.

> Order Series 2 on DVD on Amazon.

You’ve starred in a range of TV shows, from Secret Diary of a Call Girl to Sherlock. What attracted you to Bedlam?

“I like to try as many different things as possible and I haven’t done anything like Bedlam before, a supernatural drama, and also because I knew it had such great people involved.”

How would you describe your character, Kiera?

“She’s impulsive, can be a little bit wild and sometimes doesn’t think before she acts or speaks. The other side of that is she can be a lot of fun. I wouldn’t say I necessarily agree with all of her decisions or reactions, like she can be, I don’t want to call her immature, but…”


“Yes, free-spirited, exactly. She gets herself into these situations where you just think, oh dear, oh dear [laughs]. They’re fun to play as an actress.”

What kind of preparation did you do for the role? Did you binge on horror films?

“I’m a fan of horror anyway. Kiera doesn’t get involved in the supernatural side of things in the same way that Lacey’s character does – she can’t see ghosts. It’s more about her relationships with the other characters so, in that sense, I didn’t have to do any specific preparations.”

You didn’t have to practise or perfect your scared face?

“No, I didn’t, although in the final episode, a lot of things happen, so she does get affected and I do get to do a bit of scared acting.”

How did you get on with the rest of the cast?

“We got on really well, they’re brilliant. Lacey is fantastic, I love what she does and she’s at the heart of this series. Everyone plays their roles well. We’re all meeting soon, including the directors, so everyone’s come out of the other side, which is good [laughs].”

You mentioned before that Kiera has a bit of wild side – did that involve shooting sex scenes?

“There is that element to her. She’s definitely got a naughty, playful side, but I feel like she’s manipulated as well. She’s a bit of an innocent and is manipulated by the male characters. Not sure what else I can say… she gets used and you do feel sorry for her.”

What has been the biggest challenge of working on Bedlam? The cold?

“Definitely. I’ve never done a job where the location has been such a big character in itself. That aspect of the show was brilliant and it’s going to work so well. It was almost too appropriate. They’re freezing and derelict, so perfect for Bedlam, but tough on the crew and actors [laughs].”

Did it empower your performance though?

“If you see us shivering, we’re shivering for real [laughs].”

Bedlam obviously revolves around the supernatural – do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had any supernatural experiences?

“Usually, I’m quite sensible and rational about things. I don’t think I believe in ghosts, but I’m open minded enough to know that there are things we can’t explain. The mind is really powerful and is open to suggestion. At the same time, I really like stories that are to do with the supernatural – you don’t necessarily have to believe in it yourself to be swept up in the story if it’s well told.”

What’s your biggest fear/phobia?

“I’m quite scared of heights.”

Looking back over your career so far, what’s the worst audition you’ve ever had?

“Definitely the worst experiences I’ve had are commercial auditions. For some reason, they’re so much more impersonal than the ones you do for drama, TV, film, whatever. I had to do one for a shower gel when I was starting out and they made me – it was humiliating – dance around and act out really stupid stuff.

“I wouldn’t do that now, I’d be confident enough to say, no. It’s not easy ever, but hopefully I won’t have to do a shower gel commercial. I didn’t get it, and it’s probably a good thing [laughs].”

> Buy the Series 1 DVD on Amazon.

> Order Series 2 on DVD on Amazon.

Watch the Series 2 trailer…

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