The second series of Sky Living’s supernatural drama Bedlam sees EastEnders actress Lacey Turner 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.
What appealed to you about Bedlam?
“I wanted to do something different. I’d done a few supernatural things, like Being Human, and had such a good time because it was so different to what I was used to. I love the fact you get to do stunts, CGI and all these things that come with it. I read it and thought, great.”
How would you describe your character, Ellie?
“She’s just a normal girl, a paramedic, who’s been given this supernatural ability to see how people died. So she doesn’t see ghosts so much as seeing what happened to them and how they came to be dead. It’s an ability that she doesn’t want and she’s desperately trying to have a normal life.”
Can you tell us more about Ellie’s relationships with the other characters?
“Ellie comes into their lives because they’re already set and living in Bedlam, and forms a really lovely friendship with Max, which has been nice to play out. She’s a tough cookie and quite a hard person to get through too – she’s had a tough life, been brought up in care and has this ability to put barriers up left, right and centre. As her friendship with Max unfolds, it’s lovely to see her softer, fun side.”
There’s a mix of CGI and real actors, so how does that work? What have you come up against?
“It’s been really good actually. I’m notused to doing stunts and someone saying, there’ll be green screen and what not, but it’s been fun. Some of the ghosts have been there in the make-up and costume, which has been fantastic because you’ve got someone to react to. Other times, you’re reacting to thin air and you feel like a plonker, just looking at a cross.
“To me, the most fascinating part was the lighting. Simon Archer, the Director of Photography, has done such a fantastic job in making something so beautiful, so scary. Then you put a man in a few ripped clothes and contacts, and I was genuinely scared at some points!”
Are you easily frightened?
“I’m scared of everything, even my own shadow. I’m the biggest weed you’ll ever meet.”
Do you take your work home with you?
“I’m living in a flat up here on my own and I check under my bed. I was lying in bed the other day and some lunatic came along and banged on the door at 3.30 in the morning. You think you’d go to the door and be like, do you mind?! I didn’t, I froze – oh my god, who do I ring? There’s no one here to ring.”
Have you ever experienced anything supernatural?
“I do believe in ghosts and things like that, and I’ve been to see mediums. I don’t know how much I believe of that, but a few people have said, your Nan’s been with you here and there.
“Sometimes I do think that I have been with her – I was at an awards ceremony once and there was no-one behind me, and I just felt a hand on my shoulder, and I turned round and there was no one there. I’d rather not see a ghost because I’d have a heart attack.”
What’s the most frightened you’ve ever been?
“It was probably doing Frankenstein’s Wedding live in Leeds last February. It went from being [in front of] 9,000 people which was, erm, OK, to suddenly, the day before, being 12,000. I don’t know what 12,000 people looks like in one place and I didn’t look.
“I didn’t come out until halfway through the show and, oh my god, I wanted to turn back, but it was too late, I was already out!”
You got rave reviews for it…
“Yeah, it was amazing. You ask 12,000 people to learn a dance and you don’t actually expect them to take the time to check the website and learn it. I turned my head and [they] were doing it. I honestly felt so chuffed that they’d bothered that I’d forgotten the fact I was in front of 12,000 people [laughs].”
Still on the fear thing, do you have any phobias, apart from everything?
“My friend has a dog – and I love dogs – a rescue Yorkshire Terrier. I walked into their house and wasn’t expecting to see it, and it barked. We’ve been best friends for ten years and I’ve not been in her house for five years. I can stand there with a Rottweiler, but I can’t with Ripper – that’s his name [laughs]. He absolutely hates me.
“It was her birthday and I thought, I’m definitely going to go to the house because they were having tea. My heart was going, I was sweating, opening the window of my car, got all the way to the door and Ripper just started barking. I got back in my car and drove home; I physically couldn’t do it. It’s pathetic.”
Right, Ellie can see ghosts, but if you were a ghost, who would you haunt and why?
“I’d just go and aggravate people and keep myself amused, pop to my Nan’s and move a few things. I know that would drive her mad. Everything is so spotless, it’s like no one lives there; she’s still got the lines in her carpet from where the hoover’s been.”
People always talk about how natural an actress you are – how does that feel?
“I never set out to be an actress and sort of fell into it accidentally and enjoyed it. I still don’t know what I’m doing now, just going with the flow really [laughs]. It was a hobby and I loved doing it, then it became a job.”
Has the huge success you had with EastEnders affected your choice of projects?
“I just pick things I like. I can’t speak for everyone but I have to like something to be able to do it. You have to believe and be interested in it, and you have to want to get to the last page. If you don’t have that feeling, I don’t think it’s right for you.”
You must have been inundated with offers after EastEnders – you won over 30 awards for it…
“To be honest, my agent does those things. There were lots of lovely things that came in that I would have loved to have done, but I wanted to take a break. That went out the window and I wanted to pick things, like this, a completely different programme to EastEnders.
“[Although] I loved working there and playing Stacey, I was curious as to what else I could do. I came into it so young – what else could I do, could I try? I want to try a bit of everything and figure out what I like and don’t like.”
How have you been getting on with the other cast members?
“Really great – they’re such a lovely cast. I spend a lot of time with Jack and Nikesh because we seem to be in the same scenes a lot of the time. I feel lucky because there are so many people and you don’t want to end up with someone you don’t get along with too well. It’s like having brothers; one lives next door, the other upstairs, Lacey, have you got any loo roll? Lacey, have you got this?”
Does a lot of giggling and corpsing go on?
“You have to laugh, otherwise what’s the point? One day, I was hanging in a harness for seven hours. You think, come on, and people are walking past, going out for a cigarette, and I’m like, bloody cheek, what’s going on, someone put me down [laughs].”
You must be covered in bruises?
“I am. My legs are battered – I look like a child when they’ve constantly got bruises. And they’re pale because everywhere we go is freezing. I’ve turned purple.”
What’s been your most fun stunt?
“The harness was actually pretty fun. I’ve been in one before, but not as dramatic as this. They strapped me in and then just yanked me up. I loved it. Although when I went home, all my ribs and the inside of my legs were bruised.”
Watch the Series 2 trailer…
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