Trevor Eve (‘Kidnap & Ransom’: Series 2) interview

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Waking the Dead star Trevor Eve returns to ITV1 next week as international hostage negotiator, Dominic King, in the second series of Kidnap & Ransom.

Helen Baxendale (Cold Feet) reprises her role as Angela Beddoes, King’s business partner, alongside Amara Karan (Doctor Who) as Carrie Heath and Natasha Little (Mistresses) as Dominic’s wife Sophie King.

Written by Michael Crompton (Silent Witness) and directed by David Drury (Ashes to Ashes), Series 2 begins at 9pm on Thursday 23rd February on ITV1.

Are you pleased to be back for a second series of Kidnap & Ransom?

“It’s great to have an opportunity to do it again – it’s very exciting. There’s such a lot of mileage both in the stories and in Dominic King as a character.”

What can we expect from the new series?

“It’s about a hostage negotiator. The story is seen through the eyes of Dominic King, who is the negotiator.

“At the beginning of this series Dominic is sewn up in a routine – if there is such thing as routine – negotiation that very quickly escalates into something that’s a lot more than he or the people who did the initial kidnapping expected. It becomes a multinational, high profile, catastrophe; and Dominic is right at the centre.”

The initial kidnapping leads to the hijacking of a bus full of tourists. Did you base the story on real-life events?

“We did research. There was a story in Brazil, it didn’t come about in exactly this way, but the situation escalated. A man found himself on a coach and suddenly the cameras of the world were pointing at him and by circumstance, he took a number of people hostage. It ended in disaster.”

What have you learnt about hostage negotiation and applied to Dominic’s character?

“Dominic is an ex-military man who became a hostage negotiator. It’s the first time these guys, who’ve lived through military processes with guns and warfare, have negotiation as their only weapon. They have to stay calm and cool whereas maybe deep inside they’re thinking they want to do the opposite. The only process is to create trust and to be very calm under pressure.

“I think the dilemma that runs inside them is that they know in the past they have solved problems by warfare and this time they have to do it peacefully. They have a moral dilemma because a lot of people think hostage negotiators perpetrate a crime because they are rewarding criminals with financial reward for hostages.

“The question they always ask is, If you had your nearest and dearest taken hostage, would you want someone to negotiate for their release or not? And everybody does. For trust to be built up, you can’t go in there and shoot the kidnappers dead because the whole thing would break down.”

Do you currently work with real-life hostage negotiators?

“We are in touch with the outfit we modelled ourselves on. They look at all our scripts and authenticate them for us.

“When we’ve met with them they have their three phones, and every now and then they’ll walk away and say, ‘sorry, it’s the situation’, which is what they call it, and they take the call. It’s like they’re speaking to their mum but they’re not, they’re speaking to someone in Somalia or wherever – it’s extraordinary.”

What are they like?

“Most of them are retired, military men, who really can’t live with retirement and they’re trying to go back to the adrenaline. I’ve met five of them and they were all pretty much the same – they just wanted to be back on the front line for the thrills and the tension of it all.

“They have a responsibility about them, they’re pretty solid individuals. They’ve been through a lot by the time they are in their mid-fifty’s. They’ve seen some live action such as the first Gulf War and Ireland. They’re pretty tough, cool, collective guys; I kind of like them.”

Do you think you’d have the skills to be a hostage negotiator?

“I think I’d be a really bad hostage negotiator; I’m not sure I’d have the patience! It can take weeks and months sometimes to negotiate, and negotiations inevitably go wrong, at least twice as they say. You might go along and at the last minute they want more money – it’s not a smooth process.

“Also, you have to keep a sense of perspective throughout it all, because you’re negotiating for someone’s life. The real responsibility they have is that the one thing they do wrong could result in the death of the hostage.”

How does Dominic’s career affect his personal relationships?

“The one thing the negotiators I’ve met all had in common was the difficulty of sustaining a relationship because they spend so much time away. With the five I met, four were on their second marriage. Perhaps it’s because having lived in an isolated male world for so long, they find it difficult to adapt to domesticity.

“In Dominic’s case, his second marriage to his wife Sophie is breaking up as we start the show. We’re not sure why it’s breaking up – whether it’s because of the potential relationship with Angela, or just because their marriage has just run its course. In the first series of Kidnap & Ransom his wife said she supported him but now it’s time for him to stay at home and support her career.

“I think it’s his inability to accept this that causes the rift. In this series we see Sophie embarking on her career, and we do see a development in the relationship between Dominic and Angela.”

This series is set in India but filmed in South Africa. How did you achieve this?

“It’s down to all of the production team and the brilliant job they did to recreate India. We had a production designer, Robert Van De Coolwyk who was just fantastic. Plus, the geography of South Africa is amazing; you can use the landscapes and terrain to shoot a number of different countries.”

You are the executive producer of Kidnap & Ransom as well as the star, how did you balance the two roles?

“It’s all down to the people that work with me. We have a great team of people working on Kidnap & Ransom.

“I’ve been producing for quite a long time and I hope to be involved in a lot more productions in the future.”

Are you looking forward to Series 2? Let us know below…

> Buy the Series 1 DVD on Amazon.

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