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Kim Durham on Matt Crawford

Friday 24 May 2013, 19:10

Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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Kim Durham (Matt Crawford) Kim Durham (Matt Crawford)

Is Matt actually jealous? The actor who plays him has some interesting insights.

I really love playing Matt. He’s obviously very intelligent but he has very limited emotional intelligence.  It’s such a factor in all the storylines we’ve had for him.

How has he developed over the years?

American writers on acting talk about ‘the actor as the co-author’. The British don’t tend to do that. But in this sort of show it’s the one opportunity you have to actually be the co-author. Because what happens is that you deliver a certain performance and the writers pick up on things that you’re doing. So you find things creeping in and you think ‘oh yeah, I recognise that’. It’s quite alarming. Maybe there’s more of me in Matt than I realised!

It’s been a very interesting journey. When he first came in, he was an out-and-out baddie. Then he got together with Lilian and the two of them became a sort of comedy duo. And then it developed into something much fuller and more rounded, which has been a joy. And – talking of his emotional intelligence – as we’ve explored him and Lilian, the relationship has gradually  induced a greater awareness of how all that kind of stuff works.

He’s never going to entirely buy into it. But he genuinely loves Lilian. He loves her strength. I’m not entirely sure that when it comes down to it he doesn’t actually admire the way she’s conducted this affair. He recognises a fellow player. When he eventually found out, it was like a game of poker. Nobody’s revealing their hand. And I think it’s very clever the way the writers have done that.

Obviously he loves her, but there is an element of control in there. I think he would be devastated if she left. That would be an appalling consequence in all sorts of ways. Certainly in terms of business, because he can’t trade without her. But also with the emotional relationship and the support.

I’m not sure he has sexual jealousy in a way. If she were to have flings, I don’t think he’s that concerned, as long as he’s going to get her back. As long as he’s going to win in the end.

Is this why he hasn’t confronted her, do you think?

Oh yeah, it’s part of it, absolutely. I don’t think he thinks for a moment that it’s all over between them. He’s just working hard to eradicate Paul as a rival and have Lilian back.

When Matt came out of prison and he thought Paul was sniffing around for money, he confronted Paul directly. He’s gone for an indirect warning this time. Why do you think that is?

It’s part of that control, power thing. He doesn’t want Lilian to know at this stage that he knows. He’s given her so many opportunities to confess. He really wants her to.  Really craves that scene where she confesses and he says it’s all right.

Because that would put him in a more powerful position in the relationship?

Just a bit!

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Matt is a character who grows on you as time moves forward.

    Currently really enjoying his storyline....

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Excellent acting, we really believe you are Matt. I think playing the villain appears more enjoyable rather than a goody two shoes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I find your portrayal of Matt convincing, and look forward to the scenes you are in. I am aware that Matt is as twisty as a corkscrew in many ways, but you manage to make him a sympathetic character. And I do love the wry tone.

    Tell me, did you *really* say only "briefcase" that time? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2okU5r12ck

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    You play the part of Matt so convincingly, I hate him! He's cocky, a bully, and if he calls Lilian 'pusscat' once more, I'll scream! Carry on the good work!

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    I am a lapsed fan, but recently I have become ensnared again by the unfolding Lillian/Matt drama. I lost interest when the hopeless James showed up, but by far the most seductive plot line is the dynamic between Matt & Lillian. I find it gripping and was even driven to looking up the actors playing the two parts; what a double act are those two. Lillian is infallible and entirely credible; a faultless performance even when the script falters. Ditto Matt who has matured in a very satisfying way. Please please keep their storyline running and running...

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Matt is a likeable character but ruthless.Lillian needs to have been mad for having the affair with Paul she'd better watch her back with Matt around!

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Matt I am sure we saw you at a car park at cwm yr eglwys in Pembrokeshire. We heard a voice and thought 'sounds like matt' and got a glimpse. If it was you , you were with a few chaps unloading boats.
    Was it you?
    Think it was January 2013

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    "Yeah yeah yeah" as Matt would inevitably put it.

    A bit of balance needed here, methinks. There's no more incongruous a character - or characterisation of such in the Archers . What? - Mockney barrow-boy meets rural Miss Slocombe in a bumpkin village in Borsetshire...? Don't make me larf.

    This excruciatingly embarrassing story-line is the worst one since that simpering berk Nigel fell off his roof ...
    Why don't the producers rename the pub 'The Old Bull & Bush" and have done with it?


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