The Paradise: Katherine's need to conquer

Thursday 24 October 2013, 10:21

Elaine Cassidy Elaine Cassidy Actress

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I was instantly attracted to playing the heiress Katherine Glendenning in The Paradise because she is so different from me (thank God!).

I was in no way disappointed throughout the whole process. She is such a complex character, there is so much to explore. Just like an onion, layers and layers to peel off and delve into.

Katherine has great qualities but uses them all for the greater bad.

Katherine (Elaine Cassidy) Katherine (Elaine Cassidy) faces different challenges on her return to The Paradise  

She is a force to be reckoned with, and if she had used all this for a good cause she could have done great things.

Her and Moray are very similar. They are both ambitious, non conforming, rebels. Also, because he doesn’t roll over and play ball, this adds to Katherine’s need to conquer.

As Katherine has never had a healthy, balanced relationship with anyone (including her father), it means her partnership with Tom Weston is no different.

He is a challenge. They take turns on winning each battle. I think they are fairly evenly matched and use their own strengths to succeed.

Katherin (Elaine Cassidy) Tom Weston (Ben Daniels) The opening gambit? Katherine with her husband, Tom Weston (Ben Daniels)

You get to see another side to Katherine in series two.

She’s more vulnerable as she’s an injured animal still with the fresh wounds of being jilted by the man that she allowed herself to love and being struck with grief from the unexpected death of her father (the number one man in her life).

Katherine’s new step daughter Flora helps bring this more sensitive side to the forefront.

She’s still got her priorities in life out of balance, but Flora gives her a new sense of purpose to try to be a better person, and makes her more aware of her humane side and compassionate side (however small, but still there).

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Katherine invites Flora (Edie Whitehead) to explore The Paradise

Filming took place in Durham on the huge Lambton Estate. It would take five to ten minutes to drive to the set from entering the gates. Both sets, the department store and Katherine’s house were in this location.

The Paradise set was built in Lambton Castle itself and Katherine’s house was set in Biddick Hall - a real grand house five minutes’ drive away.

The street was built from scratch, and to the naked eye looks like the real deal.

I enjoy the scenes we do in the house more than the ones in the store, only for the fact that there is a calmer atmosphere there.

That’s hugely down to the green room we have at the house, it’s a real sitting room, with comfy couches and a TV.

Edie the real house keeper pops her head in every now and then to see if we would like REAL coffee (in a cafetiere) and REAL tea (in a tea pot) and then serves it to us in bone china cups and saucers with some biscuits, heaven!

Now that’s the way to work, especially when you are playing a character like Katherine, ha!

Elaine Cassidy plays Katherine Glendenning in The Paradise.

The Paradise continues on Sunday, 27 October at 8pm on BBC One and BBC One HD. For further programme times please see the episode guide.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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    Comment number 1.

    Enjoying immensly your portrayal of Katherine Glendenning in this second series. Having read lots of negative comments about 'The Paradise' I have to admit to enjoying it for the interwoven characters so brilliantly scripted and played. Yes it is easy 'comfy couch' watching and loosely based on Zola's writings but I love it. Thanks for the info on original score; the theme music is delightful.

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    Comment number 2.

    What i can say! OMG i am loving the whole twist... I cannot wait for Sunday to come... a very nice way to relax on a good evening

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    Comment number 3.

    Here in the US, "The Paradise" season 1 started about 4 weeks ago. I was captivated by the brilliant script writing and the fabulous acting. The microcosm at the paradise reflects every day reality at the work environment very nicely. The biggest difference of the US and UK TV dramas is that the UK actors are more polished and have gone through proper acting training.

    You portrayed Katherine so masterfully that provokes hates and adoration at the same time. She reflects the less desirable side in all of us, and yet she still earns our love and sympathy. Thanks for your work. I love the show very much.

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    Comment number 4.

    I love hating the baddies and love loving the goodies (including the baddies turned good). You all have amazing acting abilities. You'll have my vote at any forthcoming awards. Thank you for entertaining me on a Sunday evening.

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    Comment number 5.

    Well done team compelling stuff.Congratulations Elaine upon your portrayal as Katherine and her complex character.As usual,as with all your work you are totally convincing whatever the part.


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