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24 September 2014
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Life on Mars
Liz White is WPC Annie Cartwright

Life on Mars


Liz White plays WPC Annie Cartwright


"DI Tyler, you don't seem like the rest of them. And you're clever; clever enough to know that what you're saying can't be true."


How would you describe Annie?


"She's a very bright girl who studied a degree in psychology and after being a barmaid she felt frustrated and wanted to challenge herself.


"Like Sam she wants to help people in anyway that she can. She joined the police force but she's stifled by the sexual politics of that time - women were often undermined, underused, ignored, taken for granted - but she fights on through that and is eager to challenge herself in any way that she can without compromising her integrity.


"She's a got a big heart which I think is the main thing that drives her. She's obviously very taken with Sam - he's the first guy that's come along and shown her any respect and she enjoys that."


She deals with the sexism well. She still maintains a balanced personality and fails to get upset by it.


"It's almost like she too has come from the future because she knows that eventually things will change and the sexist men will be proved wrong. When Gene is so sarcastic and rude to her she just lets it go over her head.


"There are times when she is asked her opinion but when she's the only woman in a CID office of 40 men it's quite terrifying, she knows that they will take the mickey out of her.


"She just has to make sure she leaves the situation before she says anything that will lose her job. Rightly or wrongly, if she is too outspoken she is much more likely to get sacked than a man in the same position.


"She's keeping sides and playing a game, more than she's given credit for by Gene or any of the other fellas."


Sam and Annie have a lot of chemistry. Do you think that it is purely platonic or more than just a friendship?


"She gets very tired of his constant talk about how this situation is not real, that they are all figments of his imagination - she can only explain it as psychological trauma from his car crash.


"She'd like something to change between them because they are not just friends; he does love to flirt with her and there is definitely an attraction between them but then she isn't his lover or girlfriend.


"Worse than that, he doesn't even really talk about it with her. She gets frustrated with him because their relationship is neither one thing nor the other."


However, whether she'd admit it or not, she does get jealous of Sam sleeping with Joni the go-go dancer in episode four...


"Annie can't believe that he gave it to that girl so easily and, in her eyes, Joni is practically a stripper in a club and she's also a suspect.


"So if he was simply mixing work with pleasure then why isn't he doing that with her? I think it is frustrating for her and she can't help but feel jealous."


How did you find ‘going back to the Seventies'?


"It was great! I'd step on set and feel completely transported back to that decade. Years have gone by and yet listening to the music of that time and being in Annie's costume, I just really felt like I was there."


You were not even born in 1973 so what was your perception of the Seventies?


"I knew a bit because my brothers and a few friends were raised in the Seventies and so talked about the music or films from that decade every so often. I know some of the pop culture from that time because it's still around today, ABBA, Glam Rock and Punk for instance."


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