Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
"Jim defines himself by his job – a Detective Inspector on the murder squad. He's very, very good at what he does, is ambitious, competitive – but flawed. Short-tempered, arrogant and stubborn.
"One of the good things about Fiona Seres's writing is that she doesn't idealise the people in The Silence and that pays off. You eventually end up caring about people like that more than people who are perfect. You recognise their flaws and see that they are struggling.
"Jim is trying to do the right thing but does it the wrong way, by trying to protect his niece [Genevieve Barr]. It is not just about a kid in our house who's witnessed a murder, it begins to affect everything and everyone.
"I like the circumstances that this family find themselves in, making the dynamic of the piece very interesting. I like the fact that this makes the audience work a wee bit.
"I've never worked with Dervla Kirwan who plays my wife [Maggie] before, but we had met socially. I really like the way she works and I think we work in a similar way.
"Maggie and Jim are combustible and independent-minded people who don't lie to one another. They are devoted to one another and clearly have a sound relationship. They have fallen into accepting him not being around at major events, like his own birthday party – not being there to blow out the candles – because work always comes first for him.
"Maggie fills the void when Jim's not at home for the family, and they balance one another quite well.
"Jim is a typical parent. I've never met anyone who parenthood doesn't bring out the best and worst in. He is the father of three teenagers. I've got to the age where I'm playing a policeman and have grown-up children – how did that happen?!
"Something I really enjoyed with Jim is that there's a maturity that I have to display that's new for me, and it's interesting to explore that part of yourself within the script.
"Jim's not a perfect dad, he doesn't treat them all the same. I used to laugh at my mum when she said she treated us kids all the same – everyone else in the family can see it, except your parent! I think that is true of a lot of parents. It makes me think of my own father and how difficult it is, even though I'm not a father, but I understand it an awful lot better now I'm grown up, and how much they shield us.
"The family dynamics were great and we were very fortunate to have three young actors who play our kids, who are fantastic. They are really accomplished, talented, friendly people, who spark off each other; it was like a breath of fresh air on set with them.
"Jim has difficulty with his eldest son, Tom [Harry Ferrier], as he has a problem with his dad: he's most bothered by the fact that Jim has not been around much because of his job. Jim hates his daughter Sophie's [Rebecca Oldfield] choice of boyfriend and his youngest son, Joel [Tom Kane], is a joker and their relationship seems easier.
"I don't think Genevieve Barr [Amelia] thinks of herself as a deaf actress – nor do I, she's an actress. I haven't paid any attention to the fact that she is deaf, I am just incredibly impressed at the talents she has at her disposal. The first couple of days she knew my lines, in fact all of our lines, better than anyone else – she has a photographic memory which is extraordinary. It has been great working with her – she's very professional, smart and focused.
"The only cast member I had worked with before is Hugh Bonneville – and it is very funny we are now playing brothers. He's done a good job on the accent and I haven't given him much help – just read his lines on to a Dictaphone. It's tricky for him doing someone else's accent, particularly when it's my natural accent, but I think he's done it great.
"Our director is fantastic: very detailed, and I wanted to please her. I find myself wanting to please Dearbhla Walsh! Her intentions are the very best, and what she wants is right. I want to get that to prove to myself I can do it – but also for her. It is quite inspirational to find a director like Dearbhla – she's a rare breed.
"I suppose there are certain similarities between being an actor and a policeman: we do ridiculous hours, which can put relationships under threat, so I guess I can draw on that. But it takes a very different kind of person. I don't know whether police like the way they are portrayed on screen, but I try to go for the person first not the job.
"I have played a policeman before in Collision last year, and once many years ago with Billy Connolly. He's one of my heroes and I've worked with him about three times and I couldn't speak to him properly the first two times I worked with him! I grew up not being allowed to hear him, and have this clear memory of when I was aged around seven being sent upstairs at Christmas whilst the rest of the family party sat and tuned in, and I have in my head everyone laughing so much and us kids not being allowed to listen!"
Douglas Henshall won his first television awards in 2000 for Psychos (Best Actor, Lyon Television Festival) and Kid In The Corner (Best Actor, Monte Carlo Television Festival).
He is best known for his recent television roles, including Collision and Primeval.
Douglas is an established theatre actor and was most recently seen in The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot at the Almeida Theatre and The Cryptogram at the Donmar Warehouse.
His recent films include Eagle Of The Ninth and Dorian Gray.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.