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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

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Wunmi Mosaku plays Rosa

What initially attracted you to working on The Body Farm series?

I come from a science background – my mum's a chemist and my sister's a scientist, so I really love science and found the idea of having a crime series surrounded by the science element really attractive. Also I'm fascinated by the research that I have to do and the questions that I have to ask – I love talking to my mum and sisters about that kind of thing.

Who is Rosa?

Rosa's a botanist, so she deals with flowers and mould, but she's also an all-rounder in the way that I'm sure she's studied medicine before in preparation for doing autopsies and things like that. She's young and she's interested in people. She's not a typical scientist in that way – it's not all about the numbers and the answers, it's about the process, and the process for Rosa includes the people.

What is her key role in the team?

The team is like a family, and she's like the sister – a bit of a know-it-all at times, and she's not afraid to do what she thinks is right, but she's also happy to make mistakes. Rosa's happy to try things out and go further than the science, which is something Eve with all her experience can't necessarily see the point of. Rosa wants to be involved inside the lab and outside the lab.

What's The Body Farm set-up like?

There's a kitchen – we have breakfast and dinner together, there's also table football. I think of it like home because it's comfortable and you're doing what you love surrounded by people who are letting you do that. It feels kind of like student accommodation.

How is The Body Farm linked to the last series of Waking The Dead?

The Body Farm doesn't really lead on from Waking The Dead, and it doesn't feel a similar show to Waking The Dead at all. Tara as her character Eve has come across and that's it really.

How have you found dealing with the blood, prosthetics and insects?

It's so realistic that sometimes it is hard to swallow – you really see the hard parts of the job for doctors and scientists. In terms of the insects, the flies and maggots, I didn't like that at all. There is a scene in episode one with hundreds of bluebottle flies and thousands of maggots. That for me was week two of filming, and that was really horrible. I'd assumed that it might be put in post-production!

Did you know anything about real-life "Body Farms" before you took on the role?

No. I did my research once I'd signed on, but before I got the role I didn't really have any idea what a Body Farm was. I did quite a lot of my research online trying to find out about Body Farms. I had been in Silent Witness before, so I knew a bit about pathology from my research for that. Most of the research I did was into botany, and I was quite interested as to what paths Rosa would have taken that allowed her to become a forensic scientist after studying to be a botanist, so I had to do all the research into her background and qualifications.

What was it like working with Tara, Keith, Finlay and Mark?

Well we all got on really well, Keith is such a joker, Tara is like a wise owl, Mark is really sweet and warm, and hilariously funny, and Finlay just loves his job. It's really nice to be around those kinds of people.

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