Genteel English rose Jemma Redgrave is set to stun cinema audiences in a shock Jock movie…
Playing mum to the Scots baby from hell!
For Ms Redgrave has joined Irvine Welsh’s gravy train and is about to be seen in the sickest movie idea of the year – a drugs shocker, The Acid House.
The plot turns on a teenage drug fiend (Ewen Bremner) who swaps personalities with a newborn baby.
At nine months, the weird bairn swears like a trooper, supports Hibs and spells out his needs… mostly booze and to be taken on to the terracing at Easter Road!
“When I got the script I thought it the most bizarre thing I have ever read,” says Jemma.
The role highlights Jemma’s versatility.
The 32-year-old member of the Redgrave acting dynasty stars as the Fascist leader’s first wife, Cimmie Curzon, in the Mosley series which began on Channel 4 on Thursday.
And she will be back on our TV screens as the prim Victorian, Doc Bramwell.
“After two years of period drama, to go to Glasgow and wear jeans and swear a lot and work with Martin Clunes was Nirvana,” she says.
The Acid House, which hits cinemas this spring, stars Martin Clunes, of Men Behaving Badly, as the shell-shocked dad.
It’s a tale of a jobless druggie tripping on LSD one night through Edinburgh’s West Pilton Park during a thunderstorm.
As he passes an ambulance in which a woman is giving birth, a bolt of lightning triggers the personality swap.
The mother suspects something is wrong when she smells booze on her child’s breath.
“It was quick tricky,” says Jemma. “I was followed around by four puppeteers working bits of the baby.”
We’re concluding our “quotes by Jemma” series with another interview from 1996 where Jemma talked about the complexity of her character Eleanor Bramwell. You can read the interview below:
You’ve heard of the Redgrave sisters: Vanessa and Lynn. Then, there’s their father, Sir Michael, and Vanessa’s acting daughters, Natasha and Joely Richardson. Now meet Jemma Redgrave – England’s answer to Dr. Quinn.
Redgrave stars in “Bramwell,” a four-part “Masterpiece Theatre” series that concludes at 9 p.m. Sunday on PBS (Channel 28). The British actress plays a Victorian-era doctor who perseveres through the prejudices of the time, much like our own homespun frontier doc, CBS’ Michaela Quinn.
“She’s very complex, and contradictory. She’s so courageous, bold and unconventional for her time,” says Redgrave of her character, Dr. Eleanor Bramwell. “And, she’s vulnerable. She’s naive about men and relationships.”
“Bramwell” runs as a regular TV series in England; here, new episodes of the series will run as another four-part series, slated for the fall.
The daughter of actor Corin Redgrave (Vanessa’s brother) and his wife, Deidre, Redgrave says she knew from an early age she wanted to act.
“I don’t know – it’s in the genetic code, I guess,” she says.
There were trepidations.
“The only reservations I had about acting is that I didn’t know whether I had an aptitude for it,” she says. Until, that is, she received “incredible notices” for her stage debut, in a play called “Easter,” and her mind was set at ease.
“Then I felt absolutely sure that I wasn’t going to embarrass my family,” she says.
Now, how would she feel if her son Gabriel, now 2, decided to follow in the footsteps of the theatrical Redgrave family, rather than in those of her husband, Tim, a lawyer?
“I think I’d just try and encourage him – and give him a few phone numbers,” she says, laughing.
Not because he has to get under the skin of a sinister baddie who plays warped mind games, in ITV1’s two-part psychological thriller The Swap, but because it teams him with his former girlfriend, Jemma Redgrave.
The two played lovers in Mosley in 1998 and romance spilled over into real life. After filming ended, Jemma split from her husband, Jonathan broke off his engagement to actress Olivia Williams, and they later became an item. Although the relationship didn’t last – Jemma was reunited with her barrister husband Tim Owen after 18 months apart – there was an undeniable chemistry between the pair, who are still on good terms.
“There was a spark between us,” says Jonathan, 34. “But that spark was a professional one. It was great to be working with a woman I like and admire. Whatever happened between us in our private lives was done and sorted long ago.
“Working so closely with Jemma again made me realise how good she is as an actress. It was very rewarding and challenging because it made me feel as if I should raise my game.”
Neither were prepared for the glare of public interest in their private lives almost four years ago, and Jonathan is bracing himself for another onslaught now that they are co-starring in The Swap.
You can read the rest of the interview here.
JEMMA REDGRAVE swaps the tender loving care of Dr Eleanor Bramwell for some red- hot bedroom action in Blue Murder, ITV’s steamy new one-off thriller – plus a spot of trigger- happy gun action for good measure.
In contrast to her familiar image as Victorian lady doctor, Bramwell, Jemma stars in the two- hour drama as a calculating murderess who shares raunchy love scenes with Gary Mavers, himself a million miles from the cosy world of Peak Practice.
“I never had any qualms about the sex scenes,” says 33-year-old Jemma, “I trusted our director, Paul Unwin completely because I’d worked with him before on Bramwell. There’s not actually any nudity, although the scenes are very erotic.
“We agreed there was no need for a lot of graphic sex. The scenes prove you can create something sexy without seeing lots of flesh.”
Jemma admits, however, she won’t be likely to be watching those scenes with her husband, barrister Tim Owen. “He knows the story and what it all involves,” she explains.
“I think he’ll agree it’s a stylish piece of work. I’ve watched the sex scenes, and I think they’re cleverly done – although I was probably under my jumper as I watched them, the way you watch Doctor Who as a kid!”
Inspired by the Hollywood thriller Body Heat and those atmospheric film noirs of the ’30s and ’40s, Blue Murder stars Gary Mavers as Detective Sergeant Adam Ross, who is drawn into a web of adultery, deception and murder when he falls for the rich, beautiful and mysterious Gale Francombe, played by Jemma.
Gale lives with millionaire husband Ben (Tim Woodward), and enjoys all the trappings of the rich and appears to be well beyond Adam’s wildest dreams. The chemistry between them is immediate and they begin a passionate and dangerous affair.
“It was great fun to play someone so wicked,” says Jemma, daughter of Corin Redgrave and niece of Vanessa.
The role couldn’t be more different from that of Bramwell’s Victorian lady doctor. “Gale’s pulse rate never raises much, so it’s less exhausting to play than someone like Bramwell who’s more emotionally engaged in life.”
Jemma admits she thoroughly enjoyed pumping several bullets into Woodward, her screen husband. “I’ve not worked with a gun before, but I was told I was a total natural!” she laughs. “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near a real gun as I find them pretty revolting and scary things, but play- acting is different.
“It’s all make-believe and it was a real release. We had a gun trainer on set and I went out into the garden and we scared all the birds. When I pulled the trigger on Tim, I let my mind go blank. Rather like the bullets!”
Jemma was surprised to be offered the role of Gale. “It’s not the kind of thing I’m generally offered,” she says. “If you play someone for a long time, you do become identified with that character – like Bramwell. Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to see someone in something different.” With Bramwell so gory and Blue Murder so raunchy, it’s no wonder Jemma’s five- year-old son Gabriel has seen so little of his mum’s work on screen. “He will hopefully be able to watch my next one, Cry Wolf, which is a sitcom pilot for the BBC,” says Jemma. “I play a stroppy doctor.
“Yes, another medic, though, it’s a far cry from Bramwell.”
So far, Gabriel has tended to accompany his mother on many of her TV shoots, and he has a reasonable idea about the work of an actress.
“I experienced the same world as a child,” says Jemma. “You know your parent is acting, but it’s difficult to distinguish real life from drama. I remember seeing my Dad in something where he got killed. It was upsetting.”
Jemma is filming another BBC drama series, Fish, in which she and Paul McGann play lawyers. “It wasn’t hard doing the research,” she smiles, quickly adding, “Yes, I’ve had a lot of advice from Tim.
“Paul McGann is the star of the series, as a barrister working on industrial tribunal cases, and I’m his regular opposition – for the forces of darkness, generally speaking, though she’s not unsympathetic. She’s just more pragmatic. And there’s just a hint of UST – Unresolved Sexual Tension!”
There are no plans for a revival of Bramwell, despite its huge popularity. “I think everyone felt we took it as far as we could,” says Jemma.
So will Bramwell fans be shocked by Blue Murder? “I hope not,” she says. “It’s funny, the whole thing about image, and how viewers of a popular series expect to see you.
“A friend of mine in Bristol went to see the Irvine Welsh film I did, The Acid House, which was very in- your-face and controversial, and she said about eight pensioners came into the cinema. They all looked like they were Bramwell fans, and they were shocked.
“My advice to them is `Buy the Bramwell videos, stick with that!’ But seriously, I do think it’s important for an actor to explore new avenues. The last thing I want is to get typecast.” Trust us, after Blue Murder, there’ll never be any danger of that.
We continue our press update with this interview from 2000. Enjoy reading!
To say that the last few years have been tough for Jemma Redgrave is something of an understatement. The Bramwell star has been through more traumas than anyone deserves. But now she has a reason to smile again, as her dream of having another baby is about to come true.
“I’m delighted to be having another child,” says Jemma, 34, who already has a five-year-old son, Gabriel. “There is nothing more rewarding than having a baby. It provides the meaning to everything. I love being a mother. It’s the greatest love affair.
“And I am, of course, looking forward to those sleepless nights in late April,” she adds with a smile.
“I never wanted Gabriel to be an only child. I’m very close to my brother Luke, and I don’t know how I’d have organised everything without him when mum died. It’s nice that someone else knows exactly what you are going through in that situation.
“I wouldn’t want Gabriel to have to decide whether to put me in an old people’s home on his own. When Tim and I are old and decrepit, I think it’s important Gabe has someone to sound off to.
“Raising my children is definitely the most worthwhile job I’ll ever do. If you don’t do that right, everything else you achieve is meaningless.”
For Jemma, who is back on our screens this week in the ITV thriller Blue Murder, the delight of becoming a mum again has a special poignancy. Having a second child will go a long way to helping heal the heartache and grief of the past few years.
Her mum Deirdre, a 1960s model, lost a long battle against cancer in 1997. And just a few months before her death, Jemma and her husband of seven years, barrister Tim Owen, decided to part. Happily, after an 18-month trial separation, she and Tim, 37, patched up their marriage. They have been back together for more than a year and are delighted that they are going to be parents again.
Jemma, who became a household name in the period drama Bramwell, blames hectic work schedules for putting their relationship under pressure in the first place. While she was busy establishing herself as one of Britain’s most versatile stage and screen actresses, Tim was working long hours in court and their marriage suffered as a result. But when they decided to part they were still very involved in each other’s lives. Tim even moved into a flat just around the corner from their North London home, so that he could see Gabriel every day.
“There were a lot of pressures put on us because of the hours I worked and the hours Tim worked, and it got out of hand,” says Jemma.
“We didn’t cope with it at all well. In some ways, you cope better before you have children. Suddenly another pressure is brought to bear. It was hard on both of us but we managed to work through it and I’m so glad we did. It’s really been worth it. It’s been worth all the difficulty.
“Tim is a wonderful dad. It has made us stronger and I feel very lucky.”
The experience made her re-evaluate her life. “You have to look at what is important and what isn’t,” she says. “If the important things are right, then everything else seems trivial by comparison. The important things in my life are my child and that the people I love are healthy and happy. Nothing comes close to that.”
The loss of her mother also prompted Jemma to reassess her circumstances. Deirdre, who was divorced from Jemma’s dad Corin in the 1970s, was diagnosed with cancer in 1992. Her family believed she had beaten the disease after a long battle. Ironically, it wasn’t cancer that killed her. Following a dinner date, she died suddenly of pneumonia aged 58.
“Mum was coming up to the five-year clear period when she got the secondary tumours,” explains Jemma. “It was terrible. It takes a year after losing a parent to even begin to be normal again. You don’t bounce back, it changes your life completely.
“You recover and go on, but life is different afterwards. It’s huge and awful and I still miss her terribly. We were very close, particularly because she had cancer for five years. Over that time we became incredibly close. You are so aware that a clock is ticking. Mum was very strong throughout her illness which helped us all.
“The one big thing I’ve learned from her death is to grab life with both hands and not to let a moment pass. That was the way she lived her life and it was a big thing for me to learn because I’m quite a shy, retiring person.”
Jemma is anything but shy and retiring in the Carlton thriller Blue Murder. She plays Gale Francombe, a millionaire’s wife whose passionate affair with a detective (Peak Practice’s Gary Mavers) leads to murder.
After years of playing goody-two-shoes it will be a shock to see her as a femme fatale, manipulating her lover into killing her husband. Gale has no redeeming qualities, she is bad through and through, and that was what drew Jemma to the part.
“I liked making Blue Murder a lot,” she says. “It’s not the sort of thing I usually get offered, so maybe it will break down people’s expectations of me. Gale is completely cold-hearted and calculating, which was an irresistible challenge after playing someone as intensely warm as Eleanor Bramwell.
“I liked the contrast. I also liked the fact that the character was so open to interpretation. Just as you think you are working her out she changes again. She plays every situation for what she can get.”
The part called for a dramatic change of look as well as personality. “They wanted a bold look and, I must admit, I gulped a few times when they talked about dying my hair platinum or black,” she says.
“In the end, we compromised with a deep red and a lot of make-up. I really liked it. I don’t usually get to wear a lot of make-up playing these ‘good women’ roles. I also got to wear all the designer kit, which was good fun.” Jemma has also completed a legal drama called Fish which co-stars Paul McGann.
And later this year she makes her comedy debut in Cry Wolf with Peter Egan. In that she plays GP Jocelyn Wolf, who finds herself pregnant with her business partner’s baby. “It’s been great to be offered such different roles,” she says.
“I was delighted to explore something new. “I laughed my head off filming Cry Wolf and it has been wonderful – laughter is the best therapy. It was very different performing in front of a studio audience.
The best thing is they don’t mind if you cock up and accidentally swear, they think it’s great.”Given the diverse roles she has been working on it’s hard to believe she once thought she could never cut it as an actress.
You’d think that belonging to the great Redgrave acting dynasty – her dad Corin is the brother of Lynn and Vanessa, whose actress daughters Natasha and Joely Richardson are Jemma’s cousins – would be added pressure, but she insists not.
In fact she reckons her laid-back, bohemian upbringing gave her the self-confidence to succeed. “I’ve never felt fearful or worried about the way I’d be perceived by other people,” she says. “I’ve had a lot of self-doubt about whether I could do the job or not but I haven’t felt intimidated by the name.
“Maybe that is blinkered of me but I think it’s more to do with the good job my family did in bringing me up. My parents made me feel I could achieve whatever I wanted to. Perhaps that is why Inever gave a second thought to whether people were thinking, ‘Oh, here comes another Redgrave’. They just focused on me and my brother Luke.
“All I felt very early on at drama school was that I might not be good enough, that maybe there wasn’t room for me as well. But there is, which is nice.” Any lingering doubts Jemma had were dispelled by her huge TV success.
Playing pioneering Victorian doctor Eleanor Bramwell in the hit drama made her famous in the mid-1990s. The roles that followed in The Buddha Of Suburbia, Mosely, Howard’s End and The Acid House, only shored up her reputation as one of our most versatile actresses. And she has done it all by managing to combine a career with motherhood.
She got her big TV break in Bramwell within months of giving birth to Gabriel, but admits the timing made life difficult.
“I was optioned for three series when Gabriel was just three months old. Going back to work when he was so young turned me into a basketcase,” she says. “I was working 90-hour weeks, getting hardly any sleep and I was exhausted. Looking back, I don’t know how I coped. I wantedto prove to everyone that I was going back to work and I put so much pressure on myself that it was ridiculous.
I wouldn’t do it again.” With so many projects already wrapped up, Jemma intends to take a break from her hectic schedule to be with her new baby, rather than rushing straight back to work. Second time around, she made sure her timing was right.
Blue Murder, Wednesday, ITV, 9pm.
Jemma Redgrave will have temperatures rising when she returns to our screens as Dr Eleanor Bramwell.
For in the new series, we discover more about Dr Bramwell’s private life as her romance continues with Finn O’Neill – and it promises to be streamy.
As Jemma explains: “Victorian life wasn’t as stuffy as we are led to believe. People did have sex as well as blazing rows.
“She is human, warts and all. I would like to have her as a friend. But I think she would be exhausting and demanding.”
Meanwhile, Jemma revealed that her number one fan is her three-year-old son, Gabriel.
The wee fellow is a regular on the set of Bramwell.
Jemma said: “He particularly likes the microscope. It’s great that I am able to take him to work.”
Thought to shake things up a little so we’re having a few new/old interviews posted on the website soon. This is a fav of mine…
STAGING an underground train crash was tough enough for the makers of Victorian medical series Bramwell (ITV, 9pm). But there was one drama that was completely unrehearsed.
The set was invaded by 30 armed men in balaclavas.
Jemma Redgrave, who plays pioneering doctor Eleanor Bramwell, says: “They rushed out of one tunnel and disappeared into the other and totally ignored us. Later we discovered they were security services on a training mission. They didn’t seem the least bit fazed by seeing us. But we were all stunned – to put it mildly.”
The set for the dramatic opening episode of the new series was created at the now disused Aldwych London Underground station.
Equipment had to be manhandled down 165 stairs. But that wasn’t the only difficulty. In the train crash, Eleanor has to operate on a man whose leg has been crushed in a derailment. The problem was how to make the operation look authentic. The answer: a joint of pork.
“I have to say that working with a leg of pork under hot lights in a cramped set for several hours made the scene reek of authenticity,” says Jemma.
“Our producer was never allowed near because he would pass out at the sight of blood. But I relish the operations because I’m not squeamish. I find the medical aspects of the stories fascinating – and you don’t have to worry about motivation when you are sawing through a leg.”
In the new series, Eleanor is involved with a fellow doctor but her father disapproves.
“He thinks the man is a scheming opportunist,” says Jemma, who is married with a two-year-old son, Gabriel. “He thinks she’s a hussy.”
Jemma says it’s too early to say whether her own son will follow in the famous Redgrave acting family footsteps.
“It’s hard to tell what dramatic talent he might have,” she says. “When I was a child, I loved being around the theatre and becoming an actress was the natural thing to do.
“Having the Redgrave name was a problem only in that I didn’t want to let myself or my family down.”
The “Gallifreyan Gazette” have published a new interview with Jemma.
You can listen to the interview here. It’s a good one!
Spoilers are under the cut.
Continue reading Recent magazine snippets and ‘Berena’ spoilers
Last night’s Hobly City was gloriously gay. Not only did Dom and Isaac get it on, but trauma surgeon Bernie and consultant Serena were finally reunited. The air time given to LGBT storylines in this episode was way more than their straight counterparts. That’s thrilling enough, but what’s even more exciting is that #Berena proved themselves to be a canon-worthy same-sex female relationship on a BBC show. And neither one of them is dead. This is great news for LGBT representation on mainstream TV and phenomenal news for #Berena fans.
Let’s relive all the fun in a mini-recap. If you haven’t yet seen the episode, you can watch it on BBC iPlayer now.
It’s Bernie’s first day back on the ward and Serena has bought a new blouse and worn extra make-up for the occasion. She’s clearly as hyped as we are. She tries to chat Bernie up with some sexy “perforated ulcer” talk and they make eyes at each other over an unconscious bloke in the operating theatre. We’re all desperate for them to confess their true feelings, but it’s not until Serena’s nephew, Jason, thoughtfully locks them in an office together that things really heat up.
Bernie: What’s he doing?
Serena: I believe he’s playing Cupid.
Bernie: How’s that going for him?
Serena: Not very well given that you’re leaving again.
Bernie: I won’t. If you give me a reason to stay.
Serena: Will this do?
Bernie and Serena snog each others faces off and we all whoop with joy.
It was romantic, funny and beautifully played by actresses Catherine Russell and Jemma Redgrave
When we spoke to Jemma for the latest issue of DIVA she told us, “There aren’t so many relationships between women of our age, so it’s been huge and quite overwhelming that there’s been such an incredible response.”
You can read the rest of the exclusive interview in the November issue, in shops now or available for digital download here.
We are counting down the days till we can get another #Berena fix next Tuesgay.