The Kindness Of Strangers - Sunday 6 January

Sunday Theatre: The Kindness Of Strangers Sunday 6 January, 8.30pm

Tonight’s Sunday Theatre: The Kindness Of Strangers is a two-part psychological thriller starring Julie Graham, Hermione Norris and Neil Pearson (at 8.30pm on TV ONE).

Julie Graham (At Home With The Braithwaites) plays Ellie who, having turned 40, is unprepared for how different her life becomes after she gives birth to unplanned twins. From being a successful business partner with husband Joe (Neil Pearson, Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason), Ellie is now struggling to work from home, look after the twins, and deal with her teenage son.
While Ellie is feeling at an all-time low, a chance meeting with Fiona (Hermione Norris, Spooks) changes her life. Fiona, whose husband died five years previously, offers to help out to keep her own mind busy. This is music to Ellie’s ears – she is gaining a friend and getting help. Whenever Ellie turns around, Fiona is there. Even Joe thinks she is a godsend. But can friends get too close for comfort? Or can the mind play cruel tricks sometimes? After all, Ellie’s post-natal depressed state could lead to her imagining things.

Graham says she can relate to her character Ellie – they both just turned 40 and juggle work with a young baby – but also admits she is very different in other ways: “Ellie is a much more vulnerable character than I am. Things get really bad; she is unable to cope with the strains of having twins and trying to do work budgets from home.”

“She is a much more fragile person than any other character I have ever played. Ellie really does go to hell and back. Her relationship with her husband Joe is put under a huge amount of strain, before things really start to go wrong with their marriage.”

Admitting the cast was one of the reasons she decided to take the role, Graham says, “Hermione and I were like the wicked witches on set, and Neil was the honorary girl. During any downtime between scenes, Neil and I would share our love of doing crosswords together. We’d always help each other with the clues.”

After working with twin boys on William And Mary, Julie is no stranger to working with babies. “The twin girls in this drama were absolutely gorgeous. They really were little angels. The problem was giving them back to their mum and dad after filming our scenes. Their parents were so laid back that I think it rubbed off on the twins. In fact the twins were so good-natured we had to fake them crying at times.”

She says the atmosphere on set changed the minute the twins arrived – even crew members went all gooey. “My character is depressed, and the babies put me in such a good mood, I had to really fight to act grumpy – and that’s not usually hard for me.”

Part Two of The Kindness Of Strangers will screen on TV ONE, Monday 7 January at 8.30pm.

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