Despite the BBC’s last minute schedule changes Tony Marchant’s gritty new three-parter Public Enemies debuts tonight. The story revolves around Eddie Motrum a convicted murderer who does his best to adjust to life in the outside world but finds himself unprepared for the way the world will treat him and unfairly treated by the system designed to help and protect him.
We recently spoke to Aisling Loftus (The Borrowers, Five Daughters) about her role in the series to find out what it was like to work on such an emotional piece of hard hitting drama.
Upon his release Eddie applies for work at a garden centre and lands the job working alongside feisty and warm Jade who imeditately hits it off with Eddie despite being completely in the dark about his background. Aisling told us more about her role.
Can you tell us a bit about how you got the part, what attracted you to the piece and how you were saw Jade when you read the script?
I thought the script was brilliant. I completely believed in Eddie and fell for him, first read. I didn’t know anything really about the rehabilitation system and the way Tony has shown it in this drama was quite a shock. it’s so pessimistic and difficult to succeed in. I really like his writing and really rate dearbhla Walsh so it was a bit of a dream to be involved.
When they first meet Jade tries to be sociable with Eddie offering to take him down the pub or go clubbing to which he refuses and they get off to a rocky start what are Jade’s first impressions of Eddie?I think Jade simply fancies him when she meets him- he’s a bit cagey and whatever but she buys that he’s just shy. it’s endearing. he’s an older guy too so she doesn’t expect it to be easy and teenage.
What is it that attracts Jade to Eddie as you know so little about him?He’s sweet and gentle and not the average testosteroney guy. Knowing little about him is another pull- he’s won’t lay all his cards on the table, he’s a bit mysterious.
When Jade notices Paula visiting the Garden Centre a lot Eddie is forced to lie and say he held a petrol station at gun point this doesn’t seem to phase Jade at all. Is she somewhat attracted by a “Bad Boy” image?I think she probably knocked about with a few ‘bad lads’ as she’s grown up- it’s not a shock to her that he’s been in trouble with the police- she’s not sheltered. I think shes strong on what she won’t stand though- she wouldn’t be with a thug- a scrapper or worse. what Eddie says he did she can handle.
Although Jade isn’t aware of the seriousness behind Eddie’s real crime she seems un-phased by him living in a hostel or missing a curfew. Do you think this is naivety on her part or is she really falling in love with him?
I think she sees him for what he is and that’s a good person. she’s definetly falling for him
What is Jade’s reaction when she learns of Eddie’s past?It breaks her heart because he lied in such a big way Which throws anything he’s said to her into doubt. If he’d told the truth from the start shed probably have stuck with him which I guess is the saddest bit. I suppose she is a little frightened of the person it seems he might be.
Did you find Jade an easy character to relate to?In part. She’s a very positive person and up for a laugh. She’s like A bit of sunshine. but I don’t know if I could be so nonjudgmental– if I heard someone had been to prison, though its shameful to say it, I’d think twice about them as boyfriend material.
Public Enemies is a very taut and emotional piece of TV drama what was the atmosphere like on set?From the off it was clearly something really good and rare and so everyone wanted it to be as good as it’s potential. Danny was in all day every day and was very focussed and tuned into Eddie. it was one of my favourite jobs to work on.
You’ve been on TV quite a bit in recent months what with The Borrowers and Public Enemies airing so close together. Are you being recognized more?I guess but not in a big way or anything.
You’re no stranger to gritty emotional dramas. You’ve starred in Dive and the wonderful Five Daughters do you prefer to work in drama?I prefer to do things I rate as an audience member really- be it drama or comedy or whatever. I’m doing a comedy called noises off at the old vic at the moment. I love it, it’s just a different way of doing the same things it’s all telling stories.
What do you look for in a script?just a good story really or a character with something a bit different about them if the story is pretty run of the mill. I don’t know really.
What do you love and loathe on TV?This year my favourite things were Top Boy and Black Mirror. particularly the 3rd episode. completely original and painful and tragic. Toby Kebbel was phenomenal. I hate things like strictly and game shows and stuff just find them really boring.
What else are you working on at the moment or can we look forward to seeing you in the future?
I did a bit in a series called ‘savage’ which will be on spring time on the bbc. I couldn’t do much on account of noises off but what I did do I really loved- warren brown is the lead and he’s absolutely awesome. can’t wait to see the whole thing.
You can catch Public Enemies at 9pm Wednesday 5th January – Friday 7th January on BBC1
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