Q&A: Jessie Wallace Speaks of Her Time on Redwater



On Wednesday, June 28 at 10pm ET/7pm PT, we hope you will accompany us for the VisionTV premiere of the enticing new British drama, “Redwater.” In this series, EasterEnders‘ Kat and Alfie Moon head over to Ireland to search for Kat’s long-lost son.
To get you set for the mysterious, yet thrilling ride that is “Redwater,” here is an interview with Jessie Wallace, the marvellous actress who plays the fiery lead character, Kat.
Q: Give us some background on the character of Kat for those who aren’t familiar with her?
JW: “Kat is a very colourful person, there’s a lot of layers to her. There’s also a lot of history there… things that have happened and not all good. To play a character for 16 years and bring it to this, means there’s plenty underneath to bring to the surface. So much has happened to her and that’s what she brings with her to ‘Redwater.’
“Since leaving Walford, going to Spain and then coming to Ireland to find her son she’s kind of mellowed, which you can even see in the way she dresses. It’s a softer side to Kat than we’ve seen before, but there’s definitely still that fiery side to her, just not as much as we’ve seen in ‘EastEnders.'”
Q: Where is she in her life?

JW: “She wants to find her son. She didn’t realise that she had another child when Zoe was born, and 32 years later she learns that she also had a son, a twin brother to Zoe. She finds out exactly where he is and she goes to find him. She’s at a point where she wants peace and to settle down, with no more drama in her life.”
Q: What does she find when she comes to Redwater?

JW: “When Kat and Alfie arrive it’s instantly a mysterious place. It reminds me a bit of the film Under Milk Wood – it’s got those dark tones to it and also a bit like ‘The Wickerman’ [1970s horror] where they’re in this strange environment, a kind of place they’ve never been before and they’re not made welcome. They’re treated like outsiders and feel like a fishes out of water.”
Q: So the locals are suspicious of her?

JW: “Very suspicious! They rent a holiday house; but they might be on holiday, they might not – and of course it’s a small village, and everyone hears and wonders why they are really here. Everyone is asking why they say they are here for a holiday but don’t know how long they are staying, why are they asking so may questions – who are these people?”
Q: How do Alfie and Kat react to this suspicion?

JW: “Well of course they can’t tell anyone why they’re here, so they just have to try to keep quiet. At one point, Kat is blamed for something that she didn’t do and she has to take it on the chin. Whereas if they were in Walford, Kat would probably punch them in the face, or be the Kat she’s known for being! Here, she’s treading on eggshells as she doesn’t want to get chucked out the village, so she’s biding her time and biting her tongue.”
Q: How is her relationship with Alfie?

JW: “Alfie is a bit sidelined once they are in Redwater as she’s just fixated with finding with her son. So his nose is put out of joint, but as always he makes his presence felt! Also, she’s not exactly ‘neglecting’ Tommy, but she’s definitely not giving him the attention that he needs as she is so torn, so Alfie’s quite annoyed and emotional with her.”
Q: Has filming this drama been a different process to ‘EastEnders’?

JW: “It’s a much steadier pace and it’s all shot on single camera, which looks beautiful. When you’re shooting a drama like EastEnders it is such a fast turnaround, that you’re filming about 26 scenes a day. Whereas here you can spend a whole day on one scene and concentrate on another level of detail. We’ve had an amazing team to work with that have such interesting drama backgrounds, from Ripper St and Game Of Thrones to Penny Dreadful. I think they are the best team in the world; it’s been a whole new experience being here.”
Q: Any highlights from filming?

JW: “I’ve done my own stunts and my highlight would probably have to be where I jump from a boat into the sea, and the underwater sequence. Although we shot that in Dublin and it was freezing cold!”
Q: How have you enjoyed Dunmore East?

JW: “It’s a little jewel that I’d never heard of. Every corner you turn there’s something beautiful, with stunning beaches, and the people here are so friendly and welcoming.”

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