The Tower star Gemma Whelan nearly missed out on being able to film extra scenes for the show as they came just days before she was about give birth.
The new ITV drama kicked off on Monday night, with fans instantly drawn into the tense police-based series featuring two fatal casualties in the opening moments.
Actress Gemma Whelan was soon at the heart of the action, as DS Sarah Collins, the officer tasked with solving the harrowing crime.
But Gemma was nearly unable to complete extra filming due to having very special commitments elsewhere.
After filming for the show ended, some scenes required to be added on last minute – which couldn’t have been worse timing for star Gemma, who was about to give birth to her second child.
Producer Patrick Harbinson praised the actress in a recent Q&A, saying: ‘I could throw changes at her at the last minute and she’d absorb them instantly.
‘After the main shoot was over, we did some pick-ups in London. We hesitated over approaching Gemma because by then she was nine months pregnant.
‘But in the end, we summoned our courage and asked her if she could give us a day or two,’ with the star more than happy to oblige.
Patrick added: ‘She turned up on set with, as she said, ‘a basketball under her jumper’, telling jokes to the crew, cheerful and relaxed and beautifully prepared, gave us four brilliant new scenes and then, professional as ever, left in time to have her second child.’
The series already has rave reviews, after being based on a series of books called Postmortem, written by ex-Metropolitan police officer, Kate London.
But actress Gemma revealed she didn’t read the books after finding it difficult to differentiate between the novels and the scripts she had been given.
Speaking during a Q&A to press, Gemma said: ‘I actually didn’t read the books, I started reading the books and – I’m obviously easily confused – but I got a bit confused as to what was the script and what was the book and what bits I should be focusing on.’
She was told by director Jim Loach to just ‘concentrate on the script’ and he would fill her in on any gaps in her knowledge.
Gemma also spoke to author Kate about her experience as a detective and when the character of Sarah came from.
She added of her alter-ego: ‘I just love this very sort of morally strict woman who seems to be wedded to her job and is very black and white in terms of what she thinks is right and wrong in the police force and the protocol.
‘I suppose I related to her quite a lot in that I do I tend to throw myself into my work quite a bit and I can be quite black and white and dogmatic as well.
‘I found her vulnerabilities interesting and her strength interesting and also that she wasn’t someone who is guilty… she’s very strong, and sure of herself at work, and I like that it wasn’t a weak female – there’s no such thing as a weak female.’
The Tower continues tonight at 9pm on ITV.
Credit: Original article published here.