Interview extra

Hannah Spearritt, PrimevalJune 8, 2012

Hannah Spearritt in Primeval

Hannah Spearritt plays animal expert Abby Maitland in the time-travelling sci-fi series Primeval. She stars alongside her on-screen love interest and real-life fiancé Andrew-Lee Potts, and together they battle creatures from the past and future in the family drama…

PrimevalYou filmed this fifth series of Primeval more than a year ago. Which were your favourite episodes to film?
I thought the episode filmed in the ARC [Anomaly Research Centre] when the beetles come through was kind of cool because it was the first time we’d got to work together as a team. Usually we split up in our own smaller groups doing our own thing, but this time we were forced together in the same location. I also liked the Victorian episode.

Have you been told whether there will be a sixth series?
There’s been no mention of it to me. It’s a difficult one. We’ve had five series and it would be lovely if it did carry on. It’s kind of tough though because I hope it hasn’t lost momentum. If we made another one, by the time it’s shown again, all the fans will have been waiting a couple of years and I don’t know if that’s entirely fair.

The spin-off series, Primeval: New World, is being made in Canada. Does it feel strange that it doesn't feature the original team?
I guess so. I’m excited about seeing it, and it’s nice that the concept carries on. I’m just intrigued really to see how they do it. When Andrew filmed the mini-series, Alice, in Vancouver, we were both saying what a great place it would be to film Primeval. So it’ll be interesting to see what they do with the locations. I suppose it will be strange, but I’m excited for it as well.

Do you ever check websites to see what people are saying about the show?
With regard to what the fans say, we actually went to Collectormania recently, which was a sci-fi convention in Milton Keynes. It was pretty incredible to see how much support and love for the show there still is. People were dressed up as characters from the show and really wanting to share some love, which was incredible.

Aside from Primeval, you’re now also starring in One Man, Two Guvnors at London's Theatre Royal, Haymarket. How's that?
It’s such a fun show. It’s a fast-paced comedy set in Brighton during the Sixties. It’s got gangsters and I play a girl called Pauline. It’s really funny.

Hannah Spearritt in One Man, Two GuvnorsThe original cast of the play have transferred to Broadway in New York. Had you seen it before you went to work on it?
I saw it at the National and the Adelphi, and I loved it. It’s very different to what’s around and there are little musical pieces as well. I think it’s gone down very well on Broadway. My friend who does the make-up and wigs on the show is going over to see them, so I’ll soon get a better insight into how it’s going. But I think it’s gone down an absolute storm. They must be having an absolute blast.

What was it like for you going back on stage after being on TV for so long?
I’ve not been on stage for quite a few years, but I did a play at the end of last year at the Southwark Playhouse in London. It was for a month and we had a month of rehearsals. It was a great experience. Everybody got involved and we were all sharing a dressing room. I had a great time on that, and the casting director from One Man, Two Guvnors came to see me in it. I’m absolutely loving being on stage.

Would you like to do another play after this, or would you consider a return to musical theatre?
I’d love to do another play. One Man, Two Guvnors has the right amount of music for me. I love the music. It’s a bit tongue in cheek and it’s not taken too seriously and you don’t have to have a massive belting West End voice to take on the musical pieces that we do, which is quite handy! [laughs]

Hannah Spearritt in PrimevalYou’ve also talked in the past about considering going to America for work. Is that still the case?
The States is a funny one for me. Part of it is appealing and part of it is so not. It’s something that comes into conversation every now and again, but whether I’ll actually ever make that leap, we'll see. I’m so happy here at the minute, so I’m not feeling any urges as yet to go over there and follow that dream.

We know that you’re not joining up with Jo O’Meara, Bradley McIntosh and Paul Cattermole, who are touring as S Club, but have you spoken to any of your former bandmates recently?
I have. I saw Jon Lee recently and I speak to Tina Barrett. It’s cool that bands like Steps are getting back together, because it’s worked out for lots of people. But I don’t see it in my plans at all. In the future, I hope I’ll still be working and being able to do what I love. I feel very lucky at the minute, and doing theatre has really opened more doors for me. So as long as I can keep doing what I love, I’m very lucky.

ITV1, Saturday

Elaine Penn

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