Life on BBC: Alison Steadman details scenes which were ‘difficult to film’

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Alison Steadman is one of the UK’s most best-loved stars and has become renowned for a series of incredible performances throughout her career. Tonight sees her new alter-ego left in a particularly emotional situation after a milestone birthday throws up some new dilemmas about her life so far. However, star Alison opened up to and other press about what she found “difficult” about the drama, which explores every aspect of life.

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Viewers will meet four different groups of people, who all are in their own challenging situations which somehow become interwoven together. 

The new drama, written by Doctor Foster creator Mike Bartlett,  explores themes of love, loss, new beginnings and more. 

Alison stars as Gail, a loving grandmother who celebrates her 70th birthday but not without something playing on her mind. 

When she unexpectedly bumps into an old friend, she will be seen re-evaluating her relationship with husband Henry (Peter Davison) after so many years. 

And when their encounter throws up some stark realisations for Gail, she will be left wondering how to move forward. 

However, with the show touching on some incredibly relatable topics, there were some scenes which the cast found hard to film.

Alison was quizzed on which scenes stood out as “difficult” to film but she couldn’t pick out one in particular.

She noted: “There are always scenes that are difficult to film, I can’t pinpoint any one [scene]. 

“As an actor, you’re always you want to serve the writer, you want to get it right, you want to make sure that you’re on track.

“So there’s always a feeling of working, working, working, working so that you give what the writer and the director wants.”

Giving more information on why she found some aspects harder, the actress added: “It was challenging at times because of the emotion of the character. 

“But that’s what’s great about it, that’s what’s so exciting and wonderful.”

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She went on to speak further her role, saying: “I mean, I loved playing Gail and I loved going on the journey with her. It wasn’t easy. Life isn’t easy.

“And Gail is in a position very often where she’s making choices, decisions, wondering, reflecting, I suppose. That’s what was great about playing this part, It was brilliant,” Alison teased.

BBC viewers will have seen Alison in a string of other shows over the years, including Gavin and Stacey where she played the iconic Pam Shipman.

And when show writer Mike Bartlett was asked whether he found the prospect of working with Alison “intimidating”, he joked: “Of course!

“I mean… I don’t know what’s going on! Alison Steadman is in this show and it’s brilliant. I mean, luckily, Alison is one of the world’s loveliest, loveliest people.

“I’m going to say that, and very funny and amazing company, and all of those things. And so actually, it’s a joy. But yes, I still don’t quite know what world I’m living in where this is happening, Totally!” gushed the show writer. 

But the star remained completely humble, replying: “That is ridiculous! I was over the moon, about doing your piece, this is just madness!”

Giving more insight on the experience of filming the show alongside the rest of the star-studded cast, she said: “I can’t tell you that working on this job in Manchester. And it was such fun as well as, you know, hard work and everything.

“We all shared the evenings where we chatted and we, we sort of like bonded and it was just so lovely… we had such a fun time together.”

Life begins tonight at 9pm on BBC One. 

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