Orla Brady (‘Eternal Law’) interview

Irish born actress Orla Brady is well known for her role as Siobhan Dillon in BBC One’s Mistresses. She has also starred alongside Kenneth Branagh in the critically acclaimed Wallander, Sky1’s Strike Back, and in the US drama Fringe.

Created and written by Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes), ITV1’s new drama series Eternal Law sees Orla star as a former angel, Mrs Sheringham.

Episode 1 airs at 9pm on Thursday 5th January on ITV1.

> Buy the Series 1 DVD on Amazon.

What makes Eternal Law unique?

Eternal Law plays with the idea that if we could look past most people’s behaviour, the aggressive, the ungenerous, the surly, we would see the insecurity and fear that causes it. We would see the essential goodness in people.”

Who is Mrs Sheringham?

“Mrs Sheringham works with Zak and Tom. As a former angel her perspective on the world is quite a bit more understanding than most. She does not let bad behaviour ruffle her, but rather tries to understand why someone is behaving that way.

“Equally though, she will not let bad manners go without comment. She is strict but fair..!”

What’s her relationship like with Zak and Tom?

“She is somewhat maternal with Tom, as he is young and she can see he is a little lost and lonely on his first outing to earth.

“She and Zak are more like very old friends; they are comfortable together, companionable, tolerant and kind. But she also finds him frustrating at times with his occasional cynicism and frequent rule-bending.”

What attracted you to the role of Mrs Sheringham?

“I was attracted by the idea of playing a character who doesn’t have a clearly defined place in the world and who is trying to carve one out, trying to have a useful life, feel some sense of achievement. I liked that Mrs Sheringham is without husband or children and that her sense of fulfilment lies elsewhere. “

Do you believe in guardian angels?

“A belief in guardian angels was standard stuff for a Catholic seven year old; the comforting notion that you have your own personal heavenly being who will look out for you. My belief didn’t last long after this age, although I know there are people who continue to believe they exist.

“I now believe that we only have ourselves and we can be ‘angels’ or ‘devils’ depending on how we treat each other.”

What was it like filming in York?

“We worked in a beautiful old hospital, which was yards from the front of York Minster. Our dressing rooms looked out at the Minster and we could hear the bells pealing all day. We could walk to set which was frequently a busy street in York.

“Unlike any public place I have worked before, the people who live and work there were very welcoming and accommodating in spite of the obvious disruption that filming causes. It was… heavenly!”

Did you enjoy exploring the city?

“I loved being in York. I lived in a sweet little cottage behind York Minster and cycled to work in the mornings listening to the wonderful bells ringing out. It truly felt like stepping back in time. I shopped at the outdoor markets, cycled out along the river on days off, lit a fire in the evenings and sat down to read.

“Plus there are cake shops. Oh the cakes shops! The original being Betty’s, which again is a welcome step back to a time when no-one asks you to queue up for an overpriced coffee in a paper cup. Rather they elegantly sit you down, welcome you… and that’s before we even talk about the cream cakes.”

> Buy the Series 1 DVD on Amazon.

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