Flack interview - Lydia Wilson (Eve)

The Requiem and Ripper Street actress tells us why Flack was an empowering experience.

Flack interview - Lydia Wilson (Eve)

What appealed to you about Flack?

They're brilliant scripts. I was super drawn into the drama and found them laugh-out-loud funny. That's very unusual with scripts I get sent, where the comedy is often very predictable. But Oliver is constantly dancing one step ahead of you with his wit. He's very smart, but also angry and tender.

Talk us through your character.

She's great. I remember thinking when I read it, "Whoever gets to play Eve is really lucky." She styles herself to be iconic in what she says and wears, and she achieves that. She is iconic.

Was Eve born to be a PR?

Definitely. She's been doing PR her whole life. She's from a posh family and probably didn't see very much of them as she was sent to boarding school as a young child. She learnt very early on how to work a room and make people feel good without connecting with them. PR comes very naturally to her.

What can you tell us about Eve's relationship with Robyn?

Eve is completely in love with Robyn. She massively idolises her. Eve sees Robyn as brilliant at putting on masks, although she is aware that Robyn hints there is much more underneath. Also, Eve understands that Robyn didn't have it all handed to her. She's had to work her way up.

What about Eve's relationship with Melody?

It would be easy to imagine that Melody would be another person Eve is flippantly rude to, but ultimately, that's another love story - and I love playing it. Anyone called Melody is loved by her family, so that initially arouses some infantile jealousy in Eve. But Eve expects a lot from Melody. She thinks, "I'm waiting for the day she challenges me. I see the potential in her. My big hero, Caroline, has employed her, so there must be something to her."

What is your view of Eve's cynicism?

I don't agree with all the stuff that comes out of her mouth. I wish she'd read a bit about human rights! When playing this character, I think, "You go that way, Eve, and I'll go this way." But that's real. Nobody's perfect.

Are there any similarities between you and Eve?

She comes from a very different postcode and wouldn't be able to find my house! At the same time, she's a single woman in her thirties whose career is important to her identity and as a result she finds herself in this strange London lifestyle - I can relate to that massively.

Have you enjoyed acting with Anna?

Absolutely. She's a movie star and amazing to watch. The more I work with her, the more I'm natural on camera. If you patronise the audience, you can do lowest common denominator stuff, but that's not in Anna's repertoire. It's exciting to work with such a brilliant actress. You have to raise your game.

How have you found it collaborating with Anna as executive producer?

It's thrilling working with someone who wears an executive hat as well. She's a virtuoso. I didn't know it was possible to be that impressive! She is someone who celebrates people and enables them to be the most empowered and best version of themselves. She's created a new wave of kinship and allegiance I haven't experienced before. This is a time when we need to push norms so they change. Anna is offering a masterclass in that. As a person and as a performer, she's incredible. I love her!

What has it been like working on a drama where all the leading characters are female?

It's been great. We have such a bond and it's only getting richer. But it didn't take any adjusting to. It's absolutely fine to tell stories with just women. There's nothing missing. We're not saying, "Let's not hear men's stories." We simply want equality. As a result of dramas like this, the stories about men might get better. Men might see themselves reflected in these female characters.With things like the "Me Too" movement and more open discussion of men's mental health, the conversation is just getting more and more eloquent.

How do you hope audiences will respond to Flack?

I hope they feel respected. Their wit is being met at a level of velocity a lot of comedy shows don't have. Those shows take you to a cosy, stupid place. This is so smart, it makes you feel clever, and that's very unusual.

How do feel about Bradley Whitford guest-starring in an episode of Flack?

It's the most lovely affirmation for Oliver that an actor from his favourite show, The West Wing, wants to be in Flack. I'm not in Bradley's episode, which is set on a plane. I'll have to try and smuggle myself onto the plane. Everyone is trying to be a stowaway on that plane!