Flack interview - Sophie Okonedo (Caroline)

As Robyn's boss, Sophie explains how her character is, in herself, a character and how she came to be involved with Flack.

Flack interview - Sophie Okonedo (Caroline)

What drew you to this project?

The script attracted me straight away. I read it in one sitting - always a good sign. If I'm reading a script and I think, "I'll finish it tomorrow," that's not such a good sign! As soon as I'd read the first episode, I phoned my agent and said, "I'm totally doing this! This is absolutely what I want to do next, there is no doubt about it." The whole piece is so current, sparky and grown-up. It's also hilariously funny. I think it will appeal to a lot of people.

Is it like anything else on TV?

No. I was trying to think what I could compare it to, and I couldn't think of anything because it's so original. If anything, it's like a naughtier, darker, more modern Absolutely Fabulous. There is a darkness to all the characters in Flack.

How would you describe your character?

Caroline is very driven. That comes from not having the easiest of starts in life and from being a woman. She's made the decision that this will be her career. I love Caroline. I could play her for years!

How would you characterise Caroline's job?

It's like a cuckoo's egg. If you don't want it, kick it out of the nest. But if you want it, it's going to grow bigger than all the other chicks in your life and demand everything of you. It's going to be all-consuming. The people in this company have made a choice; it will be the most important thing in their lives - nothing else can compete. Caroline says to her staff, "Embrace cold ambition in your belly. That's what will be driving you."

How does she operate at work?

She's the embodiment of PR. She's very much of that world. She's created this character called Caroline who talks in a posh way. That may or may not be a true reflection of her. She's not quite who she appears to be. She's hiding something. She's manufactured this character who is appealing to clients in order to make a profit. She equates profit with success. She cut her teeth in New York where they're not ashamed to talk about profit.

What is her relationship like with Robyn?

Caroline sees herself in Robyn. She wouldn't bring someone in close unless some part of herself was reflected back. They're very similar. In fact, all the girls in Caroline's company are very similar to her. You can already see that Melody will end up like her!

How have you found it working with Anna?

She's brilliant. She's not at all grand. She mucks in with everyone else. She has an amazing amount of energy. She is able to juggle a lot of things at the same time, which I find very impressive. She also knows the script back to front.

Have you enjoyed working with a female ensemble?

Absolutely. It's so wonderful. There are so many brilliant female parts in Flack. The cast is also very diverse - which is just as it should be!

How similar are you to Caroline?

I'm not at all like Caroline in real life - I'm far too emotional. But I really enjoy coming in and bossing my team around in Flack - that's a side I don't have at home. I can let rip here. In fact, the more horrible I am in the scenes, the more I enjoy it!