Eve: Interview: Jenny Bede

EVE_EP02_STILL_006In CBBC’s Eve, Jenny Bede plays Will’s mum and Nick’s ex-wife Rebecca, who was not mentioned in series 1. But now she’s returned, and secrets that she and Nick shared – regarding the mysterious Aurora – come back to haunt them as the second series reaches its conclusion. Paul Simpson caught up with the actor, writer and comedian on set for the final episode of the second year…



How did you get involved with Eve?

I got a casting and because I’m in London, I had to put myself on tape, which I do quite often and never think about again because nothing ever happens. Then I got a call asking me to come to Glasgow.

It’s one of those things that’s worked out really nicely – it’s such a lovely production to be on.

So what did they tell you about Rebecca?

So little, because some bits were still being decided. I knew there was some sort of twist, I knew there was something quite important plotwise towards the end that had to do with me but I didn’t know loads. I got one episode to look at so that was quite telling; you could see the kind of person she was, but it was a bit of a mystery – which makes it quite fun.

When you actually got the part, did you get told more?

It’s been fed in gradually. Again, I learned a lot more but not everything and it’s only starting to make sense now that I’ve read the final episodes, and they’re great.

REbecca 1And if you know something, even unconsciously, you can play it? If you’re the villain you might emphasise those sides…

Which sometimes you want, sometimes you don’t. I feel like it’s worked out – there was nothing so big such as “Oh, I’m an American man”.

Who do you interact with most?

Most of my scenes have been with Ben [Cartwright], who plays my ex-husband Nick and to an extent [Oliver] as well, my son. It’s really interesting – it’s been fun to find out what level I’m on with Nick still. We know that we’re ex-partners, and there’s obviously a lot of hurt there, but at the same time, we’ve got one big common interest, which is our son, so we have to be civil.

I’ve just started doing a couple of scenes in Calimov, which is so exciting, because I’ve now watched the whole first series which I loved – the kids are extraordinary. I’m glad I didn’t watch it before my first day or I’d have been super-intimidated I think. It’s been really exciting to do scenes with Katherine and Mary, a bit more action-y. Most of them have been at home.

You’ve been more involved with the emotional rather than the action beats?

A bit of both really so it’s been a nice mix.

Does she know about Eve?

I learn it in my first episode and it’s a bit of an eye-opener. I get on board quickly. My backstory is that I worked as a receptionist at Calimov years ago, so I know about part of it – it’s not the most shocking thing I suppose.

Do you like this genre? Is it something you choose to watch?

It is actually; I kind of like a bit of the supernatural to read as well as to watch. It’s not something I’ve been part of before so I’m really excited to see what happens when all the effects go on.

I don’t do drama very often – I’m a comedy actor and writer – so it’s completely new in a way. I’ve been really enjoying it.

EVE2_EP11_STILL_004What’s been the biggest challenge then for you coming in to the series?

Rebecca is an interesting character. What we see of her now, there’s so much going on that she has to catch up on. I’m used to getting a script and saying, “Where can I put the comedy beats?” That’s not my part in these scenes because that would really interrupt the flow.

As well, pretending to have a child [has been a challenge] because I don’t have one of those, and there’s been a few times when I’ve had to stroke Will’s face lovingly, and I’ve thought, “I don’t really know how to do this.” That’s been a challenge but it’s such a great part with such great writing, and it’s such a lovely thing to be part of, and people have been so helpful – I’m sad it’s coming to an end.

What do you look for in a script – apart from the paycheque at the end of it?

That’s important; the other thing is that they offer me the job – that’s always a big plus! As a woman, I look for strong female roles, I suppose. I read a lot of comedy scripts where they just don’t give women the jokes. “She’s a great, sassy character…” No, you need to give a comic flaws. I think a lot of the time comedy writers are scared of making women imperfect – they become obsessed with them being likeable ,which you don’t think about when you write for a man. It should be the same rules.

In terms of this it was instant – it was a really great script and I was able to watch some of the first series and realise, yes, it’s a kids’ show but that’s incidental.

It’s drama first…

It’s great drama first, and it happens to be for kids. There are good strong characters, and that’s what comes with having female writers as well. That’s always going to be there. When men write for women, they guess at what we think and it’s not always the same. When there’s a strong female writing group, that’s taken care of.

Can the same be said of women writing for men?

Yes, but you don’t have as many female writers given the opportunities unfortunately!

Series 2 of Eve is now available to watch on iPlayer

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