Interview: Jodi Balfour talks ‘Rellik’, Auditioning & Filming Nerves

Told in reverse, the BBC crime-thriller ‘Rellik’ keeps viewers on their toes, demanding them to become sleuths eight hours. In a similar way, the lead actress Jodi Balfour JODI BALFOUR was also kept on her toes during filming – with the challenge of non-chronological storytelling.

AC: What were some of the challenges in understanding your character with non-chronological storytelling?

JODI BALFOUR: Non-chronological storytelling complicates everything! Piecing together the puzzle of a person is always a complex challenge, but when you further complicate that task by jumbling the puzzle pieces entirely, it’s makes for a particularly tricky process. Thankfully, I had access to most of the scripts before we started filming which meant I was able to piece most of it together and start to understand who “Elaine” was. I had some support from Sam Miller in this of course, and the writing department too. In a way, the ethos of the show — that in order to understand why people do what they do, why they are who they are, you should look at where they’ve come from and what has shaped them — is incredibly similar to how we work as actors and was actually quite useful at times.

A lot of viewers have been left baffled and confused by the end of the episodes, how did you feel reading the scripts for the first time?

I had to read them slowly and thoroughly! It’s a dense, demanding show even on the page. I felt a little unsure but also very intrigued.

Was there a scene that you were particularly nervous about shooting?

I was nervous about the big finale scene with all the fire. It was one of the most intense things I’ve ever done as an actor. Both the content of the scene itself and the special effects made for a very exciting, very demanding, very draining day. We all knew it needed to achieve a certain amount of gravitas and that’s always a little anxiety-inducing because you want those moments to have the impact they need.

 

Did you audition for the part? What did the audition process consist of?

I did! I read for Sam Miller in London while I was shooting a guest part on ‘The Crown’. It was all fairly last minute, but I felt something click between Sam and I and the character. We worked a few of the scenes for a good while and then a couple of days later I was offered the part. I’ve worked for HBO/Cinemax (co-producing partners) before on a show called “Quarry” and, since then, they’ve been incredibly supportive of me.

The writers of ‘Rellik’ — Harry and Jack Williams have also had ‘Liar’ on TV, have you watched any of it?

I haven’t actually…I’m a bad employee! Really it’s because I’ve been back in the US and I’m not sure if it’s available to watch over here yet.

Could you see there being a second series of ‘Rellik’ — with a new story?

It was always intended to live as a mini-series, but who knows!? I’m sure Jack and Harry could write an interesting second season.

You can catch Jodi Balfour in ‘Rellik’ on BBC iPlayer.

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