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I TALK TO Rosie Cavaliero

As Prey returns for a second series, I caught up with Rosie Cavaliero about reprising her role as DS Susan Reinhardt.

When I spoke to Chris Lunt back in April 2014 about a series he'd written for ITV called Prey, little did either of us know that it would go on to be one of the outstanding drama series of last year and the fact it's returning was I'm sure even a surprise for Chris as he told me:

"Prey was always a single story. There was never a discussion of it being a returning series, I wanted to finish it and say – “There you go."

But after critical acclaim, a Royal Television Society North West Award for John Simm and a BAFTA Television Award nomination for Best Mini Series, and Chris himself nominated for Best Breakthrough Talent it's no surprise that ITV have ordered another series.

Would it work again? I was really hoping it would and after the disappointment that was Broadchurch Series 2 I was a little bit worried, but I needn't have been. After watching the first episode of the second series I felt exactly the same as I had when I first sat down to watch series one.

The new three-part series Philip Glenister take on the role of Prison Officer David Murdoch, whose life becomes complicated when on a routine visit to a Manchester hospital with female prisoner Jules Hope (MyAnna Buring). In typical Prey fashion, events spiral out of control and David takes a phone call that will change his life forever.

I'm pleased to say that the end of the first episode left me wanting more and even after just one episode I had already bought into the story and was hooked. Something I think is a real credit to Chris Lunt's writing.

First of all, you must have been really pleased with the reaction the first series of Prey got?

Oh yeah, I was over the moon! Really really pleased. I honestly didn't dare expect such a great reaction so it was lovely to have.

Were you surprised when you got the call about series two? Because Chris said to me it was always a single story...

Yeah I was! The way the story panned out and the fact that John's character was pretty much gone I thought, well if they do another series there's nowhere for his character to go really.

And I thought they wouldn't do another one without him and just, so I was really surprised when they said they were going to do another and "it's still going to be me you and we're going to get someone else who's really great!"

It must feel nice being the one surviving cast member?

Well, there's me and there's a couple of the smaller parts who are still in it, but it's very nice. We had a new director so it all felt like a new fresh job again.

This time around there's Philip Glenister instead of John Simm. What's it been like working with him?

He was great! I didn't have that many scenes with Phillip. So actually we only had a few days together but those days were really enjoyable because he's great company, a real laugh, no ego and really easy to chat to.

He was always keeping everyone entertained. He's a great impressionist, I can't actually remember any of the impressions he did! (Laughs) But he's good at them...

Someone you have worked a lot with this series is Nathan Stewart-Jarret... What's the relationship like between his character DC Richard Iddon and Susan?

Yes, he's come on board as a young kind of rookie, who's quite cocky and full of himself and very very ambitious.

He's young so she's a little bit wary of him. She finds his approach very impulsive and irritating, and the way he is with her, he's very cheeky so he'll tease her quite a lot, inappropriate at times, so she finds him very hard work.

But, at the end of the day he does entertain her in a way, and he's actually very dedicated to the job. He makes mistakes along the way but he gets stuck in and by the end they have a great working relationship.

How has Susan developed? Is she still obsessing over her ex?

(Laughs) No... this series she's trying a little bit harder to become a normal member of society. She's not stalking her ex, she's in a new relationship, which seems on the outside relatively healthy.

I'd say with Susan, that she's a little bit of a commitment-phobe, she's hit a bit of a crossroads with her career, she hasn't quite got the promotion she hoped for so she's at the stage where she's thinking what to do with her life.

She's in quite a healthy relationship but at the same time she's not 100% sure about it. Then of course once she gets back into her work, the relationship gets neglected a bit. She's not stalking so much, but she's still her usual grumpy, uncompromising self.

What's she like as a character to play?

I really like her because she's one of those people who I love to play, she just says what she thinks and doesn't really care. I'm the opposite of that, I say something and worry about it for three days, whereas Susan will just say it and go "Right, let's move on".

So I love playing that kind of gruff, blunt person who doesn't really care if she upsets people along the way. Life's too short and she's just getting on with it. She's rude basically! (Laughs) And I quite like that.

There was a lot of running in the first series. Is it the same this time around?

There was a lot of running. My character this time around has less running... although I did have a couple of days in the lake district where I had to run up a hill quite a lot.

Lots of running up and down stairwells as well, so I guess I did still have a lot of running, but Phil and MyAnna had the bulk of the running, and actually Nathan as well.

Phil and MyAnna had to jump into canals in the middle of the night, whilst handcuffed together which makes it even harder!

Nathan is an incredible runner anyway, he's so fast! If we had to do scenes where we ran together, I would run and he was virtually walking as I was so slow compared to him. (Laughs) We had to film it so that he was well behind me and then catches up in about 3 seconds flat!

What else can you say about series two, without giving too much away?

Well I'd say that like series one, it's a very high octane thriller with lots and lots of stunts, cliffhangers. The first episode is just a real edge of your seat, we wanted to have the same energy of the first series.

We wanted to have that monorail feeling - you're on it and you're not getting off. I really take my hat off to Lewis the director, how he's managed to achieve that. What they achieve in the edit is incredible, it's amazing.

When you're filming these things you're doing it quite meticulously and slowly, especially if you're doing it over and over again, and then they cut it together and make it look incredible!

Absolutely, there's a real cinematic quality about Prey and indeed a lot of good British drama. Would you agree that TV drama in this country is in a good place at the moment?

Yeah, there's a lot of great stuff out there at the moment isn't there? It's funny how it goes in waves. Sometimes you can't keep up and other weeks there's nothing. There's so much at the moment, it's great!

I don't know how people can complain about TV because I think it's at a really high standard at the moment.

So... Series three?

Well I would love that, but it would depend on so many factors. I would definitely love it, because I love playing that character and I think there's room for her to do her job in another storyline.

A part like that doesn't really come along very often, if at all so I have to grab it and do it!

What's next for you then?

Coming out I've got two specials of Hunderby which start next Thursday (10th December) on Sky Atlantic, so that's coming out in the same week as Prey.

I also played a part in Professor Branestawn which is coming out this Christmas on BBC One, with Harry Hill. That's it really, and there's also an episode of Call The Midwife which is coming out next year.

At the moment I'm just waiting for something nice to come along! (Laughs)

Could that maybe be Cold Feet? Do you think there's a possibility for Amy to return?

Oh my god!!! Well remembered! Well remembered. I think it's extremely unlikely that they'll get Amy back. I can't believe you remembered her name! That's amazing.

I can't believe it's coming back, but no, I don't think Amy will be coming back. She was just nuts and I think they wrote her out! (Laughs) I think they'd run a mile before bringing her back, but well remembered.

Prey returns Wednesday 9th December at 9pm on ITV


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