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TV Interview

MyAnna Buring 'Blackout' Q&A: 'It has a film noir edge'

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MyAnna Buring as Sylvie in 'Blackout'

© BBC / Red Productions

If you're a fan of deep, dark and moody British drama, then we heartily recommend you check out BBC One's Blackout - this new three-part thriller tells the tale of a corrupt politician with a very bad conscience and features a top-notch cast, including Christopher Eccleston, Andrew Scott, Ewen Bremner and Dervla Kirwan.

Also on board is Twilight and The Descent actress MyAnna Buring, who plays Sylvie, wife of Scott's Dalien Bevan. Digital Spy caught up with MyAnna - while she was filming a new role for the BBC's Ripper Street in Dublin - to learn more about Blackout...

What is Blackout all about?
"Blackout is the story of, very simply, a corrupt politician who is an addict and an alcoholic. In one of his alcoholic blackouts, he commits a horrific crime. And, he decides to come clean, but just before he comes clean, he commits an act of great heroism, which propels him into a position where he is seen as sort of people's hero.

"He is then faced with a choice of whether to tell the truth about what he has done, and potentially risk losing everything he has - the family he is trying to save, and himself - or whether living a lie for the greater good is something that he can actually do."

So how does your character Sylvie fit into all this?
"Well, Sylvie is a young woman who is married to a detective, played by Andrew Scott. They have separated and she is a woman who became a mum very young and struggled with the responsibilities and confines of that. A young woman who finds herself living in quite a small world compared to the one she probably hoped she would be living in.

"She starts going out in order to find adventure and she meets Daniel (Christopher Eccleston) when he is out on one of his rampages. She becomes privy to the crime he commits. So she's sort of a reminder of the crime he commits as he tries to get his life back on track, and quite a dangerous reminder of his past."

MyAnna Buring as Sylvie and Christopher Eccleston as Daniel Demoys in 'Blackout'

© BBC / Red Productions



Is this one of the darkest roles you've ever played?
"Absolutely, and I think that's what drew me to it. She's just incredibly complex and involved and I just thought it was quite exciting to take on the challenge of bringing her to life, which hopefully I've done. She's interesting, and it was great working with [director] Tom [Green] - we were chatting about the fact that she probably grew up watching old Hollywood films, and having these women as idols, like Veronica Lake, Marilyn Monroe and Frances Farmer.

"When she goes out, she very much tries to dress like them and emulate them. She uses it as a kind of mask, so she does her hair and she paints her face, and creates a persona to go out in. I think all the characters in this very much play roles."

Is there an element of film noir to Blackout then would you say?
"Absolutely, and it was once again such an exciting world to step into. It gave it an edge that I haven't really seen on other stuff on TV, so it added to the draw of the project. I think I got the best end of the deal because I just get to dress up and have a lot of fun!"

What was it like working with Christopher Eccleston? He's a bit of an acting legend...
"He is an acting legend. Absolutely, he completely lived up to that reputation. He's an absolute gent, an incredibly generous actor. Just a joy, a real joy.

"I was really lucky because most of my scenes were with him or with Andrew Scott, so I was really fortunate to work with, I think, two of the best actors in the country."

What was it like working with Andrew as well - were you a big Sherlock fan before you met him?
"I was a massive Sherlock fan. Massive. But also with Andrew, he constantly produces really thought-provoking characters and I think his work always has a really interesting edge to it. He definitely brought that to this project as well."

MyAnna Buring as Sylvie and Christopher Eccleston as Daniel Demoys in 'Blackout'

© BBC / Red Productions



Do you think Blackout is quite a timely drama, since corruption in politics is quite a hot topic at the moment?
"Absolutely, I always think that every time you do a project, you suddenly realise all the references around [in the real world] that sort of work in parallel with it. I think that's something that just tends to happen creatively.

"I guess it comes from the fact that when writers write, they write from what's around them. It's definitely a timely project. But then again I think politics has been corrupt throughout the ages, so maybe it's not so much a new concept but something that's being presented in a new, different and exciting way in this particular project."

You're in Dublin right now filming upcoming BBC One drama Ripper Street - what can you reveal about your role in that?
"I play a great character in that, who is the madam of a brothel - 'the best brothel in East London, I'll have you know'. She is completely different to Sylvie, she is much tougher, Sylvie is very fragile, and has a real brittle aspect to her. Whereas my character in Ripper Street most definitely doesn't, she's a really tough cookie, she knows how to handle herself."

The final Twilight film is out soon - are you going to be sad to bid that franchise goodbye?
"Well, I'm quite good at realising that everything has to come to an end, so as opposed to being sad, I'm really happy that I got to be a part of the end of such a massive saga. Whether you are a fan or not, you can't deny that it has propelled and moved people in such as huge way.

"I'm happy and I'm really excited about November - about it coming out and being able to see the six months of work we did and see the result of it."

Do you try to balance film and TV work, or do you just go where the good scripts are?
"It's all about the good scripts and the good characters for me. Nowadays there isn't so much a stigma about being a film actor or a TV actor. The stigma has sort of disappeared and I think that's a good thing, because it's always about the characters and the scripts and the parts. I feel very lucky as of late that I have been able to go up for the parts in scripts that I think are fantastic."

Blackout begins on Monday (July 2) at 9pm on BBC One.

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