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TV Interview

'Good Cop' Kerrie Hayes Q&A: 'I've been stalking police officers'

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BBC One's gripping new crime drama Good Cop starts tonight (August 30), and we've already brought you a chat with star Warren Brown, who's playing troubled policeman John Paul Rocksavage. But while Digital Spy was on the Liverpool set, we also got the chance to speak to the lovely Kerrie Hayes.

Kerrie Hayes in 'Good Cop'

© BBC



Kerrie's playing Amanda Morgan, who ends up being John Paul's new partner after his best friend is murdered - possibly not the easiest job! Read on to find out what she had to say...

Tell us about your character.
"My character Amanda, she comes in as Sav's new sidekick - that was my idea at the beginning, because that was the more fun idea. But she's a fast-track police officer so she's fresh out of a school and she's not really had much experience at all, so she's learning everything she can. But from speaking to a lot of police officers about these kind of people who do get bumped straight into the beat, they're often just on a vendetta to prove themselves. They want to be as good as the experienced police officers straight away, so it's a little bit of over-confidence and a lot of naivety and very much 'stick to the rule book' but not knowing what's going on. So there's a little bit of begrudged learning, I suppose, that I brought into the character."

How does Amanda get on with Sav?
"At the beginning, not so much, because she is like a replacement for his loss, and she doesn't feel comfortable, and she's with someone she feels doesn't really want to pay her any attention at all. But as events evolve, they gain each other's trust and respect and that's how they work together. It's interesting, because there [was] obviously a lot of male bonding with [Sav and his previous partner], and then to bring a woman into the mix, it changes the whole dynamic."

Does she suffer any sexism?
"Well, that kind of comes in. Not so much sexism. She gets a few come-ons, but this character kind of knows how to hold her own so that's okay. But there's nothing too serious. You get the odd ones - say, for example, some of the suspects know Sav and they know him with Andy and they see this girl and she's telling them what to do and they don't really take much notice of her. But she can hold her own."

How does it make you feel wearing the police uniform?
"Actually it makes me feel a lot more for the character, without sounding a bit weird! They said to me, 'Sometimes you want to take bits off to feel more comfortable', but I think it's better keeping it all because you do feel that it makes you walk differently. It's almost like a corset in itself, so it makes you sit up. And when we've been out on the streets it's been interesting because obviously when you do stuff on location and you're in costume you're aware that you're not yourself anyway, so you always feel a little bit different. But the reaction you get from the public is a bit weird because they do think you're a cop and I've had so many people come up to us and ask for directions. It's not even funny!"

Kerrie Hayes in 'Good Cop'

© BBC



If they ask you something easy, like directions, are you ever tempted to play along?
"Obviously I can't go and break that fundamental rule of pretending to be a police officer, but I'll help them out. But a lot of times I've not known what they're on about and they've gone, 'You're not a real copper, are you?' And they're dead disappointed because I don't know where they're going - they're not bothered about anything else! I once got lost in Anfield and I'm from there, so I'm completely useless."

Did you do any research before filming?
"We spoke to coppers, and I've been stalking police officers around where I live, especially the women. We've learnt a lot of interesting stuff, like the things that they have to deal with day-to-day, and then just lock it all off and have a normal life. Some situations, you would think if you were put in a situation like a cot death or whatever... it's horrible, basically. These people have to deal with that every day and then put it to bed as soon as they finish work, and that's the hardest thing. So when they do deal with these situations they're not exactly like, 'Shock horror', they're like, 'This happens then this happens then this happens'. And it seems a bit cold at times but they have to be because they deal with it so often. That was quite interesting to learn."

You mentioned you'd been stalking police officers you saw in the street...
"I'll follow them a little bit, because you'll see them walking around and I'm just interested to know are they constantly just on the lookout or can they have a conversation with whoever they're with? And do they get on with them, and how are they with each other? That is the most important thing to me because obviously they've got to be seen to be this unit walking around, but walking around for that length of time with the same person, it's got to get a bit...

"So it was interesting to see their relationships and their body language toward each other and they'll walk together, but they would be getting each other's backs and [spotting] everything that was going around. I've seen a few kick-offs and they've completely got each other's backs. It was interesting speaking to the police officers as well about say, for example, a situation arises and one of the coppers deals with it in a way that is not necessarily textbook - how does the other one react to it? There's a few incidences in this where that happens and they're allowed to say, 'Stop, what are you doing?' but they've got to save face because they're together and if they start arguing, then it's divide and conquer among the suspects."

Could you do the job yourself?
"No. No, no. I just... no. I just couldn't do it. It would be too much. I think I'd be stuck to the desk - I'd rather deal with all the paperwork! I don't think I could be out there with all these people because I'm not very good with intimidating situations anyway, and I don't think I could put on that mask, even though I am an actress. I don't think I could because it would be hard not to take a lot of it personally."

Kerrie Hayes in 'Good Cop'

© BBC



Did you say they had you out there tackling a suspect?
"Yeah, yeah they did. It was in the street. I had to run after a guy and tackle him down, and it was good because I quite enjoy the stunts of it. I knew he was all padded up and he was a stunt guy so it was completely safe, and he actually wanted me to hurt him more than I did, which was a bit weird."

Quite a lot could go wrong with a tackle in the street...
"That's true. We went through it quite a lot and I was padded up on the areas where I thought I might hurt myself, and obviously I was with the stunt guy - he knew what to look out for and how to make sure it was the safest. But even then I found it a struggle to arrest him, and I thought, 'He's definitely playing it down'. I thought, 'In real life, you could have been doing anything to me', and I wouldn't be able to hold him down at all."

Do you enjoy the action sequences?
"Yeah, especially when the director says, 'Go and kick them hard!' Yeah, it is fun."

What's it like working with Warren?
"I do all my scenes with him. Yeah, it's good. We got on well from day one because a few of us met up together. And yeah, because I've been with Warren the whole time, we have good banter. He picks on me quite a lot!"

What does he say?
"He picks on me like a child! It's just banter. But it's fun - it's fun that we do get along. Obviously it's very professional, but we can have a laugh and be mates while we're doing it, which makes it a whole lot better. Because the relationship is evolving in the programme as well, it helps that it's doing it off screen. It was good in the first couple of weeks that we were still getting to know each other because we still are in [the show], but to be around each other quite a lot we get used to each other. He just tripped me over before! It's fine. We were arguing about The X Factor!"

Are you one of the only females in the cast?
"Yeah, pretty much. It's a good job that I can bring out my tomboy side to be honest with you, because the other day I met up with them for dinner and they were at an all-you-can-eat meat place, five lads talking about meat. And then the next day, and they're still talking about it today. So I have to have some tolerance for boyish behaviour! It's nice when a girl does come on set. At the minute it's all lads."

Why do you think Good Cop is different from the typical police drama?
"Apart from Savage, it's not so much what everyone does when they go home. Some of them just take it away from the actual job. This is about how they all get on with each other in the working environment, which I think is interesting, because they have got their own lives but that's just left open for now until you want to learn about it. At the minute, it's the relationships with each other and how they all come together and do this hard job. I think just on a human level it's interesting."

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