How Keeley Hawes got through playing the mother of an abductee

Mar 17, 2017

Q: How difficult was it playing a woman who got her child back years after she was abducted?

A: The whole thing was quite difficult. I mean, it was very draining if I’m honest. But as an actor it’s really exciting to go to those places because in life, thank God, you don’t have to go there and so it is a real push to do that. But I think particularly as a parent I was certain that I didn’t want to go there.

People often say, “Do you think about your own children in those instances?” And I know some people do. Whatever works for you. I’m up for people using whatever they need to use but personally I can’t think of anything worse than my children being in that situation. And the script was so good and the actors that I was surrounded with were so good that we were able to immerse ourselves in that and the story that we were telling. I certainly was anyway so I immersed myself in the fictional story that we were telling rather than relying on feelings that I might have, had it been any one of my own children.

Q: What is your take on your character, Gemma?

A: Gemma is a woman that any of us could know. She could be a mother at the school. She could be somebody that you work with. She is a lovely woman. Her family is her life. She has gone and changed her life for her husband’s career and made a career of her own. She’s a teacher, they live in Germany, and she’s dedicated as a parent. You know, she has a lot of traits that we can all relate to and actually as it turns out she then becomes quite an incredible woman and she finds strength. I don’t know if I could find it. I don’t know how I would feel if I was in the same position.

The Missing” airs Sunday, March 19, on Starz.

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