Monday 22 December 2014

Shearsmith likes intense roles

Published 23/08/2014 | 07:21

Reece Shearsmith says he is drawn to playing intense characters
Reece Shearsmith says he is drawn to playing intense characters

Reece Shearsmith has admitted he loves to play intense characters because he can get more out of them.

The actor recently starred as a wife killer in ITV drama The Widower and can next be seen in the channel's police drama Chasing Shadows, where he plays autistic detective Sean Stone.

He said of the roles: "I don't seek them out but they are certainly the roles that I'm more drawn to, because there's something about them that leads you to be able to make more interesting choices as an actor. Every actor thinks everything they do is spellbinding, but it's not often the part will translate into enabling you to do that."

The 44-year-old continued of Chasing Shadows: "Sean was a hard character to play because I was robbed of all the usual devices when you act a scene - looking someone in the eyes, connecting. One of the traits of autism is that they rarely look people in the eye. To never look anyone in the eye was really awkward.

"I thought, 'How will that come across as a character? Will it be really disassociative and will I find myself not part of it?' I think that's exactly what it does and that's what's good about it - it leaves him other to everybody else, operating in his own little sphere."

Reece stars alongside Noel Clarke and Alex Kingston in the drama and said he was relieved they got on: "It's always scary, you hope you're going to get on with them and it's not going to be like a pretend friendship where you can't bear each other really. But they were lovely. Sometimes you get actors and oh god, it's so tricky with them.

"This is the truth of it, but you do get it sometimes where you think, 'Oh dear, they're brittle, aren't they?' You don't know how to be. I find it surprising when you meet that kind of person because it's hard enough anyway just to do it, without the energy involved in being like that. So it was lovely to meet normal people who just get on with it and who you can have a laugh with in between takes."

Chasing Shadows begins on ITV on September 4.

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