Murderland Interviews: Sharon Small

Title: Murderland
Interview: Sharon Small
Network AU: ABC1
Network UK: ITV
Airdate AU: Friday 28 January 2011 at 2030hrs
Original airdate UK: Part One Monday 19 October 2009
Original airdate UK: Part One Monday 26 October 2009
Original airdate UK: Part One Monday 2 November 2009
Comments: can be made here >>

Next Interview: << interviews end back to Robbie Coltrane

Interview: Sharon Small as Laura Maitland: “I play Doctor Laura Maitland, a child psychologist. I’m brought in to protect Carrie during the course of the investigation to make sure her rights are taken care of, I have a duty to care for her. Maitland comes in right at the beginning when the murder has been committed and obviously Carrie is extremely traumatised at this point.

She immediately comes into conflict with Robbie’s character because he’s not very respectful of her job, and he’s more interested in finding the killer (because the first 24 hours are crucial) than thinking about Carrie’s fragile state of mind. Maitland is there constantly on at Hain like a hawk, always stepping in to make sure he doesn’t keep pushing Carrie, and of course he does.

For research purposes I went to a friend who is trained in Psychology and she helped me immensely because, it’s all about not alienating the person you are questioning. It’s very easy to isolate someone with words alone. So the research I did with her helped with the language and we tweaked quite a few of the ways I questioned Carrie.

Also the fact it was set during the early 90’s also meant that the way psychiatrists practiced was far more clinical and a lot less touchy feely and at times Maitland comes across almost cold and callous as she deals with Carrie. I think I learnt how to question and be neutral and not to add fire to the flames.

It was never my intention to come on really warm and fluffy in any way, but I tried to make her very neutral with a degree of care about her.

As we were filming quite a dark subject matter we obviously had some fairly intense scenes; the atmosphere off camera was certainly more light hearted. Robbie definitely elevated everyone’s spirits by cracking jokes all the time. He’s a very funny man and he was making all sorts of jokes right up to the point where the director shouted ‘action’! There were times when we’d be filming a terribly serious scene and the cameras would start recording and I’d still be laughing thanks to Robbie!

I’m currently in a play called ‘Life is a Dream’ at The Donmar. It’s a new translation of an old Spanish play set in the 17th Centenary. I think it’s a beautiful play, as it’s like an adult fairytale. It’s got a great cast which includes Dominic West. I was quite nervous about starting it as I haven’t been on stage for a while but I’m also very excited.

The good thing about performing theatre is you get instant feed back because you’re performing to the audience. Filming is much more sporadic and your concentration span is really up and down all day as you only tend to really concentrate for the moments you’re on camera. When I first started, I use to concentrate for the whole day, not anymore though!”

Source: ITV

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