Belfast Telegraph

Joanne Froggatt had ‘reservations’ about new rape drama

Froggatt’s drama Liar is going head-to-head with the BBC’s Rellik, written by the same brothers.

Ex-Downton Abbey actress Joanne Froggatt has admitted that she had reservations about taking on another rape storyline in her new drama.

Froggatt, 37, plays a woman who says she was raped on a date, in the ITV drama Liar.

It goes head-to-head with Rellik, which starts on BBC1 – also in the primetime 9pm slot, and was written by the same brothers.

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Joanne Froggatt in Liar (2 Brothers Pictures For ITV)

But it is not the first time the actress, whose Downton alter-ego was raped, has dealt with the subject on-screen.

The star said she did “absolutely” have reservations about taking on the topic again, adding: “It was a thought process. I did sort of read it and go, ‘Oh if only it was a different subject matter’.”

“But”, she added, “Then I sort of said to myself ‘This character is so completely different in every way’.”

Asked how much filming the drama, which also stars Ioan Gruffudd, changed her understanding of the issue, she said: “It was a real slap in the face of ‘Wow, this is a really difficult situation to prove or prove your innocence’.”

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She added: “No matter which way the story goes, I just think it’s a great thing to be a part of something that can open up conversation about a sensitive subject matter.

“It’s ultimately entertainment, and also I’ve played a murderer three times, so you go ‘actually it’s OK’. I’m an actress, I’ve been doing it for 20 years, and sometimes subject matters are going to come round again.”

Both shows are written by brothers Jack and Harry Williams, who were behind The Missing.

Rellik follows the crimes of a serial killer in reverse.

Writer Jack said about the scheduling clash: “I don’t know what’s happened, really. Because we wrote them at quite different times.

“But fortunately the technology exists to watch both.”

Harry joked: “I think we’re going to go to the pub and pretend it’s not happening.”

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