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Marc Warren on ‘pressure’ of first lead role in years in Van Der Valk

The actor said he has become used to the comfort of working in ensembles.

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Marc Warren (Ian West/PA)

Marc Warren (Ian West/PA)

Marc Warren (Ian West/PA)

Marc Warren has spoken of the pressure he felt returning to a leading role for the first time in decades.

The Mad Dogs actor, 53, plays streetwise Dutch detective in new detective drama Van Der Valk, which was filmed entirely on location in Amsterdam.

Warren told the PA news agency: “I have played lead roles before but not so much… mainly in my 30s I was doing that kind of thing, not so much in my 40s; it would be much more ensemble like Mad Dogs and stuff, and you spread the load there.

“If it goes down in flames, you’re all going down together, but when you’re the title character, there’s a lot more pressure to it.

“The main thing I remember from the first day was turning up and really thinking I have no idea what I’m doing, I felt like I’d never acted before in my life, I had never seen a camera before.

“Just a great sense of literally like first day at school.

“There was a really strong sense of that.

“But having watched the episode back, you can’t tell, and I suppose with experience, if in doubt, do nothing.

“Do nothing, try and keep still, say the lines and try not to mess it up, and it can be quite forgiving in that way. Don’t panic.”

Warren said the feeling reminded him of when he first started out in the acting business, saying: “I think I felt it throughout the whole job, really.

“Certainly in my younger days, I suppose I felt almost fearless when I was at work.

“Being at work was a time when you could just escape from the normal fears that we have, and you’d have five minutes of fearlessness.

“But I didn’t have that on this, I suppose I just felt more vulnerable.

“And I suppose if anything, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

“I think that’s probably a good thing, and just making friends with that vulnerability.

Van Der Valk, a 21st Century reworking of the classic series that began in the 1970s, starts on ITV at 8pm on April 26.

PA