Brenda Blethyn has revealed she has "fallen in love" with the character she plays in Vera.
The 66-year-old actress is returning for a second series as hard-nosed Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope and is delighted to be playing a character who is just as complex as the crimes she's tasked with solving.
"I've fallen in love with Vera. She's a good policewoman, unconventional and not hampered by a romantic involvement," she explained.
"I hope we get to do a third series too."
The second series is made up of four films, one based on a story by crime writer Ann Cleeves, who created the character, and three written especially for the screen.
"There's a case of arson and attempted murder, which involves one of her old colleagues," said Brenda.
"The next incident takes place on an army barracks, which is a whole new world for Vera, with different laws and, in another one, a friend of her dad's comes to light, so there's an insight into Vera's past, which is quite interesting."
However, the actress confessed she doesn't want to find out too much about the abrasive but talented detective's personal life.
"The more you know about a character, the less surprising they are. I like her enigmatic side," she said.
:: Vera begins on ITV on Sunday, April 22.