When they were 12 years old, friends Mark, Pru, Danny and Slade were out together in the woods. Mark’s five-year-old brother Jesse was bothering them. They were mean to him. They told him to get lost. Jesse ran away. He was never seen again. Twenty years later, Danny, now a detective, learns some shocking news: Jesse’s DNA has been found at a murder scene. Could he really still be alive? If so, why has he come back? And how is he linked to this murder? Only one thing is certain: the lives of these four friends are about to be turned upside down as they desperately search for the truth. And redemption. Hannah Arterton talks about playing Ally on the series. The Five can be seen on Friday evenings at 9pm on Sky 1.
What was your first reaction when you read the script?
Due to the nature of the storyline, a full script wasn’t available to the actors until a few weeks before filming. Initially, all I had read were the scenes that my character is in. Naturally I was intrigued, and was genuinely excited to read each new episode.
What else attracted you to this project?
My character, Ally, was a big draw. I hadn’t played anyone like her before and that was very attractive to me. I’m also a fan of RED’s previous work and was keen to work with them.
Can you describe your character?
Ally is incredibly smart and ambitious. As a young detective, she’s keen to prove herself among her older and mostly male colleagues. Although her work ethic has got her far in her career at a young age, it has left her without much of a personal life. She’s married to the job.
How do you think the disappearance affected how your character’s life turned out?
Ally never knew Jesse, however she has always known that her partner Danny was massively affected by his disappearance. She’s dubious about his involvement with the case, but trusts him to handle it professionally. She’s capable of stepping in if things get too personal and uses her objective perspective to her advantage.
When filming, how much of the plot did you know beforehand and did you know how the story would end from the very beginning?
No one knew how the story would end. That made it incredibly exciting. The actors were figuring it out alongside their characters and playing a detective on the case made it even more realistic.
It’s quite an intense drama. But when filming stopped, was it fun on set?
We had so much fun. The series was shot entirely on location in Liverpool, so we had a lot of time to get to know the city. We had a few fun nights out!
How did you enjoy working with the ensemble cast? Had you worked with any of them before?
The cast were wonderful. The nature of the story meant that I didn’t get to work with a lot of the main cast until later on in the shoot, but we all got on so well. I hadn’t worked with any of them before, but I hope to work with them again.
Why should viewers tune in to the show?
The Five is a proper thriller. The twists and turns will leave the viewers on the edge of their seats and I’m sure everyone will develop their own theories. It is also an emotional family drama with really brilliant performances.
If you could give a young actor one piece of advice what would it be?
Keep going. Rejection is part of the job. If it’s for you, it won’t pass you.