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Torchwood’s Eve Myles

Dressed as Wonder Woman on a Beach with Johnny Cash

Jul 04, 2009 Eve Myles Bookmark and Share

When Welsh actress Eve Myles recently found out she was pregnant, she made sure that her baby was of this Earth. “We checked on the scan that it was a human and was not an alien,” Myles jokes. Gwen Cooper, the secret government agent that Myles plays on the British sci-fi show Torchwood, was pregnant with an alien baby last season, so Myles jokes that her mother was especially pleased to know fiction wasn’t bleeding over to reality. “It’s the most empowering thing in the world being a pregnant lady. You’re so protective over this bump and you feel strong as a horse. And you just feel as if nothing is going to get in your way and if it gets in the way, you’re going to karate chop its head off,” she laughs.

Gwen finds herself in many a situation where a karate chop could come in handy. Torchwood, a spin-off of the long-running Doctor Who, takes place in contemporary Cardiff, Wales, which has a rift in space and time running through it. Torchwood is a secret government team that protects the world from a myriad of aliens and time travelers who come through the rift looking to cause havoc. The team is led by Captain Jack Harkness, a man originally from the 51st century, who can never die. Gwen is a Cardiff police officer who is recruited by Torchwood in the first episode. The show’s third season is a 5-part miniseries entitled Children of Earth that is airing on five consecutive nights. It will air in the U.K. on BBC 1 July 6th - 10th and in the U.S. on BBC America July 20th - 24th. We spoke to Myles about Children of Earth, her pregnancy, her love of Johnny Cash and Wonder Woman, Torchwood‘s fans, and the joys of having her own action figure.

How are you?

Eve Myles: I’m very well thank you! How are you?


Gosh, it’s quite strange isn’t it? Are you in LA?

Yes, I’m in Los Angeles. Yes.

Ah right, okay. You’re phoning me in a very rainy dark, Cardiff evening. So, nice to hear from you.

Have you been to LA before?

Unfortunately not, but sometime next year I’ll be definitely, definitely making my way over for a while.

Cool. Are you going to be doing a project over here?

Hopefully. Hopefully. Finger’s crossed, we’ll see if it all works out and we’ll kind of take it from there. But I’m currently cooking a bun at the moment, I’m having my first child. So I’m kind of busy with that and another film over here. So, hopefully I can get out.

Congratulations on your child, I heard about that.

Thank you so much Mark! That’s very, very kind of you; we’re ecstatic over here. We’re very happy.

I think I read somewhere that your mum had a funny reaction [to your pregnancy]?

My mother had a hilarious reaction to it! She almost, kind of, fainted. It was almost as if I’d told her I had grown a second head overnight or that I was going to be, I don’t know, discovered I was a werewolf or something. She had a very strong shock reaction [laughs], which we’re not letting her forget too soon. Because every time somebody asks, “How did your mum react?” you tell them the truth. And she’s going, “Oh please don’t say that anymore! Say I that was I was like a normal person and I was clapping and was very happy.” And I said, “But mum, you weren’t. You were going, ‘Oh my goodness this can’t be true, it can’t be true!’” [Laughs] But within seconds she turned around and said it was the best news she’s ever had. But I think it was kind of finalizing that her girl was going to be a mum, made her think that I’m her little girl anymore. But what the truth is, I’m going to need her more than anything now. So when she found that out she was okay. And then we checked on the scan that it was a human and was not an alien, and she was even happier then. So it was good news.

That would be an interesting one. Do you think if they do a fourth season of Torchwood they’d work it in for Gwen to have a baby?

I think that’s incredibly possible. I think that with the development of this series there’s a massive possibility that will happen with the next series. It’s a very brave thing for them to do. It would make things incredibly difficult for Gwen. But I do hope it’d highlight what a great woman she is as well, to juggle saving the world and being a mother at the same time, I think it would be an awesome thing to happen.

And in your personal life, how are you going to be able to juggle those two things: being, you know, an actress, which is a pretty demanding job, and being a mother.

Well I think that I kind of put off being a mum for almost three-and-a-half years now. For the very fact, actually, that work seems to have always been first, with the nature of my job, it’s very, kind of, distracting, and you’re never in the same place, you do terribly very long hours, and with Torchwood—they are kind of dangerous jobs in a way. I tend to all my stunts myself, so it would be impossible for me to be pregnant while doing explosive scenes and fight scenes, and you know, kind of running for six, seven hours a day in heels and absurd things like that. So we’ve been waiting, waiting, waiting. And it came Christmas time and we said, “Right, that’s it. Whatever happens next year happens, but for certain one thing is happening this year, we’re going to have a child. And whatever happens then, we’ll just have to work around that.” I’m sure it will be difficult, I’m sure it will be challenging, but it’s everything that I’ve ever wanted and I’ll work around it. And if I can’t work things around it, c’est la vie, it’s not meant to be. I think my motto in life is very much, “I’ll enjoy today, tomorrow will take care of itself.” You know, we’ll see what happens. Luckily, Brad and I have both got big families who can’t wait to step in and help out. We’ll work it out.

That’s good. My wife and I have been putting off having kids for awhile too because we run this magazine ourselves. So it’s a full-time gig.

It really is. It really is. But there’ll come a point where you’ll go, “you know what? This will work out. Other people manage it, we will manage it.” It’s just about that time happening for the two of you, and then whatever happens, you’ll be feeling so strong, you’ll be able to make it work.

Yeah, that’s what we’re hoping.

Yeah, I hope so, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Thank you. Well, I guess we should talk about the new series Children of Earth. Can you tell me about it, because I obviously haven’t seen any of it yet apart from the trailer. What can you tell me about the basic plot without giving away too much?

Well, the season starts with every child on Earth chanting in unison, “we are coming, we are coming, we are coming.” This is groups of children all over the world speaking in unison at the same time and all in English. So it’s connected to one thing. And that thing is the thing that is coming. It’s a huge kind of moral issue this year. And it’s about loosing something to gain something. And I would strongly say that the biggest theme running though the season is that the past will always come back to haunt you. And that’s exactly what this season is about. And you see the Torchwood heroes being tighter than ever, with loosing two strong characters it’s really tightened up the nuts and bolts of Gwen, Jack, and Ianto to become an incredible working machine, the three of them. They’ll prove why they’re called heroes in this season. It’s an extraordinary season. It’s crammed with action. This year it’s a psychological, action-packed thriller. I just can’t wait for you guys to enjoy it and to get to see it.

Now the team is kind of on the run right? They’re pursued by the government in this?

Well the second episode in, Torchwood go under cover, and that’s something that Torchwood has never had to do before. They’ve always had the facilities and everything they’ve needed around them. Without any of their material stuff, without their gadgets and all the wonderful things they have access to, all they’ve got is their own personal skills. Their personal skills are put to work, and they make it work. They’ve got no choice because no one else is going to do it. And as you say, there’s constantly someone on their heels trying to eliminate them.

Cool. How does Gwen, as a character, change and grow over the course of the five episodes?

Well I think that even from the first season there has to be huge development in Gwen in every season. Because, in coming to Torchwood the first time, Jack, Ianto, Tosh and Owen are already established characters; they’ve been there for a very long time. So everything they see is kind of taken with a pinch of salt—like Gwen working as a police officer walking in to work and preparing herself a cup of tea. They walk into Torchwood and they’re having a scrap with a Weevil, it’s just as normal as that. Gwen is constantly evolving and learning and getting stronger and becoming more the second in lead, second in command. So this season, it’s so fast, they all kind of work on instinct. Whatever their instincts tell them, that’s what they go on, they’ve got no choice. They also have to work at such a pace, in this third season, that every choice that they take is a matter of life and death. In their choosing, that’s why you see they’re members of Torchwood, because of their instinct, their choice, you see how dynamic they are as characters and how heroic they can be. And that’s though Jack, that’s because Jack chose these people. Because if anything like this was to ever happen, he knows that they’ve got the tools in their heads to deal with it. And they do. They’ve been written superbly this year.

Why do you think Gwen as a character sticks with Torchwood and puts herself in danger. My point being that she has Rhys and the other members of the team don’t have a significant other, and Owen and Toshiko have just died obviously. What keeps her going in the team? Why doesn’t she just leave?

Because she knows if she leaves, Torchwood isn’t going to finish. Torchwood isn’t going to end. And if she leaves, it’s about her closing the door on something, and closing her eyes on something and pretending that it’s not there, and that’s just not Gwen. She adores Torchwood because it’s exciting. It’s life changing—every day she gets to see the most extraordinary things, supernatural, extraterrestrial. She works with a man who can’t die for God’s sake. That man, he’s absolutely beautiful. She’s got the best job in the world. And all incredible, extravagant jobs like that come with a price. And the price is that any moment you can be taken out on Torchwood. And, I think for all of them, you’ve got to be the kind of person to find that quite thrilling. And she finds it quite thrilling, and she’s built for it, she’s kind of the John Connor of today. She’s a fighter, she’s a natural born fighter. And what with having a lot to do with Doctor Who now, and the two characters being connected, Gwen’s family has always been connected to the rift, they’ve always been guardians of the rift, so it’s her destiny to be a protector of the rift and to be involved in this. She’s a natural born fighter. And if she were to go back to doing something else now, it would go against everything Gwen stands for. I think that’s highlighted with the relationship that her and Rhys has. If you’ve noticed throughout there’s not one point where he’s asked her to leave Torchwood, because he knows that if she had to chose between him and Torchwood, she’ll chose Torchwood, because her life would be one big lie. She’d become a statistic and she wouldn’t be able to do what she does everyday, which is save the world, which is a huge responsibility and a thrilling kind of job.

Right. Cool. Were you a fan of Doctor Who before you signed up for Torchwood?

I was in the first season of [the new] Doctor Who and I had one episode in that, playing a character called Gwyneth. And that’s the character now that they’ve connected Gwen Cooper with, that they’re related. And she died while protecting the rift. So the two of them have this strong connection with the rift, which is a wonderful thing; it’s a wonderful kind of character trait to have and to be able to play that for no apparent reason, no one says why or how they’re connected, but they just are. So it’s great to have that. And I’ve always thought that I had such a good time filming it without knowing what a massive success it was going to be. And, I’ve always kind of watched it and supported it, and yeah, I still do. And we get to pop in and out of it as well, which is quite nice. So yeah, I’m a big supporter of Doctor Who. Without Doctor Who, Torchwood would have never have been born. So we’ve got a lot to thank the mother-ship for.

Obviously Doctor Who fans and Torchwood fans are pretty impassioned. How have your experiences been dealing with the fans, and what is the craziest fan experience you’ve had?

Oh wow. I kind of shied away from doing all the conventions and signing for a very long time. People who have been in Torchwood for maybe three lines are going along and doing the conventions and really getting into it. Kai Owen and Gareth David-Lloyd and John Barrowman are pros at it, they’re amazing at it. It’s part of their lives and that’s what they do. And I shied and shied and shied away from it precisely because of that. The whole thing of so many impassioned, incredibly knowledgeable fans that will all be under one roof asking questions—I didn’t know what to expect, so I shied away from it as much as possible because it absolutely petrified me. I thought they were all going to pounce on me, or be horrid, I didn’t know what to expect. And I was asked so many times, that I started to feel myself that people might have been thinking that I was being rude, or I was being kind of dismissive of the fans. And my goodness, you couldn’t be further from the fact. The truth of the matter was I was terrified of it. I had never experienced anything like this. So I bit the bullet and I thought, ‘right, I’m going to go and see and be brave, and I’m going to check it out.’ And I’m so glad I did, because I couldn’t have been further away from the truth. It was about having feedback off people who adored the show that you produce every year and work hard on and kind of bust your ass on every year. And you get all this feedback on every episode and all the character decisions and storylines and people’s energy and commitment to the show blew me off my feet. The only way that I can describe it is it was incredibly empowering. It was wonderful. And the only other time you get to experience something like that is if you do theater, where you get the kind of reaction that you kind of hope for when you’re on stage. You get the live reaction there and then. When you do a TV series you do it, you leave it and go on to several other things. And then a year later it comes out and then that’s it! You very rarely get to meet your fans. With sci-fi it seems like the only kind of genre where the fans really go, “hang on, we want to be a part of this. We want to make sure that everybody involved with that program knows how much we enjoy it and how much we support you.” And I’ve done three [conventions] now. And I really enjoy them. It’s just brilliant to get the feed back and chat about the work. I never expected to be able to do that, I surprised myself. And the fans are just absolutely lovely. It’s all ages—you get little girls and boys, from the age of like six and seven, and I think the oldest person I’ve met must be, 83, 84. It’s right across the board, you know, and that’s really rewarding for me. That makes me very very happy. It lights a little flame in my belly, makes me nice and warm, it’s a really nice feeling. So long may they continue. But the weirdest stuff I’ve had? I don’t know if I can go into it that. There’s been marriage proposals and crazy things like that. But you just put those to one side and concentrate on the good stuff. [Laughs] But we’ve got a lot to thank the fans for. If we didn’t have such a cult following, maybe I wouldn’t be speaking to you today. It was kind of word of mouth, if we didn’t have those people really fighting for us maybe it wouldn’t be what it is today.

What’s it like having your own action figure? Is it kind of weird to have an action figure of yourself?

Mark it’s weird, it’s ridiculous! It’s the most weirdest thing. Oh gosh! OK, I don’t even know where to begin with that thing. It’s this little, plastic me and it’s, oh my god, it’s unbelievable. And it’s freaky to think that loads of people have those in their houses. When I go into a shop, and there’s a thousand little me‘s looking at myself, I feel like I’m in a sci-fi program myself. It’s so bizarre. I’ll never be able to get used to things like that. Some people kind of take to it like ducks take to water, they just kind of go with it. I’m just not like that. I find it extraordinary. When I’m in my nineties I’ll always find it extraordinary. Especially when my baby comes along, when my baby is three or four I can go “here, look it’s mummy in a box!” [Laughs] It’s bizarre and wonderful. I wouldn’t change it, but it’s really kind of strange. [Laughs]

I can imagine. So in real life, do you believe in aliens and all that kind of stuff?

Why not? It’s a very boring world if we didn’t think anything else was out there. I hope there is, because otherwise, gosh, what a boring kind of race we are. We’re terrified of what people say about us, we’re terrified about how we look, we’re terrified about what we eat, and how we are perceived, and, oh god, every day as people we kind of battle with ourselves and our consciences every day. It would be a wonderful thought that there was something out there more carefree and was having a little bit more fun. You know?

Yeah. Also Torchwood is filled with lots of scary monsters and scary things happening. What are you scared of in real life? Do you have any phobias of anything?

Oh. Umm. What am I scared of? That’s a very good question. Nothing that jumps out at me. I suffer slightlyI’m not very good with small spaces, kind of claustrophobia, I’m not really good with stuff like that. No, I think the only thing that scares me in life is fear itself. I think that’s always been the case. I think it’s the case with a lot of people actually is that you fear fear. And then you waste energy doing that because you find out there’s nothing to be frightened of at all. And everyday, with the world in the state that it’s in at the moment, fear is quite a strong emotion for everybody. So I think it’s fear itself that scares me. I’m a pretty strong person.

I wish I was as strong as that.

Do you know Mark, since I’ve been pregnant, it’s the most empowering thing. Your wife, I’ve got money on it that she’ll feel it. It’s the most empowering thing in the world being a pregnant lady. You’re so protective over this bump and you feel strong as a horse. And you just feel as if nothing is going to get in your way and if it gets in the way you’re going to karate chop it’s head off. [Laughs] You feel so strong! So maybe this will all disperse when I have the baby. But I’m a pretty positive person.

That’s good, that’s good. Now, Torchwood presents a bleak picture of the afterlife.

Yeah sure.

When it’s referenced it’s a dark void, there’s nothing there. I’m curious of what your concept of the afterlife might be and if you’re more optimistic than Torchwood is about that.

That’s good. I think that if the afterlife for me involved a beach, constant good surf, and Johnny Cash sitting next to me sharing a cocktail, that’s my idea of heaven. [Laughs] So I’m hoping for that! That would be a very nice afterlife for me. [Laughs]

Cool. Does it bother you that some people write-off Torchwood as kind of X-Files with more sex or Doctor Who for adults and do you ever think the sex is played up too much and maybe distracts from the other aspects of the show sometimes?

Well, I think that people are always going to label something; you’re always going to get labeled with something. Whether it be ‘Doctor Who spin-off’ or whether it be the X-Files thing. And you know what, that’s okay, that’s fine. But the things like the issues with the language and the sexual nature or anything like that, they’re put there because it is a show and these things do happen [in real life], and I find it really quite funny when people say there’s too much sex in Torchwood. What they mean is they’re not used to seeing two guys kissing each other or two girls kissing each other, and that’s why Torchwood is very very open. It shows how it is. And the truth of the matter is if you put any reality program on the television, which we’ve all got to suffer every day. You put some reality show on, there’s far more sex in there than there will ever be in Torchwood. In that kind of way…the discussion of sex on [Torchwood] really [pales] in comparison to what we do get on reality TV. But I say, the more the merrier. Everyone tends to be really good looking on it, so I’m not complaining.

You mentioned Johnny Cash, and I’m curious what kind of music are you into? What are some of your favorite bands?

Oh my God. I even named my car after Johnny Cash. I love Johnny Cash, I love all the old stuff…like Donovan…. I like everything from The Ting Tings to Amy Macdonald. The best has to be Shirley Bassey. I’m kind of traditional, but then I’ll put on things like Dizzee Rascal, you know, kind of like hardcore rap and Jay Z and stuff. I like all that. So I’m quite varied, but Johnny Cash owns my heart.

Cool. Did you like the film that they made on Johnny Cash [Walk the Line]?

You know, I thought it was great. You’ve got to be so careful with biopics. You have family members watching it as well. It was really respectful to him. And it was just kinda nice to see how he’d started out, to feel him—all the banter with Elvis and the other guys. Yeah, I thought it was a really good film actually. The music was beautiful and Reese Witherspoon was just stunning, and Joaquin Phoenix was just absolutely amazing. Yeah, it was kind of good. And it was lovely, because it kinda brought Johnny Cash to a different audience. You know, people who would never listen to Johnny Cash would watch that film, because of Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. And they all of a sudden had a new kind of dude to listen to, which I thought was really clever.

Are there any famous fictional characters that you would love to play, any characters from literature or from comic books, or if they remade an old movie, a character from that?

Yeah. Without a doubt, Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman, really?

Oh my god. She’s like, my hero. I try to make Gwen like her as much as possible. I even mentioned this year maybe doing the entire third season in hot pants…and a little leather tiara, on the beach. But they didn’t go for it. And I’m hounding Russell T. Davies to write me the new, kind of Sin City style Wonder Woman. It could look like a comic series of the new Wonder Woman. Yeah that would be wicked!

You should have a Halloween episode of Torchwood where you at least get to dress-up like her or something.

Oh my goodness Mark, that’s really funny, that’s such a good idea! [Laughs] Oh wow!

There you go.

Alright. I’m going to give [Russell] a ring now. I’ll text him now, don’t you worry. Yeah, I’d love to play her, that would be super.

Where you a big fan of Linda Carter in the series from the ‘70s?

Yeah, I just thought she was hilarious, absolutely great. I mean, the repeats and stuff in the ‘80s, I used to love when I was a kid. We watched them the other day actually. It was on [the TV channel] Gold or something, kind of like repeats, and it was hilarious! You know—full camp, I loved it!

They’ve been talking for years about making a Wonder Woman movie. You should come over to LA and meet with Warner Brothers and make your case.

Well, get it out there for me Mark! For god’s sake, Eve Myles wants to play Wonder Woman. Yeah, and it’s not just because of the really cool outfit, she spins really well too. I’ll tell them I do a mean spin.

Cool. I just have a few more questions here. What do you think of Matt Smith, the new Doctor? Have you met him? Have you had any interactions with him yet?

No I haven’t met him, but I’m very aware of his work. I’m seen him in theater and I’ve seen him in numerous TV stuff, over here in Britain. And he’s got a massive kind of couple of years in front of him. But you know what? He’s a superb actor. And every actor wants a big challenge, and this is his. I wish him all the luck in the world because I’m sure he’s going to be absolutely brilliant and put a completely new spin on the Doctor as we know it, at the moment. I’m really excited for him. And I can’t wish him enough luck. He’s not going to need it because he’s going to be super.

Yeah, he’s got some pretty big shoes to fill. David Tennant….

Yeah. But as soon as you start thinking ‘my goodness, I’ve got to fill shoes,’ you’re kind of on a loosing streak. You’ve got to go in there with a new pair of shoes, and you’ve got to go in there with your script, with your voice, with your choices and stick to them. And all you can do is what’s on paper. And put your stamp on it. And that’s why he’s been chosen, because they want his style to be put onto the Doctor. And I say good luck to him on that. It’s a very brave thing to do you know-it must be terribly nerve-wracking. He’s got to stay truthful to himself, like David did, when he came in he took over for Chris Eccleston and he came in with a completely different new style, and it worked. So hopefully Matt will come in do exactly the same thing, which I’m sure he will do.

Well you know, I have a lot faith in Stephen Moffat, if he was involved in the decision, I have faith it will be good. And I remember when Chris Eccleston left I was kinda like “no! Why is he leaving?” I didn’t know who David Tennant was because he hadn’t acted much over here, and of course, now I love David even more than Chris, so you know…

Sure, of course. It kinda happens like that doesn’t it? And I’m sure you’ll feel the same way about Matt because, as you say, Steve Moffat is an incredibly, talented, well-judged man. So he’s going to get the best person for this job.

Yeah. Definitely. Going back to Children of Earth what are the biggest challenges and differences between preparing and shooting a continuous five-episode mini-series verses shooting a regular thirteen-episode season?

One of the biggest differences for me personally was that we had the five scripts before we started shooting. So I got all my homework out of the way before I turned up on set. And you’re not pre-guessing what happens, you know—you’re doing episode four and you’re wondering what happens in six, eight, nine. You know the beginning, middle, and end before you start. And by doing that, you build your own character arch. You build your own action from it from episode one to episode five. You pace yourself through those five episodes and it’s so much better. It’s so much better because you can build on your character so much, and you can create so much as an actor by having the format that we’ve got this year. It’s been amazing. You know, personally, over the last, what, twenty-six episodes, my favorite episodes were the ones that went over two or three episodes. The one storyline went over two or three episodes. I just thought it was stronger. And that’s because they became more character driven pieces. It was about a character dealing with a situation rather than being put into a situation, and this situation having to be sorted in 40 minutes. You know, I prefer the kind of two or three episodes where you see this character go through so many things, and then come out the other end of two hours. And we’ve been blessed this year with having five hours to do that in. So the preparation was done before getting on. First day of filming, all we’ve got to do is get it on tape. The ideas are babbling around, and being thrown back and forth, and you can only do that when you know your beginning, middle, and end. And we did this year. So there’s no ends that are loose, everything is tied up. And it’s absolutely awesome.

How did it feel to be shooting without Owen and Tosh’s characters being involved? Was that kind of weird to not have them around?

Well, in between the second and third season, we’ve done a Radio 4 drama over here, and we’ve also done quite a big stint on Doctor Who. The issues of Owen and Tosh were kind of dealt with rather cleverly in that. So the kind of grieving process is dealt with in that so when you come into season three, it’s about Torchwood being an organization, being Jack, Gwen, and Ianto and, my goodness, within seconds of the credits going down, bang, there’s straight into action. So they don’t have time to harp on about the past. And with them having the nature of the job that they’ve got, it kind of comes part and parcel with the job. You die young at Torchwood, you accept it, and you move on. And that’s what they’ve had to do. But on a personal level missing Naoko [Mori] and Burn [Gorman], of course, I miss my two friends. But you’ve got to keep reminding yourself that’s the nature of the job, and they went out as heroes. A lot of people don’t get that do they? They had an awesome kind of exit. They’re a strong kind of symbol in this series of, at any point you can be taken out. You’re not safe in Torchwood. No matter what you’ve got, what equipment you’ve got, you can die at any point in Torchwood. Nobody is safe.

Except Captain Jack of course.

Except Captain Jack. At the moment, but you don’t know why that is, do you? Or how long it will last. I don’t think he knows.

Well, he becomes the Face of Bo apparently.

But have you seen the Face of Bo? That dude’s has been beaten up a good couple of times. He ain’t looking healthy. And where’s his body for god sake? [Laughs]

Exactly. How did he get that big?

Yeah, exactly. You know, it’s all exciting stuff.

Yeah. Cool. Just two more questions. Are you pretty optimistic that there will be a fourth season? Obviously it’s going to depend on the success of this one, but generally do you think it’s in the cards for a fourth season?

I have absolutely no idea. I mean, if there’s going to be another season, I would imagine [it would start filming] at the beginning of next year, something like that. So, going on what I’ve seen from this season, it kicks the ass out of the first two seasons. It makes the first two seasons look kind of pale in contrast to this vibrant, bold, incredibly colorful drama that you guys are going to get to see. So thinking of the success that the last two have had, and how good this next one’s going to be, in comparison, I’d say they’d be pretty damn stupid if there isn’t one, because it’s going to be massive. And the clever thing is Mark, is that they keep changing the format. By the time you get to having a third season on something, the audience you’ve got are kind of fixed fans, and new people will come into the third season because they think it’s kinda set in it’s ways now and this is how it is and I’ve missed a lot. And what they’ve done with this is gone, ‘well no, hang on, you’re not getting 13 [episodes], you’re getting five one-hours, there’s three members in the team, it’s going to unfold over a one-week event.’ So it’s going to be like a grand new thing all over again. It’s almost like they’ve rebranded it all over again. So it’s terrifying people about what it’s going to be like. And that’s exactly how it should be; it should never be comfortable for people. It should be challenging people all the time. And we’re lucky to have some very clever people doing it for us. Like Russell [T. Davies] and Julie [Gardner], they’re very clever on their outlook and how things should be kept fresh.

Yeah and in England it’s going to be airing on BBC 1, which his the first time Torchwood has aired on BBC 1, right?

Yeah, we’ve kind of clawed down from BBC 3 to 2 to 1 now, so not only is it going out on the main channel, it’s going out as an event over a week. So it’s kind of, my god, it’s there whether you like it or not, completely in your face and poking you in the chest. You know, it’s pretty bold, and completely unapologetic and that’s exactly how it should be.

And I think it’s the biggest show on BBC America as well. So that’s another motivation to keep it around I think.

Oh good god, yeah absolutely. We’ve been out to meet people in America and the response we’ve had from you guys, was head blowing, it was incredible. So with having your support, as well as support in Britain, it kind of helps it along, to get some more seasons out of it.

Well my last question is: being on a sci-fi show, do you worry that when you leave Torchwood you’re going to be typecast as a sci-fi actress? I mean, I don’t know what it’s like in England, but a lot of actors over here, you know, if you’re on Star Trek or if you’re on certain shows, you end up always doing sci-fi stuff. Granted, some of those actors aren’t as good as you are, and as the rest of the cast of Torchwood is, but is that ever a concern of yours?

Um, no, not at all, actually. I think it’s because I’m lucky enough to be constantly busy on other projects. And last year with Torchwood coming out, then I had a 13-part Dickensian drama come out where I played a ten-year-old girl with a brain fever. A completely different character, different part all-together. And then Merlin playing a 30-year-old witch. You know, so I keep trying to do as many diverse parts as possible. Because I’m a character actress. And, you know, I’ll never play myself if I can help it. Because I wouldn’t find anything any more boring than that. But uh, no, I hope to have varied amount of work always going out around the same time as each other, so people can see diversity and variety. And I’m also keeping my theater going as much as possible as well. That’s very important to me. But if people will always remember me as Gwen Cooper, it’s always good to be remembered on a show that was as successful as Torchwood, I’ll be very proud of that anyway.

That’s good. Excellent. Well, many thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

Thank you so much Mark!

And obviously good luck with the pregnancy and everything.

Thank you! And good luck to you too if it ever happens to you guys.

It will, we just gotta make sure we have the time and the money. You know.

Oh yeah, the money thing’s important too. [Laughs]

Definitely. I think we’re going to wait for a few more banks to stop failing, and the economy to get a bit better, you know?

Yeah, it’s frightening.

It is, but a lot of people told us there’s never going to be a perfect time to have a child.

You know what? It’s never a perfect time. When you think it’s a perfect time, my goodness, it might be 20 years down the line. I worked with a superb actor on Torchwood actually, and he was an amazing guy. And he was married, he was married for something like 38 years, and him and his wife are absolutely full of love, and have been from the moment they met. And they’ve never had children, and that’s the exact reason—it was never the right time. They always thought, apparently, they’d wake up one morning and this was going to be the right time—the house was in place, the money was in place, the jobs down the line were in place. And it never happened! And it was one of his biggest regrets. That’s how his life took a turn. But they dealt with it. And he just made me really think, because he said, “You make sure that never happens to you. That you wake up, and it’s too late.” Because you’re waiting for this magical kind of time to appear where everything is going to be perfect. It never is. And, you know, it wasn’t the right time. I had jobs coming up I had to say no to. And then I got [pregnant].... You just have to make it work.

That’s true. You just have to jump in head first, you know?

Oh yeah. You make sacrifices along the way. But at the end of the day you’ve got a beautiful little angel looking back at you.

Yeah, exactly. Cool. Well thanks again, have a good night over there…are you in Wales, are you in Cardiff?

Yeah, I’m in Cardiff actually.

Yeah. Cool.

Well have a good day over there.

I will I will. It’s just beginning over here.

Oh God, really? I’m about to put on my pyjamas and have some supper.

I just had breakfast before I got on the phone with you.

Oh God it’s really bizarre isn’t it?

It is strange, yeah.

I know, it’s almost sci-fi in itself, it’s is really strange. [Laughs] It’s weird me talking to you over there, there when I’m sitting in a room full of boxes with cots and prams and I don’t know, changing mats and everything. It’s a bit surreal for me. [Laughs] But very good.


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Ladies Pyjamas
August 25th 2010

Very nice and informative article. Keep up the good work and post some more good ideas.

January 10th 2011

Torchwood, the characters are interesting, the premise offers a wide scope, and the writing is good to great. It’s certainly necessary to approach Torchwood, not as another Who or even a 24, but rather as a small show about the Wales branch office of an alien-hunting task force. Once you’ve done that, you’re good to go. “Rolex Submariner

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