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7 Questions with… Vicky McClure: ‘Trigger Point is more explosive than Line of Duty. The action will have you on the edge of your seat’
You might know her as Kate Fleming from hit BBC series Line of Duty, but Vicky McClure is set to take on an action-packed new role in ITV bomb disposal drama, Trigger Point.
Line of Duty’s Vicky McClure is soon set to appear on our screens as a frontline bomb disposal operative in ITV’s explosive new drama, Trigger Point.
The six-part series, also starring Adrian Lester, turns the spotlight on counter-terrorism policing and the extraordinary work of the Metropolitan Police Bomb Disposal Squad.
Here, the 38-year-old star answers seven burning questions about the show - including what attracted her to the script, whether she did her own stunts, and whether her Line of Duty co-stars got FOMO about not appearing in the show…
1. How did you hear about Trigger Point?
I got a text from Jed [Mercurio], who is obviously a good friend now after many years of working together [on Line of Duty]. He also sent the script through the official channels and I was fascinated by it, because bomb disposal is an area that I don't know very much about and something I don't think we've seen an awful lot of on screen, apart from if people have seen The Hurt Locker, which is a great film.
I’ll take any opportunity to work with Jed, not only because he's a friend, but also because he's incredible at what he does, and I love the fact that he’s supporting new writers like Daniel [Brierley]. So I didn't need any convincing to say yes - I knew it was going to be a really fun, interesting and intriguing job.
It's dynamic, it's action-packed, it's full of brilliant characters and it will put you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next explosive situation. I’m really excited for people to see it.
2. Did Lana immediately appeal to you as a character?
Yeah, she's a great character and when it comes to bravery, you're talking about Lana. She’s carrying trauma and her life is pretty messed up, which is really appealing as an actor because you want to play real, layered characters.
It feels like we're dealing with somebody going through a lot of life's tough times and it's nice to be able to find strength in flawed characters.
As we go through the series, she becomes more lost as she tries to work out who is planting these bombs and why it's getting closer to home. The way in which the story unfolds is quite surreal. And then in the middle of that she's got her own personal issues to deal with, and she’s scared because she’s losing her instinct.
This show is fascinating because it takes place in a very short space of time, and it’s very fast-paced. She’s trying to keep people safe and she’s losing her head a little bit.
3. Did you get involved with many stunts?
I was really keen to do the action scenes that come with the show, and I knew that playing an expo - an Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer - would be quite a challenge physically.
It’s a very different show to Line of Duty. There’s a lot more action in Trigger Point, it’s an explosive show
- Vicky McClure
I didn't actually expect it to be quite as challenging as it was, but I got through it and I did most of it myself. I was really game.
The few things that I didn't do are mainly scenes with erratic driving because of Covid restrictions, even though I always say, “Didn't you see me in Top Gear? I know what I'm doing!”
I felt really safe with incredible support and amazing professionals with me at all times. It was very impressive what the guys could do with some of the explosions too.
4. Were the action scenes tough-going?
Physically, it was a challenging job - when you see me running from a bomb I haven't just done it once, there have been many takes! People will tell you that I'm not a gym fanatic by any stretch of the imagination, so when I’m out of puff on screen that’s genuine.
In some ways it's nice to see that on telly, because what I did learn is, even though expos are heavily trained and Lana is fit, there's not a lot of activity every day - a lot of time is spent sitting around and waiting for that call.
5. How useful was it to speak to real expos?
We had a lot of support from people that are the real deal, real expos. There's some artistic licence in there to create the drama, but I was always speaking to them, they were on set every day. I found it fascinating.
There were things that felt like absolute madness, like taking my helmet off as I approach the bomb, but then they explained to me that it could impair your vision, or it could knock the device if it slipped, all these logical things, so you need to take it off to actually work properly around the device.
I was learning a lot all the time and I just loved being able to access all their knowledge. We put it into the show as much as we could.
6. This is a mini-Line of Duty reunion, with you and Jed working together again. Do you think Adrian and Martin felt they were missing out?!
I don't think there was any FOMO, not that they've told me about! The thing is, when we do Line of Duty, Jed is on set every day - it's his baby, he writes it, he sometimes directs it, he produces it, the whole shebang. That's not the case for Trigger Point. He was there a lot of the time, but it was a very different sort of relationship.
Trigger Point was the first time I've felt like a crew member, when I'm there every day all day. I was invested in the show and I gave it my everything
- Vicky McClure
But I'd be lying if I said we didn't send Martin and Adrian a few selfies on set together, saying 'Hi'! On my very last day, Jed was there with his Line of Duty coat on which I thought was very fitting.
It’s a very different show though, it's incomparable. There’s a lot more action in Trigger Point, it’s an explosive show. And I don't really feel anything like Kate when I’m in Trigger Point, we certainly don't look the same. I'm always really up for reinventing a look. I wear absolutely no make-up in this, my hair is in a scrappy little ponytail and it was important for me to feel like a real person.
7. Trigger Point clearly has a special place in your heart...
It was an incredible job and I'm really proud of it. It was a brilliant cast of people and the crew really did look after each other. It was a tough shoot and there were a lot of elements to get right, building a whole new world. I have never been on a job quite that big, which I suppose would shock people, because you think Line of Duty is the same.
But I can lean on Martin and Adrian a little bit on that series, where they'll have an interview scene without me and that means I’ve got four days off. Trigger Point was the first time I've felt like a crew member, when I'm there every day all day. I was massively invested in the show and I gave it my everything.
Trigger Point starts at 9pm on Sunday, January 23, on ITV.
Catch up on the ITV Hub.