Interview with Pippa Bennett-Warner who plays Rochelle Madeley in Roadkill

Series starts 18th October on BBC One at 9pm



Tell us about Rochelle.
Rochelle is a high-flying barrister. We meet her at the beginning of the series when she has just won the Peter Laurence case. Peter took a newspaper to court and Rochelle defended him.

At the beginning we meet her doing what regularly she does, which is win cases. She's very competent and very good at her job. Over the course of the four episodes she goes on a journey of discovering what's more important in terms of morality, and she ends up receiving some information from another character played by Katie Leung, called Margaret. Rochelle, in turn, puts her career on the line to try to take down Peter Laurence.

What does Rochelle really think of Peter?
To her, Peter is just another minister. She's used to dealing with these kinds of people and this kind of behaviour. She may not be aligned with him politically, but she doesn’t get emotionally attached to anything - she’s very much just doing her job. She is probably used to defending people who she thinks are guilty and she sees it as a bit of a challenge because she likes to win. It's all about winning for Rochelle.

She goes on a journey with Peter, which I quite like. At the beginning he is just another client, but by the end of the piece she’s emotionally invested in taking him down. She is very concerned about being the best, but she also wants to do the right thing.

What are Rochelle’s key relationships in Roadkill?
Rochelle’s key relationship in Roadkill is with Luke, played by Danny Ashok, who is a junior barrister. I love the dynamic between them, I think David has written two really brilliant characters who spar of each other, like sidekicks. I think Luke desperately wants Rochelle to be a bit more accommodating to him in terms of work and friendship, but he doesn’t always get that from her. She’s been really fun to play because Danny is a hoot, so we’ve had a real laugh whilst filming.

What attracted you to the role?
The women, Rochelle, the script, and the fact it was David Hare. When I first read the script I just thought Rochelle was completely awesome and I thought all the female characters were fantastic. I felt I hadn’t exercised a Rochelle-type muscle yet and I was really keen to do that because I like playing those kinds of characters. There is something about David’s writing that makes each scene feel like a mini play because he gives the actors so much to play with; you always get proper chunks of dialogue and everything is very forward moving. There is a rhythm to David’s writing and when you’re performing it in a scene with your partner, it’s wonderful.

How would you describe Roadkill?
It’s powerful, dynamic, charming, intelligent, specific, and forensic. Roadkill is about a politician who wins a court case that has been made against him, and over the course of the four episodes the skeletons that have been hiding in his closet start to come out. Whilst that is happening, people around him are trying to bring him down.

What kind of world is Roadkill set in - is it a real Britain?
I think the show does a good job in representing what's going on in our political climate at the moment, but David himself has said it's not based on anything and it's set in a fictional universe.

Source BBC One

October 9, 2020 4:00am ET by BBC One  


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