Interview With Emily Fairn, Who Plays Casey In 'The Responder'

Martin Freeman and the cast and creatives discuss new characters, complex relationships, and Scouse accents in series two


Filmed in and around Liverpool, the new series joins the unconventional urgent response officer six months on from series one



30 April 2024 – The Responder is a distinctive new take on crime drama from the makers of The Salisbury Poisonings, Dancing Ledge Productions. Written by ex-police officer Tony Schumacher, his first original series for television, The Responder holds a mirror up to the emotional extremes of life on the front line of British policing – sometimes darkly funny, sometimes painfully tragic, always challenging. The Responder follows Chris Carson (Martin Freeman), a crisis-stricken, morally compromised, unconventional urgent response officer on the beat in Liverpool. Whilst trying to keep his head above water both personally and professionally, his partner Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo) is also looking for meaning in the job but can’t seem to find it anymore. Both know that if they are to survive, they will need each other more than ever.

Series two joins Chris Carson six months on from series one. Chris is attempting to rebuild his life, and his relationships, desperate to avoid the corruption that nearly sucked him under. He is trying to be a better police officer, a better man, and most importantly, a better father to his daughter Tilly. All whilst still dealing with the relentless trauma of being a night response officer. Chris wants a day job. Chris needs a day job. But is he prepared to risk everything to get one? Rachel Hargreaves is putting her life back together too. She’s still fuming at the way Chris dragged her down with him into the dirt in series one, and now she’s desperately trying to take control of a life and a career that sometimes feels like it’s slipping away. But after working with a succession of ‘normal’ coppers, Rachel is starting to realise she’s got more in common with Chris than she’d ever want to admit. As they are sucked back together, and into the night, they must pull each other back into the light. But then a routine stop on a black Range Rover changes everything, and suddenly the darkness beckons once again.

The Responder (5x60’) is written by Tony Schumacher and produced by Fremantle-backed Dancing Ledge Productions, for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

It is directed by Jeanette Nordahl, Mounia Akl, and Charlotte Regan and produced by Barrington Robinson with multi BAFTA award-winning and Emmy-nominated executive producers Laurence Bowen, Chris Carey and Toby Bruce for Dancing Ledge Productions. Rebecca Ferguson is the executive producer for the BBC.

Fremantle is handling global distribution for the series. Filming took place in and around Liverpool City Region with support from the Liverpool Film Office.

Series one of The Responder is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Interview with Emily Fairn (Casey)

What is it about The Responder that captured people’s imaginations?

The show is pretty dark in places, but there's so much humour in it and that's a very human thing and a very Scouse thing as well. No matter how dark something is, you can laugh at the situation. That's Casey, she finds the humour in the little things, when you're living life on that knife edge, you're either going to laugh or cry. I think that’s very human and I think the audience relate to that.

What was your reaction to Tony’s scripts this year?

I prefer series two to series one, which is crazy because I loved series one! Series two just cracks everything open, it's character-led, exciting and really raw. I just love it!

What was it like playing Casey and what can we expect from her for series two?

Casey is such an incredible character, she's someone who has just fallen down a certain path because of the decisions she’s made. When I first read the scripts for series two, I worried that she’d turned bad, and wasn’t very nice but actually she's not a bad person, she's just trying to do the best with what she's got, she's just trying to survive.

Where do we find her in series two?

Casey is doing a bit better for herself, she's got a hostel room and is trying to be a big-time drug dealer, but she's struggling and so Marco tries to help her and set her up with Jodie.

What is the relationship like between Casey and Marco in series two?

It gets a lot deeper and they really help each other out. The biggest thing with Casey is that she's not used to someone loving her so much and being so unconditionally lovely to her. She doesn't really know what to do with it at times. I think she is absolutely obsessed with Marco, he is her favourite person in the whole world, but because of that, she sometimes acts out and doesn't know how to do the right thing with him because she doesn't want him to go anywhere. She doesn't know healthy relationship dynamics, so she acts out at times and now Marco has a baby it's very stressful for Casey because she feels like her favourite person has someone else to love. Casey's mum was a heroin addict, and being around a baby really stresses Casey out and she's feels like she can’t do it, like she will somehow ruin the baby’s life. She can't do that to Marco. On top of that she doesn’t believe she deserves to be in a happy family because that's just not what she's grown up around, either. It's really sad and really complex.

What was it like working with Josh, who plays Marco, again?

It was absolutely amazing coming back and working with Josh again. On our first day back it just felt like no time had passed at all. One of the producers, Barrington, says that he can tell that I'm on set because he can hear me, but he can tell that Josh is on set because I'm even louder. I think that's quite telling about our dynamic!

Are they going to have a happy ending?

I don't know whether Casey and Marco are going to have a happy ending. I think it is very complex when you love someone but you're in completely different stages of your life and with completely different lifestyles, it's really hard. When you know that you're not right for someone, that's almost just as hard as well, because you want it to work out, but you know that you're the problem. That is where Casey's at.

Can you tell us a bit about Casey’s relationship with Jodie, played by Faye McKeever?

Jodie and Casey has turned into a mother/daughter/big sister kind of relationship, which is really lovely. I think both of them were craving it. I absolutely loved working with Faye. We had so much fun together. She’s the big sister I never had.

Source BBC One

April 30, 2024 3:00am ET by Newsdesk  


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