Interview with Amy Manson (Rhona Moncrieffe) from new BBC crime series Rebus

Series launches May 17


Image: Amy Manson as Rhona Moncrieffe



Rebus launches on Friday 17 May. All episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer from 6am, with episode one airing on BBC Scotland on Friday 17 May at 10pm and on BBC One on Saturday 18 May at 9:25pm.

Based on the best-selling books by Ian Rankin, Rebus reimagines the iconic character John Rebus (Richard Rankin) as a younger Detective Sergeant, drawn into a violent criminal conflict that turns personal.

Shaken after a violent encounter with gangster Ger Cafferty, Edinburgh detective John Rebus finds himself at a psychological crossroads. At odds with a job increasingly driven by corporate technocrats, involved in a toxic affair he knows he needs to end, and all but supplanted in his daughter’s life by his ex-wife’s wealthy new husband, Rebus begins to wonder if he still has a role to play – either as a family man or a police officer. In a time of divisive politics and national discord, Rebus’ broke, ex-soldier brother Michael desperately crosses the line to provide for his family, and Rebus begins to wonder if the law still has meaning, or if everyone is reverting to an older set of rules? And if so, why shouldn’t Rebus do so too?

What was the attraction of this project?

I really loved the script. Gregory is an actor's writer. This script to me read almost like a high-octane thriller or a whodunit. I was really just excited to find out what happened at the end. But it's not your straightforward police procedural drama, and that's what I loved about it. It’s just brilliant TV drama.

Was Gregory available to be consulted during the shoot?

Yes. He was there for us if we needed to text him with any thoughts. He was such a great collaborator with all of us. Some storylines changed because he was able to listen to how we felt about the work. Neshla Caplan (plays Chrissie Rebus) and myself were able to talk to him about the women and what they represent within this. Gregory was there for us from the outset, which just elevated performance and relationships both on and off screen.

Gregory has written a superb character in Rhona, hasn’t he?

Absolutely. I needed to understand my character’s purpose within Rebus, and I found joy in the fact that Rhona wasn't sidelined as a woman. I also really wanted to understand why she and Rebus split up. I was just excited to explore that relationship because I also felt on reading it that it wasn't completely over.

Why do you think Rhona and Rebus broke up?

I would say, like in so many marriages, one partner put work before the love of their partner. I think that's what it boils down to. Rhona is a very empathetic and loving woman and always puts her family first. That's where she was at loggerheads with Rebus because he didn’t always put the family first. To protect herself and their daughter, she chose to step away from the relationship but that doesn't mean that she feels nothing for him. There’s still an element of her admiring who he is and what he does and what he stands for and the fact that he always seeks justice in the weird and wonderful ways that only Rebus can do.

Where do you think their relationship is now?

I think at the beginning of this series, Rhona is intent on keeping a solid family dynamic. So that means that she is just intent on getting her ex-husband and her new husband to get along for the sake of her child. Rebus irks her at times just because he is who he is. But at the same time, he's her daughter's father, and Rhona’s core value system is family. She’ll do anything to make that work.

How would you describe Rhona?

She's the glue that holds everything together. She is the honest soul within all of this. She's the one that Rebus, you would hope, would listen to above anyone else. She's empathetic and loving, but strong willed. Her core value is that she'll do anything to protect her family.

Did you enjoy filming back in Scotland?

I did. I loved it. Every time there's an opportunity to film here, I'll grasp it tightly with both hands. It always feels like coming home.

The series shows a bleak side of Edinburgh which may not be familiar to everyone, doesn’t it?

Definitely. The underbelly of Edinburgh is the backdrop of the whole show. There's a dark side of Edinburgh that we see in this that I don't think has been seen on screen before. I think viewers are going to be shocked by that and by what we've captured in all its essence. To be honest, I was shocked by it, especially when I read the scripts. The drama shows the other side of the city, and not the Edinburgh that I see as a tourist when I visit.

Why do you think that Ian Rankin’s books have captivated readers all over the world?

He captures the essence of people. I think people relate to his books because of the character of Rebus, who is as flawed as the next human. He cuts corners. He's unethical in his approach. He's always crossing lines. But his quest for justice is what's so compelling and exciting about the books. He's wanting to take down the bad guys, but sometimes he has to become the bad guy to do that. We all make some mistakes in life, and we're all held accountable for things. I think that's what's so relatable about Sir Ian Rankin's books.

How did you find it working with this cast?

It’s been amazing. Richard is incredible. I don't think I've ever seen him do something as dynamic, eloquent and hard hitting as what viewers are going to see him do with Rebus. But all the cast were a joy. They are so wonderful. We all got on so well as a cast, there was no ego. That tone is set from the top – i.e. Richard. I really do hold every single member of this cast in high esteem.

Source BBC One

May 13, 2024 5:00am ET by Newsdesk  


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