Interview with Sharon Morgan
When you took on the role of Mary Cooper did you ever expect the character to have such a large impact in the last series of Torchwood – Miracle Day and was playing the character in the last series an exhausting scene to play?
Sharon: I certainly didn't expect the character to have such a huge impact - in fact when I heard that Torchwood was going to be filmed in L.A. I thought, 'ah well that's it, Mary Cooper won't be going there.' I was driving back from Abergavenny during the filming of 'Resistance' when my agent telephoned. I pulled in to a lay-by outside Brecon and was delighted to hear that the Coopers were going to be in the series, they weren’t sure how many episodes, but I might have to go to L.A. When the story transpired, it was amazing to be in so many episodes, and to have such a great story-line.
It was wonderful to film as it's always good to be doing something extreme emotion-wise. It wasn't exhausting as everyone was so lovely and supportive.
You’ve worked with quite a number of the cast before in various roles, especially William Thomas and Eve Myles (Belonging) was it a nice surprise to find you playing family roles in Torchwood?
Sharon: Working with Will and Eve is always a delight, and as we knew each other, the emotional short-cut is very useful.
You’re currently working on Alys, a Welsh speaking programme, (I miss Welsh tv), what is your role and is it a recurring role or a one off character?
Sharon: Funnily enough I played Will's ex-wife in Alys! I was hoping she might have returned, but unfortunately it didn't work out.
When you’re not busy acting, writing or directing, what do you do to relax or are you one of these people who find writing a form of relaxation?
Sharon: I rarely have time to relax! I don't find writing relaxing as I tend to become totally obsessed, and everything else gets put to one side. I enjoy walking with my dog, Pandy. As I grew up in the country I love seeing the season’s change, and this can be quite inspirational. I also love reading and listening to music.
Where do you find your best inspiration when writing?
Sharon: A lot of my inspiration comes from my own experience, and I write long -hand first lying on my bed usually, but ideas arrive in the most unexpected places, so I always carry a notebook and pen to scribble them down wherever I am.
Nobody likes to be pigeon-holed in a specific role – unless it’s to be remembered as playing The Doctor, but out of all the characters you’ve played, which one do people remember you for, if they’re asking for you, or explaining to another as to who you are? With me, obviously because of Torchwood, it’s Mary Cooper, but your career spans a few decades and so there must be other characters that you’re remembered for more than Mary?
Sharon: Everyone seems to remember me for playing Odette, the French girl in Grandslam, a film made in 1977, and first aired in 1978! I wore a short black wig and a lot of tan makeup, but still I get recognised, and it's always mentioned when I do chat shows. It is an iconic Welsh film about a Rugby trip to Paris that has a special place in many Welsh hearts. Some people know the whole script off by heart! I enjoyed playing Odette as she was so completely different to me, and I salute John Hefin the director for casting me, luckily many directors have taken a chance on me which has given me the opportunity to stretch myself.
Compared to the UK, what was living in LA like while you were over there filming Miracle Day?
Sharon: L.A. was amazing! I went out four times altogether. We stayed in the Hilton Universal, and so visited the funfair at Universal Studios, and of course went to Hollywood to see the stars in the pavement, visited Venice beach and Santa Monica, and saw a great production of 'Carnage' at the theatre with James Gandolfini and Geoff Daniels. The place is pretty unique and so full of film and television history, and of course the weather is so lovely, although it did get a bit cold and even rained once or twice!
©BBC Torchwood 2006