Doctor Who villain Keeley Hawes: ‘I find it easy to access my dark side’

Keeley Hawes plays a villainous bank security chief called Ms Delphox in Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who (BBC1, 7.30pm). We asked the 38-year-old actress about getting in touch with her evil side…
How would you describe this week’s Doctor Who?
“It’s a stonking big blockbuster of an episode – a real rollercoaster with so many different things going on at once. Just when you think you know where you are, another twist happens. I think it’s really going to keep everyone on the edges of their seats.”

Tell us more about Ms Delphox
“One of the most exciting things about her is that I get my own monster. She has a creature called The Teller, who can suck the memories out of people’s brains and leave them like a cabbage. He sort of deletes people’s minds.”
Is Ms Delphox as bad as she seems seems?
“When we first meet her, she’s someone who seems very confident and in control. She’s a strong and sassy woman. But in reality she’s like a swan on water – the exterior seems calm, but the feet are going like crazy underneath. She lives in a state of constant paranoia, and as the episode goes on we find out why.”

It’s not often that you play evil. Did you enjoy it?
“I do find it quite easy to access my dark side. I’ve got a very dark sense of humour. Not that it’s something that I like to do on a daily basis, but as an actor, I think you have to be able to entertain the idea of going to dark places. And of course it’s a lot of fun playing villains.”
What was it like starring in scenes with Peter Capaldi?
“I love what Peter has done with the Doctor. The fans seem to love him. I like the fact that he’s a bit older, as well. I think that brings gravitas to the part.”
Do you think we should have a female Doctor one day?
“I’m not sure the Doctor should be a woman, to be honest. Maybe one day in the future – but I’m not sure about that kind of a regeneration. I don’t know. I just think the show works very well as it is, and while it would be very exciting to have a woman in that role, the assistant role has always been fantastic too and that’s being built up more and more. So I think they’re both lovely parts.”
Will you enjoy watching the episode with your family?
“We’ll all sit down and watch it together. I don’t think this one is too frightening for the little one. The others will probably like The Teller. They’ll be bored to death of my face, but I think they’ll love the monster and the special effects.”


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