Amanda Abbington, the real-life partner of Martin Freeman, tells TV Times why nobody can come between Sherlock (BBC1, Sunday) and his best friend John Watson, not even her character, Mary…
How was it when some fans didn’t like the idea of Watson having a romance?
“I am well aware that there is a small core audience who don’t like Mary and don’t want her to come in between John and Sherlock, so I was concerned that I might upset the apple cart. But Mary is an amazing, independent character and the general consensus is that people loved the first episode, so I’m very relieved.”
So she won’t be coming between the two men?
“Mary’s very fond of Sherlock and she absolutely doesn’t want to break up his friendship with John. She’s certainly not a home-wrecker!”
Are you a fan of the show?
“Yes, I knew from the beginning that Sherlock was pretty special. The writers Mark Gatiss and Stephen Moffat would always raise their eyebrows and say, ‘You’ll be in this one day,’” but I had to wait with baited breath until the end of the second series!”
Were you surprised when they asked then ?
“We were sitting in the kitchen talking about the third series. I thought they were going to ask me who would be good for Mary, but actually they wanted me to play her – I was flabbergasted! It was also very intimidating because you’ve got this incredible group of actors and you have to raise your game. You have to be good because you’d stand out if you weren’t.”
Are you pleased with Sunday’s wedding episode?
“It’s going to be very popular. For a start you’ve got Benedict and Martin looking very handsome in wedding gear!”
You must like wedding scenes – this is the third one for you Martin isn’t it?
“Yes, it’s always fun to dress up! We’ve done it so many times on screen, we’ve realised we might as well not do it in real life.”
But you obviously like working with Martin?
“He’s a brilliant actor and I think we have a natural chemistry – I’m always happy when I have scenes with him. Benedict is lovely too. They both very funny, wonderful actors who are beautiful, sweet people in real life as well. There’s always a lot of laughter on the Sherlock set.”
What about the moustache?
“Well, Martin’s had weird facial hair all the time I’ve known him, but people got quite crazy about that moustache! I quite liked it, but it did make him look much older and distinguished, which is not what Martin’s really like at all!”