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Old 04-10-2013, 05:17 AM
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Interview with Metro

Actress Keeley Hawes, 37, is best known for her roles in Spooks and Ashes To Ashes. She’s promoting an online children’s safety campaign.

What’s the campaign all about?
It’s an online guide from Childnet International for parents to help their children use the internet safely.

Have any of your children had any online mishaps?
I’ve got three children aged 12, eight and six and they all use the internet every day. My oldest son has started to download music and TV shows. He clicked on a pop-up and saw some inappropriate adult material, which happened two days before I was approached about this campaign, so it seemed a timely thing to do.

There was a report about lots of 14-year-olds getting hooked on hardcore online porn. Is this a concern for you as a parent?
I don’t know about that. My son is 12 and it was accidental, so no. It’s about trying to keep children safe online – I’d like to think fitting parental controls would keep your 14-year-old away from hardcore porn.

Is giving children smartphones and tablets a good idea?
It is if they use them properly but it’s an incredibly bad idea if you don’t supervise them. Children will be children and they’re inquisitive. If teenagers want to know what’s out there they’ll look but there are things that aren’t for their eyes. It’s a different world to when I was a teenager

What’s your new TV series Our Men about?
It’s the new David Mitchell and Robert Webb series. David plays the ambassador to a fictional country called Tazbekistan and I play his wife. It’s about the trials and tribulations they face. I finished filming it at the weekend.

Why did you want to do that?
I’m a fan of those guys. I was in a dream sequence in That Mitchell And Webb Look, I’m a big fan of Peep Show and I’ve done a panel show with David. I was sent the script and couldn’t think of anything nicer to do. It’s brilliantly written. A real treat.

Does doing comedy make a nice change?
It’s a comedy drama, so not out-and-out comedy. Some characters are broader than others. Everything I do seems to be slightly different. When you’re on set, you don’t sit around thinking: ‘I’m in a comedy’ – you play the scenes for real and hopefully some humour comes out of that.

What was Turkey like to film in?
Fantastic. The Turkish people are the friendliest I’ve ever met. I didn’t have an awful lot to do there. I bought the kids some Turkish slippers as a souvenir.

You’ve recently done The Tunnel as well. What’s that about?
It’s the British remake of The Bridge, which is a bit like The Killing. It’s a murder mystery drama set half-way into the Channel Tunnel, so it concerns both the French and British police forces. It’s about their relationship. I play a suspect’s sister. She’s a prescription drug addict ex-party girl who is down on her luck, which has been interesting.

Did you base it on anyone you know?
Are you fishing? No, I didn’t. The writer might have done.

Do you do much research preparing for your roles?
It depends on the role. Sometimes it’s useful, sometimes it isn’t. I did a lot of research when I did the play Rocket To The Moon, which was set in 1938. But TV is different. A lot of it is done for you. You can just walk on to a set that evokes the 1930s and you don’t have to imagine or research that.

What was your first professional acting role?
I was nine. I was paid £18 to be an extra on EastEnders. I thought I’d hit the big time. I had to ride a bike around the square.

You went to stage school with Emma Bunton – did you ever fancy becoming a pop star?
No and even if I did I don’t think anyone would have encouraged me. That was never going to happen. Emma always had a lovely voice and she was a brilliant dancer so it made perfect sense but it’s not for me – just due to my singing voice and dancing. I was never one of those teenagers who sang into their hairbrush.

What are people’s misconceptions of you?
That I’m posh.

You come from a family of taxi drivers – was that ever a career option for you?
No, it’s not really a job for a girl, I suppose. Or I imagined it wasn’t. I passed my driving test first time, though.


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