“ What Mike does so brilliantly is the minute and the universal. In his writing, he’s absolutely capable of carrying those two elements at all times. ”
Rachael Stirling plays Kelly in Life.
Please give us a brief overview of your story.
Rachael Stirling: We meet Kelly in episode one, and she and David seem to have a slight distance between them. You don’t quite understand why, but you know that they are husband and wife. And by the end of the first episode, you realise exactly why this distance is.
What drew you to Life? Do you identify with your character?
Rachael Stirling: What drew me to Life was Mike Bartlett writing an email saying, “Please come and play this part?” And I said, “Okay, cool!” Mike is what drew me to Life. I don’t think I even read the script! I just said, “Yes, of course, I will!”
Why will audiences connect with this show?
Rachael Stirling: As they say, there’s something for everyone! There’s just such a brilliant cornucopia of characters that you will be able to relate to at least one of the plot lines and if not, more than one of the characters. They’re all distinct but recognisable and very much, as all Mike’s writing is, written in truth. So they’re fully-rounded, believable characters and there is definitely someone for everyone.
Why do you think this is an important story to tell?
Rachael Stirling: I like watching anything that is immediately recognisable, and this has immediately recognisable elements to it. I’ve done two of Mike’s plays now and been directed by him in one of them. Kate [Hewitt – Life’s associate producer and director of episodes 4-6] and I always say what Mike does so brilliantly is the minute and the universal.
In his writing, he’s absolutely capable of carrying those two elements at all times. Something can be reduced to the very small human interaction which is banal and tiny, but at the same time, it has this epic ramification. He’s amazing at the paralleling of the incidental, the tiny, the irrelevant and the social world view. So huge and small. It’s epic and I love that juxtaposition. I think it exists in all our lives apart from anything else. We all feel like we’re in our own movie, while at the same same time feeling insignificant. That’s the duality of life and that’s, I think, what Mike’s constructed so brilliantly both in these characters and in the arc of the series as a whole.
Originally published on Bbc.co.uk