Interviews

Girl Power, Rooks and ‘Victoria’ the Novel: Our Chat with Series Creator Daisy Goodwin

Jenna Coleman and Rufus Sewell in "Victoria" (Photo:  Courtesy of ITV Plc/MASTERPIECE)

Period drama Victoria ‘s first season is currently airing on PBS’ Masterpiece and it’s pretty much exactly the kind of thing your Sunday night needs. The show has been extremely successful already - it was UK network ITV’s most popular drama last year, and has already been renewed for a second season, with an additional 2017 Christmas special on the way.

Long live the queen, indeed.

Just after the season premiere here in the U.S., we had a chance for a quick chat with series’ creator Daisy Goodwin. Before helming Victoria - and writing all eight hours of its first season – Goodwin studied history at Cambridge University, with a focus on Queen Victoria. She’s also a rather accomplished author and has published several novels, including My Last Duchess, The Fortune Hunter and The American Heiress.

We got the chance to speak with Ms. Goodwin for a few minutes on a variety of topics ranging from Victoria’s feminist leanings to the historical accuracy of the show’s portrayal of Lord Melbourne to her latest book, the novel Victoria that stands alongside the series’ first season.

Read on for a transcript of our conversation, and a few fun insights about the show and the queen it is based on. 

A Chat with 'Vera's' Brenda Blethyn

A few weeks ago I received a press release in my email from Acorn TV alerting me, as a blogger, that the streaming service was about to premiere a new episode of Vera Series 5 every Monday for the entire month of July. (Editorial note: For those of you without Acorn TV access, Series 5 of Vera begins on WETA on July 17, and on other PBS stations around the country beginning at various points this month. Enjoy!)

What really caught my eye, however, were these words - INTERVIEW OPP: Brenda Blethyn. I immediately shot off a reply to Acorn’s publicity assistant expressing my keen interest to interview the Academy Award nominated actress. After over a dozen emails and lot of re-watching of Vera episodes, I found myself sitting in my living room yesterday morning waiting for a conference call from Brenda Blethyn herself.

This being my first interview with a well-known actress (or anyone really for that matter), I was a bit nervous and more than slightly giddy. Nonetheless, as soon as I got the first question out of the way, Ms. Blethyn put me at my ease. I know it’s not very professional to gush about your interview subject and perhaps I should be more objective, but I just have to say that Brenda was gracious, generous with her laughter and obviously very passionate about her work. I was already a fan of her acting and now, after speaking with her, I’ve gotten the distinct impression she’s a pretty awesome human being as well.

But enough from this star-struck blogger; please enjoy the conversation I shared with Brenda Blethyn wherein we discussed cast changes, Vera’s fashion sense and why she enjoys playing our favorite Northumberland and City police officer, DCI Stanhope.