Russell Tovey Won’t Defend The Toxic Jake — But He Loved The Part

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Russell Tovey can’t come up with a defense for the toxic masculinity of his character, Jake, a stunted manchild in his 30s searching for purpose in a world he feels should fall at his feet. But the actor loved having the opportunity to play Jake, even if he keeps viewers and listeners guessing about what happens in the final episode of this intricate family drama.

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Transcript

Jace Lacob: I’m Jace Lacob, and you’re listening to MASTERPIECE Studio.

On Episode three of Flesh & Blood, the investigation into what happened the night of Vivien’s birthday party intensifies as DI Lineham has a new witness in the hot seat: Vivien’s troublemaker son, Jake.

CLIP

DI Lineham And when it all went wrong…did you try to help the victim in any way?

Jake Yeah, of course I tried. Of course, I tried. It just happened really quickly and we was all in shock, weren’t we?

Jace But like the rest of his siblings, Jake’s got his own problems beyond a potential murder to worry about. For starters, he’s trying to convince his wife to let him move back home.

CLIP

Leila That letter must have taken you ages.  I know how much you hate writing. So I was really touched. Thanks. And, listen, you know, about that guy…I’ve seen him twice…but, well erm, twice is enough, shall we say?

Jace Still, romantic failures haven’t prevented Jake from nosing around his new stepfather’s personal life, trying to find proof that the good doctor is less innocent than he seems.

CLIP

Jake Look, I’m telling you, the more you dig around the worse it gets …

Helen Jake, slow down for God’s sake. Have you double checked this before we get all  –

Jace Flesh & Blood star Russell Tovey knows just exactly what Jake did and where his amateur detective work ends, and he joins us to discuss toxic masculinity, his trademark ears, and his own artistic podcast adventures.

Jace And this week, we are joined by Flesh and Blood star Russell Tovey. Welcome.

Russell Tovey How’re you doing?.

Jace You’ve said that as an actor, you like domestic dramas. What was it about the role of Jake that attracted you to Flesh and Blood in the script stage?

Russell Well, when it comes to domestic dramas, Jake, he’s basically a mummy’s boy. So he has the mother son relationship. He misses his dad desperately, who died 18 months previously. He’s got two sisters who, they have a very much love-hate relationship. He’s in a relationship but he’s having an affair with someone else. So for me, I’m looking for domestic relationships, Jake was the antithesis of everything you could be hopeful to explore.

Jace I want to dive into those issues you mentioned in a bit that are plaguing Jake specifically. But do you see this character as perhaps representing a form of toxic masculinity?

Russell A hundred percent. He’s been enabled all his life by his mother, by his sisters to be a kind of drifter. He’s a trainer, he’s got a job as a personal trainer, and he does well at that. But he is also someone that is slightly stunted in his growth emotionally. I think the death of his dad has completely screwed him up, and not allowed him an opportunity to…You know, I think his dad was such a big presence that it didn’t mean that he had to man up or be the man of the house, which is like what he feels like the masculine role should be with toxic masculinity, with not playing up to gender norms, but it feels like his dad died and then he feels like he should be able to man up. But he’s lost his wife and kids because he squandered all the money on betting, he hasn’t got any money to rent a nice apartment so he can have the kids, because the social worker doesn’t think it’s acceptable. He’s in a really weird position where he’s a guy in his 30s who should be able to support his family and should be a role model for everyone in his life. And he’s not, and he can’t admit it. So, yes, there is a lot of toxic masculinity within Jake, which for a performer for an actor, was glorious to explore.

Jace I mean, as an actor, you don’t always have to like the character that you play on-screen. But do you feel a sense of sympathy towards Jake?

Russell I don’t feel sympathetic for him. I enjoyed playing him because he’s just a dick. If we can say that. It’s just like he’s just a bit of an idiot. And he’s very righteous. And feels like his opinions are the right opinion if he thinks it has to be true. He is also someone that is completely misguided by his morals. He would judge someone else, but yes, he would do exactly the same himself and feel like that’s appropriate. His treatment of the women in his life when it comes to, you know, his wife, his ex-wife, then gets back with the woman who he is the personal trainer for, then she pays him to be gigolo. He acts like a child and takes no responsibility for any of his actions. And that is such a joy to play, that’s someone who, you know, from the outside, you know, they’re wrong. But from the inside playing it from the inside, he’s so determined at how right he is.

Jace Do you feel then that we start to see Jake grow up in these first three episodes, to finally begin to accept responsibility and maybe move towards changing himself for the better?

Russell No, I feel like someone is completely in denial. And then this man comes into his mother’s life and takes over his father’s role. For his mother and that for him is poison. That for him completely emasculates him, completely, holds a mirror up that he doesn’t want to look in and he doesn’t learn. And he also, as a family, they don’t communicate. They argue. They bicker. But there’s…they don’t know anything about each other. His two sisters are going through huge events in their life. Huge events. And they don’t know about it. They don’t share it with their siblings. They keep this facade up and this pride that they don’t want to show any weakness to each other. So it’s such a toxic situation for all of them to be in because there’s not any authentic ability to express yourself.

Jace Because there are no shortage of secrets in this family between the siblings, especially, there is an innate conflict between the three of them, whether it’s sort of financial. They seem to latch on to Natalie, having had help from their father to get her first flat. How do you categorize Jake’s relationship to his sisters, given those walls that exist between them? Is, as you say, is there any authenticity there?

Russell Well, I think I think there’s a lot of sibling relationships, that’s authentic. I think it’s completely genuine, where siblings don’t really know each other. There is a sort of social contract that you have with your family that you have a politeness when you talk. So there is that there. But he’s the baby. Jake’s the baby. Jake’s the one that’s been allowed to be a little child. He can be,  little, you know, little Jake, It’s funny, isn’t it? And you know, there is a competitiveness and jealousy with his sisters. And for Jake, again, his two sisters are successful. They’ve got money. And one of them has been helped out. Even though they’re a success by their father, he didn’t get helped out. So, again, there’s more emasculating that’s happened from your sisters. So it’s coming from all angles. He’s been exposed. His raw, kind of really sensitive underbelly is completely exposed the whole time. And it occurs when everybody’s just prodding and scratching at it.

CLIP

Natalie Welcome to the most awkward birthday drinks in the history of the world!

Jake Yeah, it’s not funny though, is it?

Helen Have you been drinking?

Jake Why? Have you?

Jace How different would you say is their dynamic to that between you and Claudie Blakely and Lydia Leonard?

Russell Oh, my gosh. We were the three sisters. That’s what we called ourself on set. We had the most wonderful time together. Those two people are just….Everybody on this set was just so lovely our director Louise Hooper, there’s so many really positive female role models, female performers, female talent involved on all different layers of this. There’s so, the producer was female. There’s so many members of the crew. It felt really exciting. I really love the company of women, when it comes to like, my life, my best mates are girls, I’ve always been gravitated towards girls. So for me, to have these two wonderful people as part of my like, family in this show. and to be around them the whole time was just a joy. I adore them.

Jace Those scenes with the three siblings feel really lived in. Claudie spoke about the fact that Louise Hooper would allow you guys to speak over each other in the group scenes. How did that and the ability to do some improvising allow you to deepen the relationship between the siblings?

Russell Well, that never happens in real life. We all talk over each other the whole time. But when you’re filming, it never happens because the sound person will come in and be like, can you just not talk over each other because it affects the sound? So you don’t ever get the ability or the option to access that free flow of your inner monologue or do it or just improvise freely. I love improv. Those two love improv. So to be told, go with this talk over each other was just a dream, a dream because you have so much fun. And so many times we cracked each other up with things we were saying because under your breath you would say something and the other ones would hear it. it’s a wonderful way to act because the constraints of the script are brilliant. But to be able to, like, add some sparkle and glitter is really a gift.

Jace You have a brother. Did you draw on any real-life sibling rivalry or dynamics to use during shooting?

Russell Yeah, I guess I thought about, whenever your craft and character, you want to do the research and you want to know who these people are and their relationships. And in your head, you picture them going on holiday together or you picture then, birthdays or like school. Did you talk to each other at school? Was you at the same school, when they first got boyfriends, when you first got a girlfriend, all of them sorts of stories for the character to craft. So in my head, you always have to draw on your own personal experiences. And I would put things back to like situations where, I mean, my brother had conflict. or we’ve been there for each other, or like, I pissed him off or I broke his remote control car or I threw a hot dog at him as a kid or stuff like that to real events that I’m able to then in my head project them onto the sisters, project them onto scenarios in my head to build a narrative and a background, which I think I do with everything. I think you always as an actor, as you draw on your own personal journey, life lessons, too, and then you are able to kind of carve them into these characters you’re inhabiting.

Jace You’re an avid gym goer. Were you thrilled to be thought of as buff enough to be cast as a personal trainer?

Russell Yeah. But there’s also the pressure of like you really after kind of up your game if you’re playing the P.T.. They fell. It felt nice to be considered for that casting, yeah. But also with Jake, I feel like he’s someone that would have used steroids younger in his life. And then they sort of let it go a little bit now because he’s not after his wife anymore, or he’s settled with his wife. And then it was like he was kind of a gambler. So that became his fixation. I feel for him. I wanted him to have a gym-toned body, but I also didn’t want him to be like someone that really watches what they eat, doesn’t have a drink on that level. I didn’t want him to make, like, Instagram hungry, like, Instagram thirst gym body. I didn’t. I don’t feel like Jake is on Instagram. I think he might have it, but rarely posts anything. I don’t think he thinks about that. So I wanted him to have an authentic kind of gym body. But one that wasn’t too ridiculous.

Jace Jake is very much firmly opposed to his mother, Vivien’s new romance with Mark Kinneally. Why does he take such a strong, immediate dislike to Mark, and how is that tied up in his unresolved feelings towards his late father?

Russell I just think, is the fact that you’re you’re imagining your mom having sex again. I think it’s you know you know, when you realize your teacher is actually a human being, with like, a family at home, and they don’t just turn into androids at the end of the school day, they go home and they have their life? It’s like that thing when you realize, oh, my God, my mother is a person and she’s a sexual being. And now she’s blossoming and she’s twinkling and she’s with this guy who’s come out of nowhere, who’s a threat to me. Jake doesn’t like the thought of his mum having pleasure, basically, which is so selfish. He wants her to play the role of mom. And that’s it. She my mom. You need to be there for me. You need to support me. You’re my mom. And when he realizes that he’s losing his mother figure and he’s lost his father figure already, to someone else who’s come out of nowhere. That’s not what it was meant to happen to, Jake. Jake was meant to have mom there, mommy’s boy, forever. And now he doesn’t. And that for him is a massive no no.

Jace Which is so interesting to me because he’s a parent himself. He exists as a person separate from his own children. He can give his own mother the benefit of that.

Russell He can’t learn from his own life lessons. He he has no ability to see himself in someone else’s shoes is very easy for quite selfish thing. Very much about him. Poor Jake. Paul J. Paul J. Paul. Jake. Another drink. It’s his. He feels he’s so. Yes, such a determination that use of force is such a lot such a privilege. He feels that he is privileged and he deserves what ever he wants. And when he doesn’t get it, it’s quite a tough bar. Saying that, what he is as a father is amazing. The love he has for his kids, his relations with his kids, the importance these kids play with him is so much, but he just can’t see how the next generation up, his relationship with his mom, how that can be so different?

Jace I mean, his relationship to his kids, I think, is sort of one redeeming quality. He has such love for his kids. He pulls his son out of the street when he’s about to get hit by a car.

CLIP

Jake Yes, Stella. I get you, I get you. NO! NO! Ugh!  What are you doing?

Jace And you get how much he loves his kids. What happened between Jake and Leila,  exactly?

Russell Well, so Jake and Leila were happy. But Jake was squandering all of their rent and their savings on betting and drinking. And he was a gambling addict. He is a gambling addict. And he didn’t tell all. And he thought he could get the big win and then cover it up. And then he was draining the funds. So they got to the point where they had the money and the house they shared. The kids had bedrooms. She had, Leila had to move back in with her own mom with the kids because they couldn’t afford the rent anymore. And he did that, and they had money and he did it. Or when he lied and he lied and lied and lied and he kept it secret and he hid everything from her, thinking he could sort it out. And then they got too far and his world fell apart. And she was exposed and she saw that. And that is deceit and lack of, the trust is completely broken. And is the fact that you could just so willfully take money from your children, it’s from your children’s like, health. That is the most shocking thing that Leila thought. So she was like, I loved you and I trusted you and you’ve broken us.

Jace Before this next question, let’s take a quick break to hear a word from our sponsors…

Jace Jake falls into a we’ll call it a transactional relationship with his personal training clients, Stella. That’s at once purely sexual, but also deeply personal. What is Stella offer him, apart from a rent-free flat and money?

Russell I think Stella offers him a positive role model, she offers him friendship, she offers him respect. She offers him, she’s started developing feelings for him and for him she taps into a maternal side, even though it turns sexual, there is a maternal like, the older lady giving him advice.

CLIP

Stella “I understand that while we are both separated, it is none of my business who you choose to see. ”

Jake “It is none of my …”  What?!

Stella No, she’ll appreciate that, trust me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t care, I do. And I hope… with all my heart … “

Jake “… all my heart …” I wouldn’t say that. It’s fine.

Stella “I hope with all my heart … that we can put our marriage back together.”

Jake  “… marriage back together … er heart …”  Ok, that’s good, that’s really good.

Stella Yeah. “I love you …”

Jake Hang on, hang on, hang on…together …” What was that?

Stella “I love you …”

Jake “… love you”.

Stella “Jake”.

Jake “Jake”. Kiss, kiss, kiss?

Stella Er ..?

Jake Two kisses? Three kisses. Well that’s good, that’s brilliant. That’s genius.

Russell  They really respect each other. And I think they really get a while. And it’s fun. And in a parallel world, they would probably be together because they actually have this really beautiful connection. But he’s, he’s just too immature to really realize what he’s got. With Leila and what he’s got with Stella, he’s so spoiled and entitled. But what she does to him is kind of make him a better person without even realizing she makes him think and stop and analyze and consider the feelings of other people.

Jace I know we’re supposed to root for Jake and Leila to work it out, but I personally love Jake and Stella together, despite the prostitution aspect of their relationship. Jake’s “on the house” offer in this episode, I thought was priceless. Despite himself, is Jake falling for Stella as well? Does he have feelings for her?

Russell Yeah, I think he deeply cares for her and it has sort of caught him off guard. I don’t think he was ready for this. But in his head, he wants to get back with his wife. That’s what he’s decided. He needs to be a dad with these kids. He needs to see them. So this experience he’s having, these emotional connections he’s got with Stella. He’s not emotionally mature enough to realize that it’s more than a fully. That’s something that I think, you know, years down the road or months down the road, they realize that, what they actually had with this lady.

Jace What was it like working with Sharon Small in these scenes together?

Russell I adore her. I mean, everyone. And again, another powerhouse actress, magic. I mean, I was spoiled with all of these incredible actors, actresses on this production. But, you know, we had so many intimate scenes and she’s just fantastic and she’s brilliant. And it felt really easy and calm and fun. At every moment, this was fun. This was one of them shows where every moment, you know, we filmed it during the summer in a beautiful area of the U.K. called Eastbourne and in this amazing family home and was in this great hotel night afterwards. It was really like, this old, like Edwardian hotel that was built in the heyday of Eastbourne. It just had like, a really beautiful feeling around the whole thing. And it was warm and it just felt special. And I think that Sharon Small is a really special performer and person.

Jace Jake is in the hot seat in this episode being interrogated by D.I. Lineham. There’s the briefest moment when Lineham pushes about Vivien’s collapse and health, where Jake appears to show genuine emotion, possibly for the first time in the show.

CLIP

DI Lineham And I understand your mother had always enjoyed good health?

Jake  Er mum, mum always kept herself fit as a fiddle.

DI Lineham So her her collapse I mean, that must have come as a shock?

Jake Yeah, it did. She made every effort to get better, but it wasn’t like her so, yes, of course, we were concerned.

Jace Why is this moment so significant and what triggers this reaction?

Russell Because the sort of losing his mom is unbearable. So anything that relates to her demise, to her in a vulnerable position completely is incomprehensible to him. And also the fear of what Mark is doing and the mix up with Mark and his mom and how they’re, how that plays into the mix. But yet he can’t admit stuff like that, to, at that stage where he’s been investigated, where he’s being interviewed by the police. He’s not in a position to offer up the opportunity to frame Mark because stuff happens that he has to kind of fudge and and cover up.

Jace Jake is deeply suspicious of Mark and seizes on the mystery of Mark’s daughter, Sophie, pushing Vivian for more information about her. Does he believe that Sophie is an invention of Marx, that he’s conjured up this mystery daughter?

Russell Everything about Mark is a mystery. Everything about Mark is a lie. This guy has come out of nowhere and suddenly he’s completely ingrained into his mother’s life. He’s…he’s not great. And then when you read that his ex-wife committed suicide. You are, as a protective son, as a protective family. That’s not a good thing to read about. There’s no redeeming qualities in Mark that the kids can see that would allow him to pass the audition of potentially being their mother’s mate. They wouldn’t choose him for her and they wouldn’t choose anyone for her. But if they were to choose anyone, it certainly would not be Mark.

Jace We begin to see more of the birthday drinks evening. We know now there was a fistfight between Mark and Jake. Jake’s knuckles are bruised and he involuntarily clenches his fist during the interrogation. There’s still one episode to go, and I’m sure there’s a few twists along the way. But has Lineham caught his man in this moment?

Russell I think Jake’s a lot cleverer and convincing and manipulating that the audience might appreciate. I think he’s someone that’s been able to lie to his wife and kids and keep up a façade that everything’s okay to his family for many years. So the opportunity to tell a lie to protect himself is not uncharted territory for him.

Russell What do you make of Jake and Mary’s relationship? Why has she maintained such a powerful role in the family after all of these years?

Russell I think Mary is someone that does so much for the family. She’s a sweet lady that would… She’s the sort of person if you went to your mom, ‘I want to get my ear pierced,’ she’d be like, ‘You’re not getting your ear pierced,’ and then you go to Mary’s and Mary’s like, ‘I’ll take you to get your ear pierced.’ You know what I mean? She feels like she’s sort of like the cheeky mom, the fun mom, the one that sort of will look after you and cook you your favorite meal whenever you want. Or like the nan, she feels like the nan, the grandmother. Like the mom can’t do that, but granny can do that. And I think she’s been such a presence in their life as their next door neighbor. And it feels like they all share a lot more of themselves with Mary than they seem to do with each other.

Jace You played Leslie Durrell opposite Imelda Staunton in My Family and Other Animals. What was it like reuniting with her after all of this time?

Russell Oh, it’s the best, I love ‘Meldy. ‘Meldy Staunton, she’s…she’s so brilliant, and that was, I just finished The History Boys movie. Before we were going ‘round the world and we shot that in Corfu for like six weeks, five weeks or something. And it was just hanging out with her. She just such a laugh and just a brilliant, you know, we all know she’s an amazing actress. But as a person, again, just so fun and open and warm and loves a gossip. But then, you know, she need to have a serious chat. She’d go for a serious chat. She’s a really special person. And to then have her attached to this project when we was doing the castings and everything, was just like, when you get that name attached, then you know you’re onto something really special.

Jace What can you tease about what lies ahead in this final episode for Jake?

Russell I think for Jake, you’re going to see a man challenged beyond anything he’d ever considered he’d be challenged with, I think, at this point in his life, it would be breezing through lots of money, a happy family going on holidays, big car. He’s an infantilized adult. He’s a manchild. He’s trying his best to grow up. But it’s a struggle.

Jace It’s a rare journalistic portrait of you that doesn’t mention your ears. The Independent once deemed them, quote, ‘Prince Charles ears.’ How do you feel about your ears, and have you learned to love them as much as your fans do?

Russell I have always loved them. I have never had an issue with my ears at all. Even as a kid when I grew up called Wingnut, and Big Ears, and Airplane and Car Doors and all those things. It never, ever occurred to me at any point that I would have to pin them back. And multiple people over my career as an actor have said to me, ‘Do you want to make it in Hollywood? If you want to do well, you need to get your ears pinned back’. And I’ve always, said, ‘Nah, I’m not going to that this is me, this is my trademark,’ or whatever, I think. I mean, you know, my parents were very much like, ‘Your ears, are you.’ And they are. And I forget about it. And then when people mention, ‘You’ve got sticky-out ears,’ because they’re not actually big. They just stick out. That’s the misconception is that people think they are big. They’re not big. They’re just pokey.

Jace You are no stranger to the world of podcasting as you host your own podcast, Talk Art with gallerist Robert Diament. Now in its seventh — seventh — season. What was the impetus behind starting the podcast? And how does it continue to bring you joy?

Russell The impetus was just, I’m an art geek. That’s my absolute passion outside of acting. And it gave us the access to talk to our heroes and to be geeks and geek off on a regular basis was the, is the most joyful thing that’s happened from this podcast. And the thing about art and the thing about culture and creative people is that it’s limitless. So this podcast is limitless. It’s not like we reach it and we complete the game of podcasting. There is no completion. There is no big bad boss at the end. There’s big bad guests we want on, but there’s no big bad guest you have to beat, and then it’s over. This is something that we can hopefully touch wood, continue for many, many years to come and create a time capsule for all of this. It’s like before COVID, during COVID, I can’t wait for it to be post COVID, this is something like a record of culture of our time and hopefully in years to come when we’re all dead and buried it’s going to be something that people can’t archive and keep for prosperity and teach in schools.

Jace Earlier this year, you were to star as Nick in the Broadway revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which was canceled and Broadway shut down amid the pandemic. How difficult was it to shut down and how do you think live theater will adapt post pandemic?

Russell I was incredibly sad. We did five weeks or so, eight previews. It was going really well. We had amazing audience responses. But when we shut down, it felt like there was something bigger in the world. And it felt right to leave the city for a while. We were hoping it was only going to be like three weeks or a month. They said to us, you’re gonna come back in about three weeks, we can re-rehearse, get back in, we would be all fine. And then it just never happened. But what the feeling was overall was it’s kind of like superfluous right now because it feels like it’s really terrible thing that’s just looming and there was, there is, it’s looming. It’s like taking over the globe. Who could have ever predicted? Apart from Rusty Davis in Years and Years, that something like this would happen in our lifetime. You read about it in books, you read about the plague, in books, you read about history. We’re living history right now. So theater wise, I am. I’m of the camp that if you could sell an airplane with a mask on an airplane for five hours, six hours, seven hours, why can’t you send the theater for an hour and a half with a mask on and do social distancing? I’m like, get theater’s open. Give people the opportunity. Give them spaces between them, split the seats up, seat it differently, position it differently, do one man shows, do performances where everyone’s wearing a mask. I don’t know. But just, we all get life back up and there are lots of theaters here that are adapting. And that’s what all is, is that artists don’t sit and wait for it to blow over and go back to what’s happened before artists adapt. And I find that really inspiring.

Jace You mentioned History Boys. Alan Bennett’s History Boys is a major turning point for you. You starred in both the stage and film versions of the play. What did you learn from Alan Bennett?

Russell I learned from Alan Bennett so much when it comes to literature and education from the day one of rehearsal. We sat down and they said, Nick Hytner, the director and Alan Bennett, the writer, said if there’s nothing off limits there, there’s nothing out of bounds. If you think something sounds stupid in your head, just say, there’s no question, it’s wrong. And we were like, we were like bombarded with literature from that show. That stuff we don’t know. And I actually watched it in lockdown, the movie, and I hadn’t seen it since the premiere like 14 years ago. And there’s stuff in the movie. I mean, I was crying throughout for nostalgia reasons, but there’s stuff in the movie that I was like, ‘Oh, that’s what that means. Oh, I get that now because I’m that bit older. I’ve experienced life a bit more. I’ve had my heart broken or I’ve seen this or I’ve known someone that’s done that,’ and suddenly it even become more alive. So it’s a timeless piece that will keep evolving and growing. But Alan, just Alan just gifted us boys an opportunity to be a part of something that was incredibly special.

Jace You’re from Billericay, your History Boys co-star James Corden would go on to co-create and co-star in Gavin and Stacey, where you played Budgie in four episodes. What was the atmosphere like on the show which would go on to become one of the most beloved British comedies of all time?

Russell Fun, easy. I mean, we did we was Broadway doing History Boys when he got it green lit, and then he said to me and Sam Anderson and Andy Knott, do we want to be the Staggs? Do we want to be like Gavin and Smithy’s mates, from Essex, and so we shot the first season and we did our episodes and nobody knew at that point the enormity of what the show would be. Nobody knew at that point what it was going to become. So when they went back to the second season, they were suddenly like, wow, we’re into something for the second season, hitm hat’s when the show went stratospheric. And it changed our lives. And I would go back to Essex. I’m actually from Billericay, so the reason it’s set in Billericay, Essex, is because I talked about Billericay, Essex all the time. So James got this idea and set it in Billericay. So I would go back there and people would say, say, ‘Oy, Budgie, you’re a legend.’ I’d be like, this is nuts. this is so nuts. It was a brilliant, amazing show to be a part of. And I’m so proud of James, what he achieved and to be on that journey with him.

Jace Russell Tovey, thank you so very much.

Russell Thank you so much, it was so nice to talk to you.

Jace There’s but one episode remaining of Flesh & Blood, and viewers must be wondering what exactly happened at Vivien’s birthday party by the sea.

CLIP

DI Lineham Did you feel that she had perhaps rushed into her new marriage?

Helen No,… not really.  I mean, at that point…well, there was there was no way of knowing that it would all end in such a…an appalling way.

Jace Who is the murder victim? And who is the killer? The whodunwhat comes to a close as series creator Sarah Williams joins us here on the podcast October 25 for a full debrief of the case at hand.

MASTERPIECE Studio is hosted by me, Jace Lacob and produced by Nick Andersen. Elisheba Ittoop is our editor. Rebecca Eaton is the executive producer at large for MASTERPIECE. The executive producer for MASTERPIECE is Susanne Simpson.

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