The Cast of The Durrells in Corfu Say Goodbye
The time has come to bid the fun-loving Durrell family a fond farewell! Read all about the stars’ emotional final days on set, what it was like growing up on the series, and what they’ll miss most about their days filming in sunny Corfu.
Not quite ready to say goodbye? Mark your calendars for the premiere of What the Durrells Did Next on Sunday, Nov. 10, and learn all about the real lives of the Durrell family and their adventures after Corfu. Plus, watch all four seasons of The Durrells in Corfu now on PBS Passport, an added member benefit, and relive your favorite Durrell memories all over again!
Keeley Hawes (Louisa Durrell)
The season ended with the Durrells bidding farewell to Corfu, just as we bid farewell to the series. Though it broke their hearts to do so, the arrival of the war at their doorsteps made it too dangerous for them to stay. It was a reality Louisa had tried to ignore, explained Keeley Hawes, who’s played the Durrell matriarch for the past four seasons.
“She has lived through one war and has no interest in living through another one,” Hawes explained. “Like so many people of that generation. They had lived through the worst war imaginable – the First World War – and lost people. So there was no appetite from her for another one. … Louisa has four children including sons who would be called up to fight. So she does stick her head in the sand.”
Hawes also admitted how emotional it was to film the final scenes of the series, especially the final dinner in the sea. “The actual final scene of the whole show in Corfu we filmed a few weeks before we finished,” she said. “That was the most emotional. It involved all of the main players and we knew it was the end. That was very sad. It was quite tricky to hold that together. We all had a round of applause afterwards and lots of hugs. That scene stands out because it is the actual final scene of the series.”
Josh O'Connor (Larry Durrell)
Larry Durrell has gone from the older brother who wanted nothing more than to get away from his family and make it as an author, to a real, published author and a man who shoulders a bit more responsibility and love for his family. O’Connor, who stars as the eldest Durrell child, confessed to getting choked up as the cast’s time together finally drew to a close.
“When I arrived in Corfu for the series, I thought it would be fine but actually when I left the island, it was incredibly sad and teary,” he said. “The hardest bit was saying goodbye to the Greek crew because most of them have been with us from the beginning. A lot of the crew were from the local area and they’ve come on this journey with us.”
No matter where his career takes him, O’Connor knows how important The Durrells in Corfu was for him and his career, and for that, he’s grateful. “The Durrells was my first leading role in a television series and I got to work with one of our greatest British actresses, so I guess it started everything for me,” he admitted. “It feels like it was the beginning of everything for me so I do credit what’s gone on since to taking the role of Larry. I don’t take that for granted at all. I’m going to miss working with my best friends which has been a privilege and so rare. “
Callum Woodhouse (Leslie Durrell)
Leslie Durrell has gone from the gun-loving brother who had little interest in his family, to stepping in as man of the house, almost becoming a father himself and learning to love more openly, over the past four seasons. Star Callum Woodhouse was well aware that something truly special was ending, and his reaction to receiving the final script hit him hard.
“I got sent the final episode on one of my days off in Corfu,” he said. “I was sent it at about 11am and I didn’t finish until about 10pm that night. I had to keep staggering reading it throughout the day as I couldn’t get further than five pages before bursting into tears!”
At the end of it all, the team decided on one last outing together – as a family. “We all went out for a meal in one of our favorite restaurants in Corfu Town to mark the end of the series,” he said. “It’s on the harbor, looking out onto the sea and at the end of the meal, Keeley stood up and said ‘Right, we’re all going in the sea!’ Everyone stood up from the tables and we all followed her into the sea and were swimming about for at least 30 minutes. There was about 40 of us all together and it was very special.”
The crew behind The Durrells in Corfu also gave Woodhouse a parting gift that he’ll cherish always, as a way to remember his first acting job. “I was really wanting to take at least one souvenir from set, and the team kindly gave me Leslie’s notebook, a pair of his shorts and his polo shirt amongst other things, so I’ve essentially now got about eight pieces of memorabilia I can keep from my first job,” he said. “It was so much more than I was ever hoping for.”
Daisy Waterstone (Margo Durrell)
Over four seasons, Margo Durrell went from the lone sister and daughter of the Durrell family, with an interest in boys, fashion and not much else, to a matured young woman who doesn’t shy away from anything and has big dreams. Actress Daisy Waterstone admitted that going into the final season was certainly emotional, and that she and much of the cast cherished every moment this season.
“Returning to Corfu knowing that it was for the final series was bittersweet,” she said. “The fact that we knew it was going to be the end meant that we made the most out of being there. We spent as much time together as possible and just generally had a really nice time there.”
High on the list of Waterstone’s toughest goodbyes: Margo. “I’m sad to leave Margo. I feel like she’s my sister who really needs help and someone to give her advice,” she explained. “She’s given me a lot of advice as well. She’s taught me how to give life a go and not worry about making mistakes, that when you fail just to do something else and keep going. She’s always positive and often she doesn’t mind failing.”
“I cried when I read the final script. I think it was the last few pages where I suddenly realized that this was the last time I was ever going to read a The Durrells script,” she confessed. “It made me realize how much we’ve achieved in the past four years and how much its impacted my life in a huge way. It’s definitely changed my life and made me more confident. In fact, Margo herself has made me more confident as a person. She’s brought me out of my shell, which is lovely.”
Milo Parker (Gerry Durrell)
Milo Parker, as the youngest Durrell sibling Gerry, has perhaps grown most noticably – from the soft-spoken, animal-loving little boy to a much-taller, more confident, animal-loving teenager. Parker’s experience as a child actor growing up on the series, along with Gerry, was a special experience he knows he’ll never forget.
“I think I’ve been so lucky to experience such a different culture at such a young age and given the opportunity to go out and live on Corfu for 9 weeks of the year,” he said. “I’m really going to miss it because it’s been an absolute dream.”
This year, one location in particular stood out to Parker, who’s family would accompany him to Greece and make a vacation of it each year. “We actually filmed a lot more towards the north of the island this year in a place called Agios Stefanos where you can virtually touch Albania from the coastline,” he said. “We were filming one day on a beach that was only accessible by boat so we had the whole crew on speed boats in convoy going around the island. … While other people were waking up at 7am to go to school, I was sunning it out on the beach. You really pinch yourself in moments like that, especially when you’re sitting with all your mates just waiting for the camera to set up and you think, this is just amazing.”
For Parker, his experience playing renowned conservationist Gerry Durrell inspired him in his personal life, as well. “Since working on the series, I’ve become an ambassador for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which is a real honor,” he said. “I went to the park late last year to see the animals and catch up with Lee Durrell, and I love it because it’s great to support a trust and charity that I’m really passionate about. It’s also so important that Gerry’s legacy continues to be recognized and to inspire the next generation of conservationists.”