NINETEEN EIGHTY WHEN? KEELEY LOVES THE DODGY FASHION AND HAIRCUTS IN NEW LIFE ON MARS FOLLOW-UP Ashes to Ashes Star Too Young to Recall Show's Era
Byline: By Phil Penfold
KEELEY Hawes is about to become one of the most famous Eighties icons on TV but she doesn't really remember the decade.
At 31, the actress, who made her name in spy drama Spooks, is simply too young to have clear memories of Dallas, Maggie Thatcher, shoulder pads and jump suits.
So filming time travel drama Ashes to Ashes was a challenge for Keeley, who will play Alex Drake in the BBC1 show that starts on Thursday.
She said: "I may have been watching re-runs of The Magic Roundabout.
"I have vague memories of street parties for the wedding of Charles and Lady Diana, and that's about it.
"Oh, and I remember my gran nicknamed me Buzz after the character in the BT adverts of the time, who was a strange little yellow bird called Buzby. My lovely nan said I was just like him, always bouncing up and down on a wire, and full of energy."
The series follows up the adventures of the Life on Mars team, and in particular the defiantly non-PC DCI Gene Hunt. This time the action is set in London, it's 1981, Gene has left Manchester behind him, and Alex is a psychological profiler, who is propelled back from 2008 when she is shot by a villain from her past.
Keeley said: "I know it all sounds complicated, but you'll soon get the gist of what is going on.
"The thing about Alex is she knows she's living in a sort of parallel world, but all she cares about is that she gets back to her daughter, Molly.
"I was a huge fan of Life on Mars, I love Philip Glenister (who plays Gene) and when they offered me this role, I leapt at it."
Keeley says Ashes to Ashes is "one of the most challenging film dramas I've ever been involved with".
She added: "It's fun, it's escapist, it makes a few points about policing then and now, and it's very different.
"I read it at one sitting, which is always a good sign. I had a good giggle when I went for the costume fittings - because so much that was cutting edge fashion back then has come around again.
"So while you wouldn't catch me in ared leather mini skirt and black stockings with lacy tops in real life, they don't look that outrageous when you see me in them in the first episode.
"I was of the Madonna generation, really, and 1981 was the time of the New Romantics - some of the music is, actually, pretty good.
"I was just a girl in the Nineties, and I used to go clubbing then. I remember insisting on having a perm when I was quite young, though and it must have looked terrible. Lots of denim all-in-ones as a child too.
"There were one or two things in Alex's wardrobe that I was slightly tempted by, but the BBC hired everything in - and all the costumes had to go back to the proper owners."
Thank goodness, as it is unlikely Keeley's kids would approve of mum coming home like an Eighties fashion disaster.
Keeley and her husband Matthew Macfadyen have two children, Maggie, four, and Ralph, one. Keeley also has a seven-year-old son, Myles, from her first marriage to cartoonist and illustrator Spencer McCallum.
Keeley and Matthew met while they were making the first series of BBC espionage drama Spooks where she played enigmatic spy Zoe Reynolds.
She left Spencer after only five months of marriage but has always strongly denied that she and Matthew had an affair on the set of Spooks. However divorce was something that didn't come easily.
Keeley said: "When you're the child of parents who have been together for 40 years, you never believe divorce is going to happen to you."
Watch out for Matthew in one of the episodes of Ashes to Ashes, where he makes a guest appearance.
"It was hysterical", she said, "He wore this huge mullet wig. I could not wait for him to take it off. Every time I went near him on the set he got very defensive.
He kept on telling me 'Mind the mullet, mind the mullet.'"
Matthew is taking things "very quietly" at the moment, he says, appearing over Keeley's shoulder. "I rather like being a house husband," he admitted. "For the moment."
He made his name as D'Arcy in Pride and Prejudice in the film version with Keira Knightley.
His proud wife said: "Being D'Arcy in Pride and Prejudice the other year certainly hasn't harmed his career.
"There have been lots of scripts arriving. A lot of them have come from the States, which is gratifying for him, but believe me the majority of them are not great works of art."
When they are not working, the couple often take breaks with their kids in Scotland, and they've found an idyllic spot in the Highlands.
She said: "We've been there a few times - but the first visit was very memorable. We started to wonder why strangers kept asking us if we'd come up to see Greg and Emma. Nearly everyone who stopped us had the same question.
"For a while we wondered who this couple we'd never heard of actually were, and why would visit them?
"And then we looked at each other and twigged what it was all about. We realised they meant Emma Thompson and Greg Wise, who have a holiday home in the Highlands.
"There's even been talk of us buying somewhere in Scotland in a few years. The only drawback is the midges."
After her stint in the Eighties, Keeley hopes to return to the theatre. She said: "I love doing stage work. It wouldn't matter which theatre, as long as it was a really good script.
"And I'd love to work with Matthew again at some time.
"At the moment, we've got a very good arrangement. If I'm filming, Matthew is at home with the kids. If he's doing something, then I look after them. So we've never ever had to think about a nanny, mainly because we've also got the blessing of doting and accessible mothers on hand."
As well as being a mother and TV actress Keeley still has one ambition: "I'd like to make a horror film", she chuckles. "I love the genre, they look like a lot of fun to do.
"I also love thrillers, but I'm a total nightmare to watch them with because I sit trying to work out what is going to happen, and who is about to do what to whom - and why.
"I then have the dreadful habit of telling Matthew the ending I've figured out. It drives him batty."
Ashes to Ashes, BBC1, Thursday at 9pm.
'I have vague memories of parties for Diana's wedding but that's about it'
That was the year that was
THE kings of the world were Adam and the Ants, whose album, Kings of the Wild Frontier, was the best-selling of 1981 Queen's Greatest Hits was No.2.
The Police enjoyed the best-selling single with Don't Stand So Close to Me but other big hits were John Lennon's Imagine andHuman League's Don't You Want Me.
Bucks Fizz won Eurovision with Making Your Mind Up.
The film of the year was Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Other big films included An American Werewolf in London and Escape From New York. Gregory's Girl and Chariots of Fire were the best Brit films of 1981.
The right wing took power all over the west, with Thatcher in her third year as Prime Minister and Ronald Reagan sworn in as US President.
There was economic upheaval in the UK with public spending cuts and high inflation, while the Labour Party led by Michael Foot was hit by the defection of four MPs, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins, William Rodgers and David Owen, who formed the SDP.
The biggest news of the year was the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer on July 29.
An amazing 28.4million in the UK (750million worldwide) watched it live on television and 600,000 lined the streets of London as the couple tied the knot at St Paul's.
The first series of Only Fools and Horses started on BBC1, Peter Davison became the fifth Doctor Who and Ken and Deirdre got wed on Coronation Street.
Celtic won the Premier League title, with Aberdeen runners up and Rangers lifted the Scottish Cup when they beat Dundee United, who had already lifted the League Cup, after a replay.
Meanwhile, Scotland beat England 1-0 at Wembley.
BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, DEATHS
Jessica Alba, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears were all born. Celebs who married in 1981 included Cary Grant, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ringo Starr, David Frost and Benny and Bjorn from Abba.
Bill Shankly, William Holden, Bill Haley, Natalie Wood and Jim Davis - Jock Ewing in Dallas - all died.
STEP BACK IN TIME: Keeley is starring in the follow up to Life on Mars, above, while husband Matthew, who she met working on Spooks, right, looks after their children, far right; NAME CHECK: Buzby; ON THE CASE: The actress enjoyed working with Philip Glenister, below, on Eighties-themed Ashes to Ashes…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: NINETEEN EIGHTY WHEN? KEELEY LOVES THE DODGY FASHION AND HAIRCUTS IN NEW LIFE ON MARS FOLLOW-UP Ashes to Ashes Star Too Young to Recall Show's Era. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland). Publication date: February 5, 2008. Page number: 18. © 2009 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
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