HAVING SEX ON THE BOX GAVE ME THE GIGGLES; Sarah Lancashire Says Her New Role in Sons and Lovers Left Her Blushing

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), December 12, 2002 | Go to article overview
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HAVING SEX ON THE BOX GAVE ME THE GIGGLES; Sarah Lancashire Says Her New Role in Sons and Lovers Left Her Blushing


Byline: THOMAS QUINN

LAUGHING during sex is the biggest insult you can bestow on a man. But Sarah Lancashire admits making the ultimate faux pas during sex scenes with Sons and Lovers co-star Hugo Speers.

The former Corrie actress said she found it hard keeping a straight face while filming steamy romps for the two- part ITV drama, due to be screened next month.

She said: "The out takes are hilarious. I'm a giggler, you see, so I lose it a lot. The thing is I don't do a lot of that kind of thing. And my feet can get a bit twitchy.

"I get very embarrassed by it all, to be honest. So I tend to just giggle my way through. Hugo was fantastic, though, he just carried on as if absolutely nothing was happening."

The Full Monty star, who played a well-endowed stripper in the hit movie, could have been forgiven for feeling slightly miffed. But luckily he took it in his stride and saw the funny side too.

He said: "I still call her wifey and she calls me hubby, so obviously the relationship we created was very profound.

"But because this is DH Lawrence the role was very much one of can't talk, got to s**g."

Sarah plays Gertrude Morel, DH Lawrence's single-minded matriarch from the epic Sons And Lovers in a two- part dramatisation shown next month.

The role called on her to age dramatically from a young bride to a woman in her fifties and sixties ravaged by poverty and bad luck throughout her whole life.

And it also called on her to do what she rarely does on television - climb into bed with her co-star.

DH Lawrence's approach to bedroom matters was earthy, to say the least. And nothing is lost in this dramatisation regarding the way sex can bring both ecstasy and brutality.

Sarah said it was her most demanding role to date.

She explained: "The whole piece was difficult, it was emotionally difficult.

"There is very little joy in Gertrude's life and there is also a great loneliness. And yet, despite all her troubles, she has a fantastic strength.

"The director had very strong ideas about the character however, and I trusted him implicitly. Filming this drama was one of the best experiences of my career, the whole team working on it were very special.

"More than anything I think it was important that at all times Gertrude had dignity. If that comes across, then as far as I'm concerned, it has worked."

For 38-year-old Sarah, however who is now expecting her third child - dignity went out the window when it came to the sex scenes.

As for the scene in which his Walter beats his pregnant wife up, Speers is now nursing his own bruises.

He said: "Doing that, I didn't hit her for real, but she hit me. You heard this almighty crack, and everyone behind the cameras winced. Sarah was great about it afterwards, she gave me a big hug and everything, but we had to do it 13 times. It hardly seems fair does it?"

TO Sarah, what fun there was to be had on set was only a minor distraction from the fact Gertrude is a part she'd felt compelled to play.

Yet the novel had left her cold when she'd first read it at school.

She recallled: "At 16 it had absolutely no impact on me whatsoever. Whoever put Sons and Lovers down as a GCSE text should have been shot.

"How any child of 16 can be expected to understand the complexities of relationships, especially sons towards their mothers, I really don't know."

But as an older woman - and as a divorcee and a mother of two boys herself - she re- read the work and was able to understand for the first time the complex relationships the book concerned itself with.

In 1985, she married Mancunian businessman Gary Hargreaves, the father of her two sons, Thomas, now 14, and Matthew, 12.

They divorced in 1997 and last year the actress married BBC Head of Sport, Peter Salmon.

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