Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Marine Who Did My Training Literally Had Me Crying with Pain; Former Brookside Star Anna Friel, Is Tasked with Her Toughest Role Yet in the New Thriller Series Odyssey. the 38-Year-Old Stars as Sgt Odelle Ballard, Who Discovers a Major US Corporation Is Secretly Funding Terrorists. the Mum-of-One Talks to SUSAN GRIFFIN about Being One of the Boys and On-Set Injuries

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Marine Who Did My Training Literally Had Me Crying with Pain; Former Brookside Star Anna Friel, Is Tasked with Her Toughest Role Yet in the New Thriller Series Odyssey. the 38-Year-Old Stars as Sgt Odelle Ballard, Who Discovers a Major US Corporation Is Secretly Funding Terrorists. the Mum-of-One Talks to SUSAN GRIFFIN about Being One of the Boys and On-Set Injuries

Article excerpt

Byline: SUSAN GRIFFIN

How brutal has your role in Odyssey been? I'VE had so many injuries on this show. First of all, I had to be pushed and fall more than 22 times, so I hurt my back.

Today's the first time I've worn heels in about three months as my ankle was about this big (gestures about 30cm.) I tore my ligament, my shoulder clicked out and I suffered an abrasion of the cornea, which you'll see in episode two.

Who has been in charge of getting you in military mode? I HAD a real marine who came to the house every single day and took me out to Windsor Great Park and would have me moaning and literally crying with pain at points, I'm not going to lie.

I was actually going, "I can't do it" and he'd look at me with absolute blankness and I'd be like, "I can't, I'm not a soldier". It was only when I stopped whingeing that I thought, OK maybe I'm starting to think like a soldier.

And I was so lucky in Marrakech, where we film, that I have a garrison sergeant major who left the army in May and ran Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. He's living with me and training me every day I can - when I'm not injured.

What made you want to sign up for this sort of hardship? I THINK in extraordinary situations we find extraordinary strength and I've never seen a female protagonist quite like this before, someone real.

Mothers are superheroes but she has no superpowers, she fights for her child and that was something I found I could relate to very, very much.

Did you learn a lot about women in the military? I DID and it's really not that different to the men.

I asked, "What about our build?" and they said it's more about whether you can maintain that strength and endurance.

set Also, I was never aware of the female engagement team, which is women who communicate with other women who are not allowed, because of religion, cultural and language barriers, to communicate and fraternise with male soldiers. …

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