Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

STEPHANIE MARTINI on PRIME SUSPECT 1973; ON THE SMALL SCREEN

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

STEPHANIE MARTINI on PRIME SUSPECT 1973; ON THE SMALL SCREEN

Article excerpt

FOLLOWING in Dame Helen Mirren's footsteps was never going to be an easy feat, but rising star Stefanie Martini is determined to make her own tracks in ITV's hottest new prequel, Prime Suspect 1973.

The British actress is set to play Dame Helen's famous character, WPC Jane Tennison, in the new six-part crime drama.

But in a twist to the original adaptation (Prime Suspect - based on Lynda La Plante's best-selling novel, Tennison - ran from 1991 to 2006), this series will rewind to the Seventies to chart the police officer at the beginning of her career, revealing how she became such a complex and formidable character in the Metropolitan Police.

UNDER PRESSURE WITH much anticipation for its revival, Stefanie confesses to feeling the pressure once she sat down to rewatch the original hit.

Helen Mirren Jane Prime "Only then, it slowly dawned on me what a big deal it was," confides the 26-year-old, who joins forces with the likes of Sam Reid (The Riot Club) and Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners).

"But I also think it's very different," she adds. "I have to see it as a separate thing. I have to appreciate it and take what I can from (Dame Helen's) performance and the research I did, but then I also have to let that go and treat it as my own interpretation. (I can't) crumble under that pressure or see it as something bigger than me."

That's not to say she didn't welcome a blessing from the Oscar-winner, however.

"I think she released a statement saying it's really great that it's going again, because it's good for young women to see what it was like in that time," recalls Stefanie. "So although she doesn't really have anything to do with it, it's nice to know she supports it, for sure."

SEXISM SHOCK PLAYING the young recruit at a time when woman police constables were slowly being integrated into the force, Stefanie admits to, at first, being shocked at Stefanie Tommy Blake the sexism in the workplace.

"Back then, that was just what happened and people just accepted that that was a woman's place," she reasons, crediting the show's script for including "snippets of it".

"Whereas today, if anyone I knew was like, 'Oi you, make the tea', I would be like 'Sorry? You do that', or if they expected you to do their ironing or something, it would be ridiculous," notes the Somerset-born star.

"But there's also a lot of parallels with today; there's a lot of everyday sexism that happens in different ways - how women are looked at and not taken seriously in the workplace.

"They might not be as obvious, but they're still there."

as DCI in Suspect in 1991 MAKING AN IMPACT REFERENCING this year's politically heavy Golden Globe speeches and the worldwide Women's March, which took place the day after US president Donald Trump was inaugurated, Stefanie insists she's pleased to be coming into the industry with her eyes wide open. …

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