KEELEY Hawes did not even read the script for It's A Sin, but knew she absolutely had to work on the show.
The Bodyguard actress, 44, had only been sent a press release about the upcoming Channel 4 drama about the early days of the HIV crisis, but that was enough to convince her to do the role.
Created and written by Russel T Davies (Doctor Who), It's A Sin is the first British drama to cover the start of the HIV pandemic here in the UK.
It follows four young friends in the 1980s who watch their worlds unravel over the first decade of the HIV pandemic.
In the five part series, Hawes plays Valerie Tozer, the mum of Olly Alexander's character, Ritchie.
Hawes became so invested in the show, she could barely speak about the profound experience of making it without getting emotional.
"I read the press release about this show and I said to my husband (actor Matthew Macfadyen), oh my God, I'd love to be in that," she said during a recent press event promoting It's A Sin.
"Literally even without receiving the scripts I would have been going 'Ok, I'll book myself onto the 3.29 to Manchester. where would you like me?'."
The Tozers are a sheltered family living on the Isle of Wight and their closeted son Ritchie goes off to London to live as his true self before being diagnosed with HIV.
Keeley described Valerie as "complicated, but at the same time she's incredibly straight forward".
"She is what she is, she's a woman of her time. She's a product of her generation."
Valerie's storyline "really comes to foot" in the series' fifth episode and Hawes explained it was tricky to play the mum who easily could have been turned into a villain.
"Valerie is someone who is very easy to dislike, the trick was bringing something likeable to her because we have to have empathise with her," she explained.
"I knew women like that. I knew people like that who at her core she loves and adores her children and her son, in her heart she adores him…" Hawes became emotional at this point and had to stop to wipe tears from her eyes.
"I can't talk about the show without crying. You carry the characters with you, they don't leave you and that is down to the cast and down to their performances and down to the wonderful material."
Hawes also credited the cast of It's A Sin for their close "relationships on screen and off screen" as a reason why the show was so impactful.
"It just translates. They are all just magic," she said.
"I'm excited for everyone to see it!"
Hawes has become a household name thanks to her performances in hit TV shows like Spooks and Line of Duty.
She's been nominated for BAFTA awards over the years for her various roles.
Hawes married Mcfadyen her Spooks co-star in 2004 and their first child, Maggie, was born in December of that year.
Their second child, Ralph, was born in September 2006.
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