The “opening” word about how Hubbit’s Martin Freeman took on the same role in Ellen Bennett’s Talking Heads came from the creator of the series.
In the revival of the BBC’s iconic monologue series, Freeman played Graham in “A Chip in the Sugar” – a role that Bennett had previously played in the original TV version.
The character Graham is an unemployed, middle-aged man with undeclared mental health problems and he started dating some of his 0-year-old mother – whom he draws – when he was known as a young woman.
“Alan’s loneliness was a bit scary to do and it was also a huge honor to be trusted with me,” Freeman said. “It has to be approved by Alan, I don’t know, it’s something I could tell my mom.”
He continued, “I knew a few mindsets better than others; I remember Alan’s snippets but not too much, I’m happy!
“I first told Jeremy [Herrin, the director] There was, ‘Well, I’m not going to surpass Alan Bennett, am I?’ We knew we had to consider it a new piece of writing, and the people of the original performance shouldn’t be forgotten in the memory. “
Freeman dotted the loneliness in the empty EastEnders set up in DotCotton’s bedroom – which he described as “something out of the bucket list.”
Asked about his rehearsal experience from a distance, he said, “Jeremy and I have probably rehearsed the laptop five times. She is very good at collecting some details that I miss, gently suggesting different colors here and there.
“It was very strange to keep a distance from people on the day of the shooting; My world is usually quite sensitive, as people probably guess! Even shaking hands with people was illegal. I brought plenty of clothes and was presented with some other choices in the morning. It was okay to do my own makeup, although I am rarely an expert; Luckily, for Graham, ‘less is more’. “
The revival of BBC One has been hailed by critics and listeners alike Of RadioTimes.com Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads review calls it a “treat” – and features like Jody Comer, Harriet Walter and Sarah Lancashire.
Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads Martin Freeman’s Ekakhibi was broadcast on BBC One tonight at 9 p.m. You can watch this series on BBC iPlayer. If you are looking to see more, check out our TV guide.