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Amanda Donohoe (Natasha Wylde, 'Emmerdale') Interview
Topic Started: Oct 25 2010, 08:11 PM (563 Views)
Casey
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#BringBackMartha

Natasha Wylde's dark Emmerdale storyline reaches its climax this week as Ryan Lamb's murder trial draws to a close. The troubled businesswoman has so far avoided being uncovered as the killer of her husband Mark, and as the jury prepares to decide Ryan's fate, she keeps her fingers crossed that he will be sent down for the crime in her place. Will Natasha be celebrating a guilty verdict this week, or will she be left disappointed by the jury's decision? Could a last-minute twist see her finally confess all? Or could there be another surprise in store? With details of this week's episodes being kept closely under wraps until transmission, DS recently caught up with Amanda for a reflective chat about her experience playing one of Emmerdale's most memorable characters.

Natasha is facing a bit of a mystery at the start of this week as Nathan is nowhere to be found - how does she feel about that?
"Well, Nathan has been behaving pretty badly, let's face it, so I think she really just dismisses it as him being a bit of a prat! But of course, it's far more sinister than thatů"

How is she dealing with Ryan's trial in general - does she feel guilty about the whole thing?
"Well, obviously she didn't really plan to have Ryan set up - that was Nathan's little intervention. But of course, as events just started snowballing out of control, it's sink or swim and I think, in many ways, she's just had to get on with it and cut off any feelings of guilt. That's how I played the storyline - it was just sheer desperation."

Have you enjoyed the ongoing story of Mark's murder and all the twists and turns?
"I've loved it. Earlier this year, when I came back from Christmas holiday, the murder episode had aired and I didn't know how well it had done - I just hoped somebody had bothered to watch it! I had no idea. But then they said to me, '9.9 million people watched you kill your husband!' I thought, 'Okay - this may have legs!' It was great and very gratifying, because the only real gauge now is your audience. If they like it, they'll tune in, and if they don't, there'll be a pretty fast tune out!"

Natasha waits at Mark's grave.
Have you felt any sympathy with Natasha when playing the scenes this year?
"Yes, of course, because when you're playing any great character, you find out what similarities you have with them and you find out what your differences are. But there has to be a common ground. I think what was most interesting about Natasha was to see a good person find themselves in deep trouble and then explore how they get out of it or how they don't, as the case may be. It was good to see how the character changed - and, as she's said over and over again, how desperation makes you do stupid things. Everybody can understand that."

How do you think the audience have reacted to Natasha this year?
"It's funny because, when you're out in the supermarket or in a cab, people never fail to give you their opinion! Everybody always said, 'I'm glad you shot him - if you hadn't shot him, I would have!' So that's fantastic - even through murder I managed to get the audience to empathise with this woman! That's the point - you want to do that, and that's the joy of it. Don't forget - and this is one thing that slips by through all the twists and turns - basically this man lied to her from the day they met. He lied throughout their entire marriage, and only when faced with the consequences of his lies did he tell the truth. And even then he went behind her back again! That level of betrayal would push anyone to the edge, whether you're a man or a woman. I think a lot of the audience just loved that concept and it really clicked with them."

Maisie makes Natasha choose between her or Nathan
You've now finished filming, so how are you feeling now that your time at Emmerdale has come to an end?
"I do feel sad as I adored working with everyone up there. They're a great bunch of people and I shall miss my on-screen family! But Emmerdale was originally only supposed to be a short-term contract, and there was also the fact that I don't live in Leeds - so the distance did become a little bit too much after a while."

Was leaving Emmerdale a difficult decision to make, or were you confident it was the right time?
"Well, I thought that the story needed to be told. Once Natasha had murdered her husband, something had to happen in the end - so it was kind of inevitable in that respect. But that was a good thing. I played a good character and it was a proper arc. That's why I ended up doing a second year - I thought, 'No, we're not quite finished yet - let's tell the story.' So that's what we did!"

Was there never a temptation to stick around for a third year?
"There's always a temptation! (Laughs) But like I said, I do live in Suffolk and the filming is in Leeds, and unless you live up there, you really don't have a life. At some point, one or the other has to give!"

When you first joined Emmerdale, you were quoted as saying that you'd become "fed up" with the roles you'd been receiving - was that the case?
"Oh no, I was never fed up with the roles that I was receiving. But I think the problem was the lack of roles. As we know, the representation of age on screen - especially where women are concerned - is not great and not always representative. But I think it's great that there are now more parts for older women. You only have to watch Downton Abbey to see that viewers just want a good story. It doesn't matter how young and beautiful anyone is - that's not important anymore and people are tired of that, I think."

Can you tell us anything about your future plans?
"Well at the moment, I'm enjoying a lot of R&R! After that, I don't know - I really have no idea at this point. Maybe I will in a couple of months!"

And how would you like Natasha to be remembered by Emmerdale fans?
"My motto is, 'Leave them wanting more, love!'"

http://www.digitalspy.com/soaps/s12/emmerdale/interviews/a283923/amanda-donohoe-natasha-wylde-emmerdale.html
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