Mandip Gill on Five Dates, trying her hand at comedy, and life after Doctor Who

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Because Five Dates is a film, it’s standalone – unlike the television roles she’s most famous for, such as Hollyoaks and Doctor Who, where her characters “build up and bubble slowly” over the course of several years, with input from lots of different writers and directors. “I do like the change in working with different directors, because everyone has their own distinctive style. When you’re doing a long-running thing, it keeps you on your toes, keeps it exciting.”

“I do think, though, after I’ve finished Doctor Who, would I prefer to go on to standalone things? Or things that are three, four episodes long, really work on a character, really build that character arc in those four episodes and then leave?” she ponders. “I think it would be challenging and really exciting to do even just an episode on something, but have a beginning, and a middle and an end to work on.”

Here’s my interview with Mandip Gill – we spoke about her new film, an interactive rom-com called Five Dates (which is genuinely a huge amount of fun by the way, I’d really recommend searching it out), her upcoming television projects Suspicion and Count Abdulla, as well as her plans for life after Doctor Who. (Whenever that may be!) Mandip was, I think, probably the single nicest person I’ve ever interviewed – just a genuinely very nice, very warm person. Really, really liked speaking to her.

This is also, you’ll notice, my first piece published with the Radio Times, for their series of Big RT Interviews. Admittedly I’m not entirely sure what makes it big, but hey, it’s a big deal for me if nothing else. The Radio Times! Pretty cool, I reckon. I get to put a new button on the sidebar now.

You can find more of my interviews here, and follow me on twitter @morelandwriter. If you enjoyed reading this piece – or if you didn’t – perhaps consider leaving a tip on ko-fi?

Costume designer Caroline Duncan on Servant, working with M. Night Shyamalan, and more

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You always have to be conscious of your audience and considerate of your audience, but you’re not working to satisfy your audience, you’re working to satisfy and fulfill the creation of real characters. Ultimately in doing your job, you help your audience to feel the characters are grounded and real, identifiable. The opposite of that is I’ve never worked with an actor who I think had so identifiable a role before that I was trying to push away from, which was your original question about Rupert. Kind of an amazing challenge! It was just fun to think about that element when designing his costumes too.

New interview! I spoke to Caroline Duncan, costume designer (it amuses me that her initials match her job description, although we didn’t talk about that at the time) on Apple TV+’s Servant, as well as Showtime’s The Affair, and also Netflix’s When They See Us. 

Particularly interesting – or I thought so anyway – was talking about how she used costuming to reflect similar plot points, the death of a child, across two very different programmes, and discussing how she approached the costumes for Rupert Grint, given that he, as an actor, carries with him certain associations other actors don’t.

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