Suzanne Packer

Plays Tess Bateman

BORN : 1962

PLACE OF BIRTH : Cardiff, Wales

LIVES : Cardiff. She spent a two year stint in New York just before she started work on Casualty.

MARITAL STATUS : Divorced from American actor, Jesse Newman in 2004. ‘You have to walk through it and embrace it,’ she said of her divorce.

CHILDREN : Son, Paris (with Jesse Newman) born in 2003.

FAMILY : Her mother, a nurse, and father hailed from Jamaica and moved to the UK in the 50′s. Her younger brother is Olympic hurdler, Colin Jackson. ‘Being Colin Jackson’s sister hasn’t helped me in my career so far at all. However there is a nice perk being his sister. He is on the ‘A’ list and sometimes he takes me to his ‘A’ list events’

PREVIOUS JOBS : Suzanne trained as a teacher at Goldsmiths in 1996. She has worked as a supply teacher in London, Brooklyn and New York. ‘I find the more I teach, the more I feel that it is probably the best job in the world.’

ON PLAYING TESS : ‘I love playing Tess. I don’t feel she is particularly bossy, she just wants everyone to do their best and she ‘reminds’ them. I tend to draw from the past of me which is the teacher to play her.’

ON SIMILARITIES WITH TESS : ‘I don’t think I’m as bossy as Tess. I tend to let other people boss me but only so far and then I will retaliate. Generally though I think I’m not as fiery as Tess.’

ON WORKING WITH THE CAST : ‘I get on with everyone in the cast. They are all very friendly but probably I get on best with the ones I do the most scenes with as I know them more and they are pretty much everyone who is a regular character. That’s another good thing about playing Tess, you get to interact with all the regulars.’

ON LEARNING LINES FOR CASUALTY : ‘I had not long had a baby and so ‘nappy brain’ had set in. It took me ages to learn my lines as I had gotten out of the habit. It is also difficult to learn lines which relate to things you are not particularly familiar with.’

FUNNIEST MOMENT ON SET : ‘The funniest scene I’ve played as Tess is the one in which I had to pose with Kwame in the calendar. Kwame is good fun on set. Mostly wise-cracking and male camera operators disguised as women keep us laughing on set.’

ON WHO INSPIRES HER : ‘I am inspired by many people from those I know personally like my parents and my brother to those I admire from afar like Daisaku Ideka and Nelson Mandela. I suppose there are qualities common to all of them but the one that stands out is that they live their lives at the service of others. They are always considering how they can make other people just a little happier, I think that is great quality.’

PREVIOUS CASUALTY APPEARANCE : Suzanne played Candice Francis in S11 E13.

TELEVISION CREDITS : Casualty; Dirty Work; The Bill; Brothers and Sisters; Tiger Bay; Megamaths, Porkpie; Strangers in the Night; Some Kind of Life; Grange Hill; Lifeboat; All Good Friends; Brookside; Bowen

THEATRE CREDITS : Our Country’s Good; The Recruiting Officer; A Heroes Welcome; Up Against A Wall; Once on this Island; The Bibi Crew; A Midsummer’s Night; Seeing the Light; The Crucible; Measure for Measure, Weathering the Storm; Once on this Island; Romeo & Juliet; Sweet Lorraine; Yerma; The Threepenny Opera; Carmen Jones; Lady be Good; Porgy & Bess; Little Shop of Horrors; Power of Darkness; Playboy of the West Indies; To Kill a Mockingbird

THEATRE CREDITS: School for Scandal

AGENT : Gardner Herrity, 24 Conway Street, London W1T 6BG.

Gallery : Suzanne Packer