Zoe Lucker plays Kate Keenan, the long suffering wife of DI John Keenan, who feels the full force of her husband’s past in the final episode of second series of HolbyBlue.
The talented actress, who nearly quit the profession for teaching before securing her big break as scheming Tanya Turner in Footballers’ Wives, discusses her dramatic storyline and chats about filming whilst pregnant.
Kate has a fairly tumultuous relationship with her husband John, played by Cal MacAninch, and earlier in the series we see John lose his temper and nearly hit her. How did this happen and what has been Kate’s reaction to it?
The problems between Kate and John have been getting worse throughout the series and when John finds out that Kate had previously made contact with his father who is in prison, John loses his temper. For Kate it comes down to a trust issue more than anything else. Although she had been antagonistic towards him it really stems from her frustration which has built up over a number of years. However, I don’t think she ever considered that he would lay a finger on her and the fact that he almost does means she has to reassess their marriage.
Why did Kate contact John’s father?
She thought she was doing John a favour and that his issue with his dad was because he had committed an awful crime and killed a man. However, Kate isn’t aware that John’s hatred of his dad stems from the domestic violence he witnessed as a child towards his mum. John doesn’t tell Kate any of this so understandably Kate is hurt and confused when he accuses of her of being in the wrong.
John’s father came back on the scene last week in episode 11. What can we expect in the final episode of the series?
In episode 11 John’s father turns up unexpectedly at the house when Kate is there alone and it is the first time she comes face to face with him. At this point she doesn?t realise that the main reason John wants to keep her away from him is because he is a vicious and violent man. Kate is nervous because of the fight she had with John but she allows him to come into the house to use the toilet. He leaves quickly afterwards but in episode 12 she receives a phone call informing her that the back doors of her house are open. She rushes home to check and finds John’s father inside the house, waiting for her.
What happens next?
Well I don’t want to give too much away but he turns quite nasty. Kenneth Colley who plays John’s father is a brilliant actor. He is a professional and very committed so his performance was frightening and scary. From my point of view he made my job a lot easier!
Was it difficult filming those highly charged scenes whilst pregnant?
The production team were fantastic and they had all of the right people on board so I never felt uncomfortable or at risk. Ken was also very aware of me being pregnant and whilst as a character I felt threatened, which is how it should be, as an actor I didn’t feel threatened in the slightest because he was such a gent.
Did you enjoy having such a gritty storyline to work with and how different is your character in Holby Blue to Tanya in Footballers’ Wives?
I love having storylines that I can get my teeth into! Kate and Tanya are very different characters and I had to constantly play Tanya in a highly emotional state. However, in the final episodes of HolbyBlue Kate has some really dramatic scenes so there are some similarities there.
You found out you were pregnant whilst filming. How did the cast and crew react and did you feel a special bond with Kacey Ainsworth who was also pregnant?
Kacey was heavily pregnant whilst we were filming episodes 7 and 8 and I remember becoming quite protective towards her. She was absolutely huge and all I kept thinking was that she should be at home with her feet up! Anyway, it transpired that I was also pregnant at that time so I’m sure that I was probably subconsciously more aware of her pregnancy than perhaps I would have been if I hadn’t been pregnant. Kacey was amazing and she never made a fuss about being pregnant. She, along with the rest of the cast and crew were thrilled when I told them I was expecting and Richard Harrington and Cal MacAninch became much more protective of me. In fact everybody was really supportive and I can honestly say that everyone on the set of HolbyBlue is fantastic.