Monday, 18 February 2013

Exclusive Interview with Kerry Godliman – Derek’s Hannah

Everyone loves Hannah; every week the manager of Broad Hill Care Home holds it all together during the crazy antics of Derek, Dougie and Kev. I've said it before that Hannah is the strength of the show and that is testament to the acting prowess of Kerry Godliman.

Kerry Godliman who plays Hannah in Derek
Kerry has appeared in numerous shows including Law of the Playground, BBC’s Silk, Spoons, BBC 3’s Rush Hour, BBC 2’s Home Time, Miranda and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, as well as two other Gervais creations – Extras and Life’s Too Short. Her theatre credits include ‘England People Very Very Nice’ at The Royal National Theatre.

She’s not only an actor, but she’s also a critically-acclaimed stand-up comic. Kerry made the final of the 2003 Babycham Funny Women competition, appeared in the Brighton Comedy Festival in 2012, supported Micky Flannagan on his Out Out Tour and made an unforgettable appearance at Live at the Apollo, which was screened on BBC 1 in November last year. In 2011 she appeared in her own show at The Edinburgh Fringe, called ‘Wonder Woman,’ which she later went on to perform at the Soho Theatre the following year.

Kerry at Live at the Apollo
Here’s just a snippet of the praise she’s received:

“This cocky Londoner knows how to hold an audience’s attention, with a well-honed delivery that ensures her material always gets the best response.” Chortle

“The best comic timing on the fringe…you quite literally have to be there” Sunday Times Culture

“Phenomenally acute bullshit detector” The Guardian

Then there’s radio. She has co-presented the Radio 6 music show with Alan Carr, and wrote and stars in ‘Kerry’s List’ for Radio 4, which airs in the spring. She describes this latest venture as “the mania of having a 'to do' list. It's a sort of sketch, stand-up and sitcom mash up.

In Derek, she is once again working with Ricky Gervais and the acclaimed producer, Charlie Hanson, and since the pilot in 2012 she has wowed audiences with her portrayal of Hannah, whom we all know to be the beating heart of the show.

I couldn't wait to talk to Kerry, so to brighten up your day, here’s what she had to say:

How did you get the part of Hannah?
I'd had small parts in Extras and Life’s Too Short and I think Ricky had remembered me from that and asked me to audition for Hannah.

How did Ricky explain the character to you?
I think the character was clear from the script.  He said he wanted her to be strong, and devoted to her job.  Maybe a little bit sad too, with regard to her private life. 

Kerry with Ricky , in Derek
How have you found it working with Ricky, and also Karl?
Working with Ricky is a delight as he's clear about what he wants and he's relaxed.  It's a useful combination for a director.  Karl is a lovely bloke - very unpretentious and grounded.

How do you feel about your character being compared to Tim from The Office?
Well that’s very flattering.  I'm a fan of Martin Freeman.

What lessons do you hope people will take with them after watching Derek?
I saw a tweet recently where someone said after watching Derek they rang their elderly Mum to tell her they loved her.  It would be lovely to think that Derek reminds people to be more caring to our old folk. We all get old, if we're lucky.

I asked the same question to Holli – does David Earl scare you when he’s in character?
No, Kev's too pathetic to be scary.

Are there similarities between Kerry and Hannah?
We've got the same face.  I don’t work in care and I'm married with kids, so we don’t have many similarities.

Acting, radio or stand-up – where does your heart truly lie?
All of it, I'm very greedy and have a short attention span!

What would you consider your greatest achievement to date?
Lots of things...I'm proud of my Edinburgh shows.  Doing Live At The Apollo, Being in a play at the National Theatre.  I'm very proud to be a part of Derek of course.

Life after Derek – what’s in store for Kerry in 2013?
I'm doing Kerry's List on Radio 4, which will air in late April.  I’m playing Lacey Turners Mum in 'Our Girl' on BBC1 in March

What are your aspirations for the future?
I'd love to work in film.... or my own sitcom would be nice. 

Thanks Kerry for talking to – it was an absolute pleasure. Catch her this Wednesday evening on Derek at 10pm on Channel 4. You can also follow Kerry on twitter @KerryAGodliman, although as she says, she's "a bit shit on Twitter."

© M. A. Sibson
Twitter: @tadpole_hitler

No comments:

Post a Comment