Martin Freeman opens up about his hard-hitting TV series “A Confession” in a new interview with ET Canada.
Freeman takes on the role of detective Steve Fulcher in the show, which is set to launch on BritBox in Canada on May 12. The series tells the real-life tale of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan, who disappeared in 2011 after a night out with friends.
Fulcher gets a local taxi driver to confess to the murder, as well as admitting to killing another woman years earlier. However, due to the detective not following what’s deemed as correct police procedure after arresting the killer, he faces huge consequences despite doing what’s best for the victims’ families in that instance.
Freeman says of Fulcher’s “deeply unfair” story, “Steve’s a very impressive person. He’s been through a lot and he’s still going through a lot in some ways, as far as I’m aware. Certainly at the time we did the show he was working abroad and away from his family most of the time because he found it hard to work in the U.K.”
“He’s kind of philosophical about it really. Hearing it from the horse’s mouth you couldn’t quite believe what he’d been through,” the actor continues. “Someone just trying to do his job and trying to do his job very well, being the kind of policeman that we would all want actually. I’d want someone like him if a member of my family goes missing.”
“For him to have paid that huge price, it’s deeply unfair I think.”
Freeman, who has starred in the likes of “The Hobbit”, “Sherlock” and “Love Actually” over the years, admits filming was “particularly emotional” some days. However, he insists he was always able to switch off and it wasn’t always doom and gloom on set.
“A Confession” features a star-studded cast including Imelda Staunton, Siobhan Finneran and Joe Absolom.
Freeman says of working alongside such talented actors, “Everybody involved was just so good. In spite of the subject matter, you do always try to have fun and enjoy your work. Just because the subject matter is dark and tragic it’s not like we’re walking around every day feeling dark and tragic, you’re not. We had nice chats over lunch and still had nice cups of tea.”
Despite the series being out in the U.K. for a while, Freeman insists he’s not one to check online to see viewers’ reaction.
He says of social media, “I don’t think it’s healthy, is the short answer. Not healthy, not supposed to be what we’re doing we’re our lives. And potentially in my case, it would increase the chances of making me more self-centred, more insecure and I don’t need that and I don’t need that in my life.”
Despite being in the industry for years, Freeman, who shares daughter Grace, 11, and son Joe, 14, with ex, fellow “Sherlock” star Amanda Abbington, admits he’s always been very careful to keep his private and professional lives separate.
“I’ve always done that [kept my work and private life separate]. Before I was a dad, I knew I would be like that,” Freeman shares. “Being a dad there’s no way, because you can’t put it back in the box. If my work is public, then why would my private life be public as well?”
He adds that due to his views on this, he doesn’t always get quite the same reaction from fans despite starring in some huge franchises throughout his career.
Freeman admits, “I think it’s partly because I do keep myself slightly away from it all, I think I’ve got less crazy fan stories than other people.”