Actors, if they plan on staying in the job for any length of time, have a habit of tipping into hyperbole about the extreme genius of their co-stars, writers and directors, but in this instance, Sherlock’s Louise Brealey is right on the money. Sherlock is an incredible piece of work, and as Molly Hooper, Brealey is part of an astounding cast supported by very special writing and directing, so we’re more than willing to forgive her a little gush when it comes to her most recent telly role.
Wrapped in a blanket in a very cold June convention weekend in Milton Keynes, Brealey spoke to Red Carpet News TV about playing the universally-loved Molly Hooper, working with Benedict, Martin, and Andrew, and importantly, what she can tell us about Sherlock season 3 (unsurprisingly, not much).
Here are the choice bits of what the very charming Louise Brealey had to say…
On why fans have fallen in love with Molly
I think people relate to her because she’s ordinary, and also everyone’s been in love to the extent that they’ve made an idiot out of themselves, probably, or if they haven’t, then they haven’t lived.
On what it’s like to work with Benedict Cumberbatch
He’s heaven. You just want to run your fingers through his hair all the time […] He’s just a really nice, caring good egg, and I’m just so happy for him that he’s become a megastar, it’s brilliant. I think he’s quite surprised by the whole thing, but he’s adapting.
On whether Molly is a role-model
She’s got more chance of being a role-model after episode 3 of series 2 than perhaps previously […] I don’t know. I wouldn’t like to think it was encouraging young ladies to take loads of rubbish off gentleman callers.
I think she confounded people’s expectations slightly, obviously thanks to the writing in episode three, I think people maybe thought that she was a bit more of a doormat than she actually really is. […] She’s a slow-burner as a character. She’s quite comic-relief-y in the first series, she’s very sweet and very… she hasn’t got any teeth in the first series, although she does shout at him a bit in the lab over Jim, but she wears her heart hugely on her sleeve and hopefully people find that endearing and don’t want to strangle her.
On why the character of Sherlock continues to fascinate
It’s hard to disassociate now Benedict from Sherlock and I think his performance is just extraordinary [laughs] I keep wanting to swear which is why I can’t answer the question, but he’s a bit of a dick isn’t he? But I think he’s really charming in spite of himself, he’s incredibly charismatic. What is it we’re supposed to call him, he’s a sociopath isn’t he? Conan Doyle obviously cottoned on to something and this idea of Sherlock being young and dysfunctional just works I think better than any of us could have hoped really.
It’s a tired old anecdote, but I always say, the first scene I shot with Benedict was the scene in the pilot where John and Sherlock meet in the lab and Benedict puts his head around the door and says “The name’s Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221B Baker Street” and I just went, yeah, yeah it is. It was right from the start, he just nailed it. The chemistry between Benedict and the character I think is just bang-on isn’t it, it’s just brilliant.
On whether there’s a satisfying explanation for the season 2 finale
I can’t even tell you that much, I’m sworn to secrecy, only that all will be revealed. It’s a funny one isn’t it, because we all know he survived but people are still fascinated as to how and I think that’s really wonderful, people are just desperate to deduce.
I don’t think people will be disappointed. It’s really hard because I can’t say anything, however, I’m looking forward to how people react to it. I was going to say something devastatingly witty, what was it? I’ve forgotten [laughs], no, I’ve forgotten.
On whether the events of The Reichenbach Fall will change the dynamic of Molly and Sherlock’s relationship
Hopefully there’ll be a shift. I was wondering myself how that would play out, the fact that he’s clearly come to her in extremis, he’s asked for her help and he’s let her in in that way. Can we go back to the same old banter? I think there’ll be an element of that, I would be sad to lose it. But I think something will have shifted, whether it gets acres of screen time… I don’t think it needs it. I think the point is that you can tell those stories with a look and that’s why it’s great to have created this little moment with this character.
Even though I knew what happened at the end, obviously, I cried in the read-through, when they read the last episode, when they read Reichenbach, it was quite embarrassing, I was sat next to Martin, though it wasn’t as embarrassing as watching it on the night itself. Everyone was at Martin Freeman’s house, and Martin was there and his wife was sat at his feet and Amanda [Abbington, Freeman’s wife] was crying and so was I and I tried to laugh it off but that turned into this enormous sob in front of everyone and I just thought, oh brilliant. I just found it terribly moving. Martin is just amazing in that last bit, it’s beautiful, that kind of incomprehension and devastation, it’s fantastic, with his sort of military shuffle at the grave. Fantastic.
You can follow her on Twitter at @louisebrealey, and we suggest that you do, because she’s ace.
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