Interview: Richard Rankin discusses his role in BBC One's Trust Me season 2.
Set in a Glasgow hospital, Trust Me follows the story of Corporal Jamie McCain, who is recovering from a spinal injury which has left him paralysed.
But he faces a new enemy when patients on the ward start dying unexpectedly around him. Jamie believes the deaths are suspicious - but unable to move, his investigation is dangerous and difficult.
With everyone in the department hiding a secret, catching a culprit seems like an impossible task. But with Jamie’s behaviour becoming increasingly erratic, is the threat real or imagined?
Richard Rankin plays Dr Alex Kiernan.
Tell us about your character, Dr Alex Kiernan.
Alex is an interesting one. We’re never quite sure where we’re at with him, which is one of the exciting things about the character. We’re never quite sure what side he is on, but he’s very driven by his ambition and desire to succeed in his field and will do almost anything to achieve that.
What attracted you to this series?
The script. It’s a good story with great characters and I love Dan Sefton’s work.
Alex is a dedicated doctor. What drives him?
Alex has an overwhelming need to succeed. His professionalism and also his ego play a big part in that. He wants to rise to the top.
Can you relate to his characteristics in anyway?
Alex can be quite possessive of his things - he likes things in a certain order. I suppose I can be similar in that respect. I have a similar drive and ambition, but can’t admit to sharing too many of his psychological tendencies.
Does he put work before his relationships with other people - in particular Zoe?
If you were to ask Alex he would say Zoe comes first in his life, but the truth of the matter (whether Alex wants to admit it or not) is that his work comes above all else.
What is Alex’s relationship with Zoe like?
The relationship is taking strain from the pressures and commitment of their work but there’s an undercurrent of something else going on between them. But Alex feels he loves Zoe very much.
You have some pretty harrowing scenes to play. How did you cope with them?
There’s a morbid curiosity in actors that makes some of these scenes really interesting, and a lot of the time it’s quite fun to play - to go to a place you wouldn’t normally go. But on this occasion I wasn’t particularly inflicted by the nature of some of the darker scenes.
How do you cope with needles and blood?
Better than Katie Clarkson-Hill does!
What does Alex think of Jamie?
At first Jamie is a patient to be helped, and that is Alex’s priority first and foremost. But as the story moves forward Alex starts to feel that Jamie is an interference to his personal space, which he doesn’t take kindly to, especially when it comes to Zoe.
Were you coached on set by a medical professional at all?
Our writer Dan Sefton was on hand - either on set or by phone if we ever required any medical consultation.
The series is a dark and psychological thriller. Were there any particularly memorable scenes you filmed?
The scenes with Zoe and Alex explore a complicated and potentially disturbing relationship, which show glimpses of Alex’s true nature...
Trust Me Begins Tuesday April 16th at 9pm on BBC One.