The Version interview... Dino Fetscher on itv's new drama series, Paranoid
Indira Varma, Robert Glenister, Neil Stuke, Lesley Sharp and Kevin Doyle star in new eight part ITV drama, Paranoid, produced by Red Production Company.
Newcomer Dino Fetscher also joins the stellar cast alongside Anjil Mohindra, Christiane Paul, Polly Walker, Michael Maloney, William Ash, John Duttine, Ayda Field and Jason Done.
A conspiracy thriller, Paranoid, tells the story of a female GP who is murdered in a rural children’s playground with an abundance of eyewitnesses. A group of detectives embark on what seems to be a straightforward murder investigation, but as they delve deeper into the case they are quickly drawn into the twists and turns of an ever-darkening mystery, which takes them unexpectedly across Europe.
The drama is written by acclaimed writer and producer Bill Gallagher whose previous credits include The Paradise, Conviction, Love Life and Lark Rise to Candleford.
Q: Who is Alec?
“Alec Wayfield is the youngest of our story’s police detec*ves. I was immediately drawn to Alec ‘s interes*ng and complex character when I read the scripts! It was clear Alec was not just a cop, he has so many layers to him, so much going on from the case to work rela*ons and to his family. I knew it would be a role I could get my teeth into. “Paranoid’s story is gripping – I couldn’t put it down when reading it for my audi*on! I love how it’s not just a plain procedural police drama. It’s got heart with characters that are so human, that was one of the big appeals of the show and what, I think, makes it unique. “In the script Alec is described as effortlessly elegant… When I read that I was thinking; “Have they got the right guy here?” It’s a sentence I would never use to describe myself! I think it must refer to his sense of ease and self-assurance with his work more than anything, or maybe just all the cool clothes he wears.”
Q: Did you do any research of your own?
“Yes, I did quite a bit of research with the London Met police both in CID and the Emergency response units. I shadowed a Detec*ve Constable in CID on his night shis and it was such an insight! You have this idea of what detec*ves do from TV and films but I was keen to experience the reality of it. Funnily enough, what I found most useful was stuff like the paperwork side of things; the mundane day-to-day aspects of the job, all the red tape that is really frustra*ng. I learnt that for every incident there is a serious mass of paperwork to be filled out and chased up.
“When shadowing I was able to sit in on an aeempted murder interview and see the whole interviewing process. We had to get permission from the suspect – which surprisingly he gave. The interview lasted hours and we finished at around 5am! It was just the suspect, the solicitor, the detec*ve and me in a liele room. I had to state my name, and that I was there purely for observa*onal purposes on the recording. It was interes*ng because when you see these interviews in dramas and the movies; they’re so loaded and excitng!
Our interview was three hours of “no comment” Not exactly thrilling, but saying that it definitely fed into how I played certain scenes in Paranoid, so I’m really glad I witnessed it. “With the emergency response team I was put with, I got to whizz about town in a police car with two lovely PCs, blue lights flashing, siren wailing, traffic par*ng, the lot! It was so fun! I had to wear a stab vest for my own safety and loads of the witnesses and people involved in incidents thought I was a policeman and kept trying to give me statements; “I saw it! It wasn’t him, mate!” I was like; “Erm, I’m just an observer, sorry.” “The whole experience gave me so much more respect for the police. When you’re come into contact with an officer you only see that incident you don’t think about where they have just been! But they literally bounce from one alterca*on to another, constantly. It really opened my eyes to what they’re exposed to and how, as a policeman, you have to deal with that and keep your heart and mind at an arm’s reach in order to protect yourself.”
Q: Paranoid begins with a shocking murder.
“The murder at the beginning is the catalyst that sparks our story into mo*on. That boom of violence. It’s really interes*ng to look at how people deal with their demons and their own personal paranoia’s. That’s one of the things I love about the show. It’s these characters trying to do their jobs but all the while they are conflicted with their own lingering shadows. They are all flawed and dealing with various things. Which makes the series very character driven as well as a thrilling police drama.”
Q: You were involved in a number of ac-on scenes. How were they to film?
“They kept having to slow me down in the running scenes because I have a huge stride and would be running too fast! Indira and I had to leap over a fence at one stage and we had to re-shoot that scene a few *mes because we were laughing so much. “There were so many awesome ac*on scenes. Gun chases, smoke canisters, running through the forest. It’s really been ac*on-packed fun. There were moments when I stopped and thought, ‘This is epic!’ It’s going to look so cool on screen. “I also filmed ac*on scenes at the Anderton Boat Lis in Cheshire along with a stunt double. I was keen to do more but they said it would be unsafe for me. I was a bit gueed about that but just running around the Anderton Boat Lis was terrifying enough because the floors are all grated iron so you can see all the way down the 50s drop to the canal below! I’ve no idea how the stunt man did what he did.”
Q: What was your path into ac-ng?
“No-one in my family is an actor. I didn’t ac*vely seek it out but I was always a very hyperac*ve drama*c child - and my mum saw that. We tried drama classes when I was 8 and I fell in love with it. I was on stage un*l I was 15. Then I became quite an awkward teenager; I was overweight. I had acne, I didn’t know who I was - I couldn’t imagine ever wan*ng to do anything so exposing ever again. In my school in Wales it was more Rugby than Romeo and Juliet!” “I stopped ac*ng completely un*l aser I finished my A-levels and I thought ‘What do I actually want to do? What makes me happy?’ And ac*ng was s*ll the only thing that checked those boxes. So, I started to pursue it. I went to AmDram things, workshops to build my confidence, I joined the Na*onal Youth Theatre and eventually started to audi*on for drama school and finally got in! Now I’m privileged enough to be working. It’s hard work, especially the *mes when you’re not ac*ng, but when it’s good it’s good. “This is my first major leading role and in terms of my career, has been an incredible experience for me. Working with this cast has been such a gis of a job. It s*ll feels a liele bit surreal. Everyone has been so awesome, cast and crew, and we all gelled really well from day one. I’m s*ll pinching myself. I am very grateful.”
Paranoid, coming soon to itv.