The Version Interview... New Blood star Ben Tavassoli

Created and written by bestselling author and screenwriter, Anthony Horowitz, New Blood is a bold and surprising seven part investigative drama for BBC One, produced by Eleventh Hour Films and directed by Anthony Philipson (Our Girl, My Mad Fat Diary, 24 Hours in A&E).

Ben Tavassoli plays Rash...

What is New Blood?
It’s a crime drama with an edge. It’s young, it’s witty and the investigations don’t turn out as you’d expect so I’d guess it’s got a little bit of surprise. It’s constantly unravelling in front of your eyes so there’s no time to look away.

How would you describe Rash?
Rash is a very driven, determined young man who’s always dreamed of being a detective, but when we first meet him he’s stuck at being a police constable. He’s been given the chance of being a trainee detective a couple of times but he never really gets on with his peers as he’s a bit of a know-it-all and because he’s great at what he does. He tends to clash with the people he works with. Maybe he’s a bit overly keen but he’s a natural.

What aspect of Rash did you like?
As a character is that he’s very resilient, he doesn’t take any nonsense and I don’t think he’s too concerned about what people think of him. He does what’s right for the job. He doesn’t care what his peers think of him - if he’s on to something, he’ll let them know. He just wants to do what’s right for the job, to help solve it.

How do you think the audience will take to Rash and Stefan?
I think people will want to root for the boys because they get themselves in a few David and Goliath situations and you want to root for the underdog. Their relationship in general starts off on the wrong foot but if people like the characters as individuals, I think you’d want them to get together and form this bromance.

How was your relationship with Mark Strepan on set?
I love to laugh, it’s probably my favourite thing in the world to do and he allowed me to do it a good few times. It was such a good laugh. I was happy. We had the same banter and you need ways to blow off steam every now and again if you’re churning out scene after scene.

How do you think New Blood differs from other crime dramas?
It’s different as the edit and general theme is so snappy and fast-paced, I can really see people getting caught up in it. You’ve barely got a moment to get distracted or daydream, it’s just non-stop. I’m biased obviously but I think it’s going to be a bit of a treat and they’re making something quite special.

How was filming in London?
It was a good laugh because it’s where I live and I love the city. No matter where and when you’re filming, there’s always people passing by and stopping and staring. Everywhere you go there’s a buzz and I think that helps feed the characters and the story. There’s so much diversity in terms of locations so you never get bored. Every day you come into somewhere new and you’re seeing all these lovely places.

How would you describe the show in three words?
Young. London. Jokes.

New Blood episodes 1- 3 are available via iPlayer now, or catch Episode 1 at 9pm this Thursday on BBC One. 

The Version