Kelly Macdonald has revealed that she had to stop ‘binge-watching’ past series of Line Of Duty ahead of joining the cast.
The actress, 45, who plays Jo Davidson in the sixth season, explained that seeing how gripping the old episodes were was ‘intimidating’ and she started to think she wouldn’t ‘turn up’ for filming in Belfast if she carried on watching.
Speaking on Lauren Laverne’s show on BBC Radio 6 Music on Friday, Kelly also admitted that she won’t be tuning into Sunday’s hotly-anticipated finale.
‘It was too intimidating’: Kelly Macdonald has revealed that she had to stop ‘binge-watching’ past series of Line Of Duty ahead of joining the cast
Explaining that she hadn’t seen the show before getting her part, Kelly said: ‘I’m one of the newcomers actually because I hadn’t watched Line of Duty until I was offered the part and so I was doing a bit of binging as well.
‘It was pre-lockdown I was binging. I wasn’t going to turn up I think in Belfast if I carried on. It was just too intimidating.
‘I was sort of I think about midway through Thandiwe’s [Newton] season. Yeah, so I need to get back to it at some point but yeah, it was just too much for me.’
Big shoes to fill: The actress, 45, who plays Jo Davidson, explained that seeing how gripping old episodes made her start to think she wouldn’t ‘turn up’ for filming in Belfast
Thandiwe starred in season four of Jed Mercurio’s hit show and played the role of DCI Roz Huntley. The series aired in 2017.
And although having a major role in the sixth series, Nanny McPhee star Kelly won’t be tuning into the show’s finale on Sunday night.
Speaking to Lauren, she added: ‘Hell no! I watched the first episode and I’m sort of, you know – yeah – no!’
Kelly admitted earlier this week that she hasn’t been watching all of series because she felt so ‘overwhelmed’ by the online comments after tuning into the first episode.
Some catching up to do: Kelly said she made it about half-way through Thandiwe Newton’s series before turning over (Thandiwe, pictured, starred in season four as DCI Roz Huntley)
She said: ‘I’m in this weird world where I’m not watching it. I’m also not going online. 13 million people watching it is a lot of people, but I’m not one of them.
‘I watched the first episode and also went online, and it took me a week to … not be mental anymore. It was just too much for me.’
Elsewhere in her BBC interview, Kelly also admitted that it was ‘scary’ portraying Davidson in the drama and that while she was ‘dreading’ her 30-minute AC-12 interrogation scene in last week’s sixth episode, it was a ‘relief’ to film the segment.
She said: ‘There was all sorts of scary parts of playing her, I found. There’s a lot of dialogue that I’m not used to, you know.
‘There’s a lot of information but also, the nature of her character is very, sort of, closed down and she doesn’t give anything away.
Giving it a miss: Kelly also admitted that she won’t be tuning into Sunday’s hotly-anticipated finale (pictured with co-star Vicky McClure as Kate Fleming in the sixth series)
‘I was sort of relieved when I got to do the big interview scene, even though I was dreading it and it was all anyone seemed to be able to talk about – the page numbers, how many pages it was.
‘Even though I was really, sort of, focused on filming that scene, it was a sort of relief almost, to let it all out.’
Lauren then said that watching the performance was almost like a play, as Kelly was grilled by Steve Arnott, Ted Hastings and Patricia Carmichael for half and hour.
Kelly agreed, saying: ‘Yeah, no, absolutely […] it is like doing a little play and Adrian Dunbar, before we filmed it, said, you know, these are the great scenes, you get to flex your acting muscles.
‘But it’s also very exposing, you know, sat on that side of the table. It’s a long time for everyone to be focused, I think. You put so much work in beforehand. I was learning that scene, really, for months, because of the whole situation last year.’
Emotional: Jo Davidson broke down as she discovered her true relationship to Tommy Hunter in a long and intense interview scene shown during last weeks episode
In character: Elsewhere in her BBC interview, Kelly also admitted that it was ‘scary’ portraying Jo in the drama and she was relieved after filming her interview scene (pictured with Kate)
Kelly explained that three weeks into the shoot everything had to be shut down because of Covid while she was busy learning all of her lines.
She joked: ‘It just was all about learning lines you know, Vicky McClure calls it ‘Lines of Duty’ because it’s pretty much all anyone can talk about.’
Teasing that someone should take on the acronyms as a MasterMind subject, Kelly continued: ‘It is challenging dialogue. I’m not going to lie.
‘But it’s funny because you focus on the bigger scenes but actually, when it comes to shooting them, because you’ve focussed on them and prepared, they sort of go pretty well – as with anything if you put the work in.
‘But then it can be the tiniest things that trip you up, you know, you can have a quarter of a page of a scene and you think “ok that’s fine, I can just learn that kind of the day before” and then that’s the one.
Bring it on! The finale trailer shows Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), state: ‘All of these suspicious deaths were orchestrated by one officer in particular, H. The fourth man’
Fall from grace: Acting Superintendent Jo Davidson (Kelly MacDonald) is then seen leaving the high-security prison in handcuffs
‘There’ll be some sort of group of words together that you’ve never said in your life and you’ll never say again and they just will not come out in the right order.’
And although Kelly won’t be tuning in to see if ‘H’ is finally unmasked, viewers can be certain of an action-packed finale complete with a police standoff, the return of balaclava men and the discovery of a written note with THAT ‘definately’ misspelling.
A teaser trailer for the episode starts off with Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), who is facing imminent retirement, state: ‘All of these suspicious deaths were orchestrated by one officer in particular, H. The fourth man.’
Hastings’ powerful words went alongside flashbacks of the deaths of solicitor Jimmy Lakewell, police officer Lisa Patel, journalist Gail Vella and former Detective Inspector Marcus Thurwell- whom fans believe is still alive.
The trailer then shows acting Superintendent Jo Davidson (Kelly MacDonald) leaving the high-security prison in handcuffs, only to end up alone in a van with a corrupt prison officer who previously injured Lindsay Denton in series three.
Trailer: In the teaser released on Monday, viewers can be certain of an action-packed finale episode with a police standoff, the return of balaclava men and that ‘definately’ misspelling
Coming back: Line Of Duty will be back on Sunday night and fans are eager to find out whether AC-12 will finally crack the case on the elusive H
Jo says: ‘What’s going on?’, before the camera flashes a sinister look from the prison officer.
A handwritten note is also teased in the trailer, with the word definite misspelt to mirror what viewers have seen previously. A huge clue of the identity of H began to emerge in series five, when the OCG communicated with ‘H’ through a computer.
Eagle-eyed fans were quick to notice H spelling definitely as ‘definately’, and this misspelling has been repeated in subsequent episodes.
It certainly seems Hastings and his team are on to something as police cars sped down the road, with armed officers closing in on a residential area during the trailer.
The Superintendent briefs DI Kate Fleming, DI Steve Arnott and DC Chloe Bishop as they arrive at the scene. Hastings says: ‘AFO’s will secure the suspect down’, while the words ‘Every investigation has led to this… H’.
And it only gets more dramatic as balaclava men jump out of vehicles armed with guns themselves. Kate opens the police van, brandishes her gun and shouts: ‘armed police’ before the screen fades to black.
LINE OF DUTY SEASON SIX: WHAT ARE THE MAIN FAN THEORIES?
Season six of Line Of Duty has left fans with more questions than answers, with viewers flocking to Twitter to question what exactly is DCI Jo Davidson is up to, whether Kate Fleming has really left AC-12 and who is H?
Here, MailOnline examines some of the most prominent fan theories
Kate Fleming HASN’T left AC-12 and is working undercover
One of the most shocking discoveries was AC-12’s Kate is now working with a new team- with some fans suggesting she could even be the infamous H.
While chatting to her new gaffer DCI Davidson, Kate said: ‘I got fed upon nicking coppers, I’d rather go after the psycho who murdered Gail [Vella].’
But despite seeming confident in her new role, some viewers were left wondering if all was at it seems and theorised that Kate could still be undercover for AC-12.
Even after she tipped off Davidson and incurred the wrath of Ted Hastings, fans have continued to speculate that she is so deep undercover that even Hastings is having to keep her true agenda secret.
Kate Fleming HASN’T left AC-12 and is working undercover: Is it true? The jury is still out on this one
DCI Jo Davidson is being blackmailed by an Organised Crime Group
Jo has already survived a grilling from AC-12’s top team and appeared to clear her name when it was ex-girlfriend PS Farida Jatri who seemed to have taken part in corruption.
However, Jo was seen hitching a ride with known bent copper Ryan Pilkington and taken to collect a burner phone, making her look suspicious once more.
Fans, however, are convinced the DCI is being blackmailed by an OCG, following her emotional outburst when she was summoned to pick up a new burner.
DCI Jo Davidson is being blackmailed by an Organised Crime Group: Is it true? After her car park outburst it seems increasingly likely
DCI Jo Davidson’s mother is Anne-Marie McGillis
Fans speculated over who Jo’s mother could be after she was seen in a photograph in the first episode.
Many theorised her mother has something to do with season five character John Corbett’s [Stephen Graham] mother Anne-Marie McGillis, who was killed by an Irish Republican paramilitary group sometime after 1989.
DCI Jo Davidson’s mother is Anne-Marie McGillis: Is it true? There simply isn’t enough evidence yet to determine on way or the other
Gail Vella is still alive
Although season six has centered around the murder of journalist Gail Vella, one obscure theory is that she is in fact still alive.
Craig Parkinson, who played Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan in the show, said on BBC Sounds podcast Obsessed with Line of Duty: ‘Somebody is in that flat and there’s some connection with Gail Vella, the investigative journalist.
‘You don’t cast someone like Andi Osho and then just have her as little magazine prints and stick them up on a kitchen wall.’
Sarah Millican – who also appeared on the podcast – went on to suggest Vella may have been a former lover of DCI Davidson’s.
Gail Vella is still alive: Is it true? It seems unlikely that the scale of police corruption is so huge that they could fake a murder victim
DC Chloe Bishop is Tony Gates’ daughter
Bishop is one of AC-12’s newest recruits, and as Gates and his wife Jools had two daughters, Natalie and Chloe, viewers have suggested their shared first name ‘can’t be a coincidence’.
Gates’ daughter was last seen in season one in 2012, which means she’d be roughly the same age as Bishop is now.
Fans have suggested that Bishop either took her mother’s maiden name or the name of a step-father, so that her true identity remains a secret – for now.
Gates died at the end of the first season when he walked into a busy road after getting a confession from gang leader Tommy Hunter, who had been blackmailing the police officer into covering up their criminal activity.
DC Chloe Bishop is Tony Gates’ daughter: Is it true? The dates and facts line up, but there still isn’t enough to write it off as a coincidence just yet
DCI Jo Davidson’s mystery blood relative is…?
After it was revealed that Jo’s DNA matched someone on the Police National Computer, fans theorized who that could be.
The overriding theories suggested that Davidson’s relative was either Tommy Hunter, of series one and two, Mike Dryden of series two, John Corbett of series five, or Derek Hilton, killed off in series four.
Tommy Hunter was the leader of the OCG in earlier series of the show, and a paedophile. His character is dead.
Mike Dryden, the former Deputy Chief Constable, was last seen resigning from his post for perverting the course of justice in series two. His Scottish links also suggest he could be related to Davidson.
John Corbett was an undercover cop in series five who had his throat slit, leaving behind a wife, two daughters, and a mysterious link to a woman, Anne-Marie, whom fans claim could also be Davidson’s mother.
Derek Hilton was a Chief Superintendent and later the Assistant Chief Constable of Central Police. He was also secretly affiliated with organised crime. He was shot in the mouth in a staged suicide in season four.
Other suggestions were Gill Biggeloe, Jackie Laverty, Lindsay Denton or Terry Boyle.
After it was revealed that Jo’s DNA matched someone on the Police National Computer, fans theorized who that could be. Scottish Mike Dryden was last seen resigning from his post for perverting the course of justice in series two