British actress Ruth Wilson is set to take on the most challenging role of her career to date as she prepares to play her real-life grandmother, Alison, in a new BBC drama about her grandfather’s life as a secret spy.
The 36-year-old star, who is best known for her role as Alice Morgan in hit BBC crime series, Luther, will portray the shocking betrayal her grandmother felt after discovering that her husband Alexander was a bigamist in the new drama, Mrs Wilson.
The three-part series is set between 1940s and 1960s and inspired by Alison’s memoir in which she recalls the complex history of her family and the effects Alexander’s career had on them.
Speaking to Radio Times, Wilson explained how it felt to be bringing her real family to life on the small screen. ‘Being inside the skin of my own grandmother was extraordinary. Who gets to do that? It’s very rare and I’m privileged,’ she said. ‘There were definitely moments of going, “What am I doing?” When you’re giving birth to your father, for example. That was absurd. But my job is absurd.’
In fact at times, the Golden Globe winner who is also an executive producer of the show, admitted that it was so strange for her that she considered hiring someone else to play the role of her grandmother, with The Crown star Claire Foy in mind.
‘But other women playing my grandmother might have been concerned about me watching over their shoulder! I didn’t want her white-washed; I knew I could show all sides of her because she was complex,’ she added. ‘It was in many ways the most profound experience of my life but it was full-on. I was pulling my hair out with stress.’
Luckily, we won’t have to wait long before we get to watch the show first-hand – Mrs Wilson starts on BBC One from 27th November 2018.