BBC One has now shown the first Strike mystery, The Cuckoo’s Calling, with a total of three episodes. The second installment, The Silkworm, will have a total of two episodes, starting Sunday 10th September at 9pm.
Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott are now investigating the missing writer, Owen Quine (played by Jeremy Swift), who they later discover has been brutally murdered in one of the grand artist studio houses on Talgarth Road.
Writer Owen Quine leaves behind his struggling wife, Leonora Quine (Monica Dolan), who is trying to care for their daughter, Orlando Quine, who was brain damaged at birth.
Below is an exclusive interview with the wonderful Orlando Quine actress, Sarah Gordy, who is also a model, dancer and an Ambassador for the Mencap Charity.
What was the audition process like for the role of Orlando Quine and did you get to meet J.K. Rowling?
“It was good. I had time to chat about the character and her background. I like my characters to have a past. I met J.K. before we started filming. We were all sitting around a big table doing the read-through. I was sitting next to Tom Burke, which was so exciting. When I met J.K. she was so warm and friendly, amazing really, she is so busy, but she was everything I hoped she would be.”
Were you familiar with the Cormoran Strike books before getting the part?
“No, I wasn’t, but once I read the script I just had to read them all. I’m halfway through the second book. Now I’m addicted.”
Were you ever a fan of the Harry Potter series?
“You bet! I have all the books, all the DVDs. I love the world J.K. created. I have seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2.”
What are your thoughts on the character of Orlando Quine, and what was the best part about playing her?
“She’s interesting. Orlando was a bit damaged at birth so she can be very moody. But she is sweet and funny, and you just want to protect her. I like to play somebody very different from myself. I am very independent. Orlando likes to draw, especially birds, so I have started to draw.”
Did the production differ much from projects you’ve been involved in before?
“Yes, I got to play somebody with a bit of brain damage who can’t control their emotions. All my scenes were at the same location, so I did a lot of scenes one after another. Very emotional. Wonderful and exhausting. I loved it.”
What was it like working alongside actors like Tom Burke, Holliday Grainger, Jeremy Swift and Monica Dolan?
“Unfortunately, I didn’t get to know Jeremy Swift, which is a shame. Tom Burke is lovely. I fit just right under his armpit, he is big, so gentle, really helpful and comfortable to be with. Holliday Grainger is so pretty, fun to be with and not a big head. Monica and I had emotional scenes, she was brilliant, we stayed in character all the time. I watch and learn.”
Could you tell us about your involvement as Ambassador for the Mencap Charity and also your involvement as Patron for Circus Starr?
“These charities are very important to me. I want to be a good role model, encourage kids and young people to be ambitious and as healthy as possible. When you get your baby in your arms, and he has Down Syndrome, it can be a fearful challenge. My job is to say, yes, more work but a lot of fun too. If they say he has weak muscles, then more exercise and keep the weight down. I want little kids to learn nursery rhymes by heart; it is good for the little grey cells. Mencap is there for you, and I will do what I can to help support their good work.”
“Circus Starr is a small charity which makes my heart sing. Often when you have a member of the family with a disability, money can be a bit short. Circus Starr is a Circus with a Purpose, providing world class entertainment to the whole family, for free. Families need fun.”
You’re an actor, dancer and model. Which of these three is your favourite and why?
“I am a woman and an actor first. My mum taught me everything through drama. I am lonely if I don’t have a character in my head. My dancing is improvisation, which sets me free to create a story in my head and body. It is very liberating. I can escape my gentleness. Everything I do comes from character, with modelling if there isn’t something happening in the brain, then it is an empty image. Well, that is how I have been trained.”
What is your next project going to be? “I have been at The National Theatre recently involved in the development of two very different plays. In the first one, ‘Jellyfish’ by Ben Weatherill, I play a bright funny girl who gets this decent ordinary boy to overcome his inhibition and kiss her. Beautiful and sad. The second, ‘Amy and the Orphans,’ I play a very different character. We discover she is not the needy one. Brilliant. Neither have been commissioned in this country yet. A couple of TV programmes floating about which will happen one day, but don’t hold your breath.”
A last word from Sarah on The Silkworm:
“If you have read the books, you know the stories are great. I can’t wait to see it.”
Catch Strike – The Silkworm on Sunday 10th at 9pm on BBC One. If you haven’t watched The Cuckoo’s Calling yet, you can catch up on BBC iPlayer.
You can follow Sarah Gordy on Twitter here.
And here is a link to her website: https://sarahgordy.com/