And who knew she would have to deal with such an immense international crisis? This isn’t the first time that Duff has played a real person – having performed in the 2005 BBC miniseries ‘The Virgin Queen’, where he played as Robert Dudley in the BBC – Miniseries – The Virgin Queen.
An initial hit on the BBC when it premiered on June 1st was “The Salisbury Poisonings” Thursday on the new streaming service AMC+.
The British miniseries dramatizes the incident in 2018, in which a quiet English village became the scene of an international crisis. It is directed by Rafe Spall and Ann-Marie Duff, who is best known as Fiona Gallagher in the British version of “Shameless ”.
“If you aren’t British, Alisbury is sort of what you imagine a British city to be like,” Duff tells The Post.
It’s very beautiful, it is located in a rural area, it has a lot of history — and it’s near Stonehenge. It is this lovely version of England. “It was important to go there and walking around knowing that there was international espionage taking place there.
“The show had a profound effect when it was broadcast here during the lockdown,” explains Duff referring to the fact that “The Salisbury Poisonings” is to date the highest-rated drama in the UK, with 7.2 million viewers in June – Premier.
According to her, there is an immediacy of connection in the story because of what we are going through globally, says the director. At the moment, we’re all in a fearful space because we don’t have the answers. The show is about real normal people living normal lives and have to deal with this trivia that is unknowable. I think we can all identify with that now.
Duff says her character is based on real people whom she met during the filming of the series.
Then I became very fortunate. Tracy had a huge role in the whole creative process,” says she. She directed and guided the writers so we could always call or text her. I was able to hang out with her and just get a sense of who she is. She comes from a background of social work so she had a grassroots approach to local government and wanted to connect with people on a very personal level.
“And who knew she’d have to deal with such an immense international crisis?”
This isn’t the first time that Duff has played a real person – having performed as Queen Elizabeth I (where he played as Robert Dudley in the BBC miniseries “The Virgin Queen” in 2005) but since this was so recent – the stakes felt higher, says heaven.
There was one day when the real Tracy came on the set and I was very nervous because I was wearing the same clothes she would wear and was pretending to be her in the kitchen ” she says. Having said that, “That was crazy and most terrifying… the idea that someone would be watching you was being it. It is a surreal phenomenon.
When I played John Lennon’s mother in the 2009 film Nowhere Boy , her relatives were alive but she had passed away, she says. “So [the Salisbury poisonings’] was my first experience looking into this strange mirror.”