Scots actress Laura Fraser has described the “gut-wrenching” experience filming drama Peter And Wendy in Great Ormond Street Hospital.
She plays Julie Rose in ITV’s re-imagining of JM Barrie’s Peter Pan where the hospital’s patients and staff – including Devil Wears Prada star Stanley Tucci and singer Paloma Faith as Tinkerbell – become residents of Neverland in daughter Lucy’s dreams. The cast spent two days filming in the children’s hospital in London and struggled to watch ill patients rushed into the wards.
She said: “It’s such a lovely place, it’s got such a friendly vibe. They chose a day when they knew a lot of people wouldn’t be in for operations in the ward we were in but we did have to stop a few times when children were being brought through for various different wards and it was just gut-wrenching. Sometimes, some of the crew would cry and it was just so moving,” .
Fraser, who has a nine-year-old daughter Lila with her husband, Irish-born actor Karl Geary, said tackling the role of a mother who facing losing her young child was a cathartic experience. She added: “Morbid as it sounds, it’s quite a cathartic experience playing a role like that because you can act out all your own fears and hopefully get rid of them for a while. I always have so much worry as a mother that I just dwelled on my usual worry and exaggerated it for the duration of the job.
“It was always great when I got to come home and cuddled [daughter Lila] and she was jumping about and was not attached to any tube. God, it makes you so grateful.”
The part is one in a list of prominent roles for Breaking Bad star Fraser, who has managed to buck the entertainment industry’s trend of being notoriously unforgiving to an actress approaching 40.
The 39-year-old, who played Lydia Rodarte-Quayle on the hit US show, said that job offers had flooded in as she matured, with the industry only looking on the up for women.
Peter And Wendy will air on ITV on today at 8pm.