The Fixer Series 2- Interview with Tamzin Outhwaite


In the second of our Fixer interviews we turn the focus to Tamzin Outhwaite who plays Rose Chamberlain.


Early on in filming of the first series of The Fixer it was announced that the show’s female lead was pregnant. During the gruelling 12 week shoot Tamzin was supported by an extremely supportive cast and crew. As the new series began, how did she feel to be back?

“It was the first time I’ve worked since I had my baby so for me it was like coming back to a family who had been very supportive during a very important time in my life. It felt really comfortable and I was really happy to back. It was just lovely to be working with the boys and the rest of the team again. It just felt like, ‘brilliant, we’ve got another chance at this which was a great idea in the first place and now we’ve got another chance to make it even better than the first time’. For me the overwhelming feeling was one of just raring to go.”

The first series saw Rose occupy a very specific role within the team, but as the second series begins, we see that not only has the drama stepped up a gear, so too has Rose’s involvement in the missions. Speaking of how her character has moved on, Tamzin explains;

“It was clear that in series one she was the team’s honey trap, but obviously that skill isn’t required on every case, so there were times when she just wasn’t needed or wasn’t integral to the plot necessarily. But this time out she gets involved in a lot more of the action, she actually totes a gun and you see much more that she used to be a police officer. In the first series it seemed like these were just four damaged characters who just do one thing each, but in this series, you realise that they each have a variety of skills and get to put those to rather effective use.”

Tazmin continues:

“I do feel like we’ve made a faster, more intense, much more action packed series. It’s not so still as the first; the psychological aspect remains intact in that everyone is kind of playing with each other, wanting to trust each other, wanting to relax, but not being quite able to, all those relationships are still there but they are now set within an incredibly pacey framework.

Given that Rose is now right in the heart of the action the role demanded that Tazmin handle fire arms, something the actress is quite familiar with. How does the actress feel about filming with guns?

“It’s quite a bitter sweet thing, I love doing all the action and because of all the training that I did for Red Cap I don’t feel like I’ve had to call on it that often really so its quite nice returning to something so specific that you’ve had quite a bit of training for and know that you’re able to do it convincingly. Holding a gun and saying you enjoy it feels quite weird especially now as it represents such a dark time in our culture. You’re quite aware that when you’re out filming with a gun in your hand in London that you actually want to be hiding it and there is a real feeling of ‘I hope no-one sees us and thinks this is real’. But at the same time the actual reality living out that film and TV cop dream is quite exciting and a real challenge.”

While the team’s trained killer, John Mercer still performs the majority of the hits, there are some particularly brutal sequences involving Rose taking out a couple of marks.  Cold, calculating and seemingly without remorse, the ex-copper displays no feeling as she takes the shots. Explaining the character’s thought process Tamzin says:

“I think that any kind of question or toying with the notion of right and wrong has already happened by the time the decision comes to kill somebody. And yes, that decision comes from a very cold place with her and I think once that decision has been made there is no turning back, no remorse, no regret. There is no room for that with her.”

As she continues to discuss the role, Tamzin touches on the rarity of women like Rose Chamberlain on screen.

“You don’t see characters like her very often and it’s not just me saying that as you can gauge it from people’s reaction to her. Everyone sort of stops and says ‘gosh what’s it like to play her’ which I feel is rather indicative of how few roles like Rose there are out there. Really, the only other one that immediately springs to mind is Roz from Spooks. Because so often, in dramas like this, women are the vulnerable ones, they aren’t generally out there toting guns, making hard, horrible, unthinkable decisions. That’s often left to the men. I think these characters are written almost with a male thinking to them.

“That’s not a bad thing necessarily. I always used to think that women should be writing for women because women know about women. In a situation like this I love the fact she doesn’t come from an all-female stance. She’s not regretful, remorseful, thoughtful, the victim, or vulnerable. She is pragmatic, she’s practical, she gets on with it and she does her job. And then she still manages to live her life; read a newspaper, listen to music, without going over and over it in her head. She has resigned herself to thinking this is her job and she manages to have relationships within that job just after someone’s killed people. She compartmentalises everything; her whole head is one big filing cabinet.”

Tamzin continues:

“I think she has been beautifully written. I love what Ben Richards has done with Rose. She’s a tough character to like as she can be very cold and seemingly extremely unfeeling. But because of some very, very subtle touches here and there, Ben has revealed someone who is deeply loyal and very caring, without actually making her all warm and cuddly. With the likes of Rose, when you do see a flash of vulnerability or heart you as the audience have earned it because it’s so rare, you think ‘I want to see a bit more of that’ because as quickly as it comes, you know it’s going to disappear again and it’s very likely that she’s not going to let you in again for a while.

There is a very fine line to tread and he has created characters that while you may not necessarily like what they are about, you certainly enjoy being around them and want to stick with them. TV is breaking the mould with morally ambiguous characters – you only need to look at a show like Dexter. I mean why should you care for a serial killer? And it’s the same with us. Why should you care for a hit man, why should you care for some disgraced ex-copper or some weed smoking pick pocket? On paper they aren’t attractive in anyway but you want to be with them, see that they’re ok.”

In series one the obvious attraction between Mercer and Rose was instant and profound, but a deep distrust of one another meant the two spent most of their time arguing. Speaking on the ‘will they won’t they’ chemistry, Tamzin talks about just how much they mean to each other and whether she thinks they will get their happy ending.

“There is very much an unspoken relationship between these two. I think deep down they probably do love each other and should be together but there is no way in this world that they would ever allow that to happen. There are a number of factors keeping them apart; Lenny for a start. They both know that he would never let them be together and work alongside each other. But more than that, in order for them truly be together, one would have to relinquish some ground and neither is willing to give way. They are constantly playing with each other, always testing each other. They are not going to ever get on a boat and go to live in Jersey and have a lovely life. The romantic in me would love that, but it wouldn’t be true to either if it did happen I don’t think. Who knows, maybe Ben Richards will find a way.”

While there are many aspects to The Fixer that Tazmin clearly enjoys and speaks very passionately about, the majority of her praise is reserved for her leading man, upcoming actor Andy Buchan, with whom she clearly enjoys a genuine friendship.

“Before The Fixer Andy was like a little hidden treasure. Actually he’s not so little now as he has really beefed up! When Di Carling (casting director) cast him in Party Animals, it was a real moment in TV. He is a real find in this country and I don’t think Andy’s feet will touch the ground from now and he will certainly never look back.

To find someone who is that committed to his work, that naturally gifted and amazing to work with on set is a real find. Sometimes you will get someone who is as talented as him but they won’t be as easy and as lovely to work with and he really is an absolute joy to come into work with and see. Sometimes I’d go into work and I wouldn’t have slept because my baby had kept me up but I’d still be full of the joys of spring because Andy would be there with a big smile on his face and a cup of tea.

I’ve never seen him in a bad mood and I’ve never seen him not have time for people. He obviously comes from a very solid background, his feet are firmly planted on the floor and he doesn’t take himself too seriously. At the same time he manages to cover every angle of what the role of a leading man consists of brilliantly. One of the reasons I really hope we go to a third series is that I don’t feel as though I’ve finished working with Andy Buchan yet.”

GS Repoorter: Nuge

Interviews provided courtesy of ITV

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One comment

  1. cammy /

    she admitted they cut the oral sex scene .she actually game the guy a blow job but they put a safer version in instead

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