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Feature: Primeval

Prime Time

Andrew-Lee Potts & Hannah Spearritt Love blossomed on set for the stars of the Time travel adventure... and now they’re known by a name-merging nickname, we discover…

Connor’s got a girlfriend… how did that happen? I mean, we know Primeval’s Science Fiction, but you can only strain credibility so far, and for a geek like him to run into a gorgeous girl who shares his taste in DVDs is surely past the limit. Of course, it looks pretty clear that Naomi Bentley’s character Caroline has an ulterior motive or two, but still…

But then again, it’s not really that unlikely, as in real life Connor has got the girl. As filming of the first season drew to a close, actor Andrew-Lee Potts and co-star Hannah Spearritt became an item. By now, they even finish each others’ sentences, and fellow cast member Douglas Henshall gave the pair a ‘Brangelina’-like nickname.

“It was a little in-thing between myself, Andrew and Dougie and it spread,” comments Spearritt.

“Handrew!” comments Potts.

“I don’t know when they found out…” Spearritt says of breaking the news of on-set romance to the producers.

“They all knew anyway. I can’t remember, it wasn’t a ‘Yes, we are together’, type thing…”

“No, it was very natural. They worried about us splitting up! For the second series it would have been a bit tough.” Or for a third? “No, we’re professionals, fingers crossed,” Potts explains. “We’ve just brought a house, so it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.”

The tabloid reporters gathered at the second season launch are, inevitably, fixated on this tale of true love, wanting to know how the couple got together (“I gave her a card. I was going away to film in China and just before I went I wanted to say… I think I said ‘I love you’ didn’t I?” Potts explains) – that and the reasons for their new looks, with Potts shorn of Connor’s long locks, and Spearritt sporting dark hair rather than Abby’s peroxide crop (“For continuity you have to bleach it every three weeks – I wouldn’t have to do that in real life, but it’s taken its toll on the hair, and it’s stripped the protein out of it so much I had to do something different, otherwise I was going to be bald. What I should have done was let it grow out naturally, and just go with my natural colour, but I’m a bit vain.”). Back onset in August, it’s easier for them to keep to the subject of the series and their characters. On this particular day, both are shooting location scenes for episode six, or as it’s known in the creature-feature style titles used by the production staff, if not on screen, ‘The Columbian Mammoth’.

“My character goes through the mill a bit and shows her vulnerable side a lot more,” Spearritt explains. But she’s also learning to protect it, as today Spearritt is gearing up for a physically demanding shoot scheduled for a few days’ time. “A bit of kickboxing for Abby, yes,” she explains. “We’ve got a fight coming up which is exciting. It’s going to be shot on Monday between myself and a new character, so that should be fun.”

by Anthony Brown

Read the full interview in
TV Zone #225

Images © ITV
Feature © Visual Imagination 2008. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #225
February 2008
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