The Bay: Police officer uses sign language to speak to Jamal
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Actress Marsha Thomason made her debut on the crime drama The Bay last week, to a rapturous reception from fans, after breezing in as DS Jenn Townend following the departure of DS Lisa Armstrong, played by Morven Christie. However, her on-set antics turned out to be a little more than she’d bargained for.
I was seeing a chiropractor throughout
Marsha found herself replicating her on-screen character’s injury after a “repetitive moment” had her clutching her back herself.
“There was a scene in a nightclub, there’s a scene where Jenn gets injured,” she explained.
“And doing the repetitive motion – this was just physically hard – I hurt my back, and that was like day two of filming or something.
“It was not great. And so I was seeing a chiropractor throughout.”
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She added: “It’s fine now, but that was physically difficult!”
In a clear case of life imitating art, Marsha had felt the strain within the first couple of days of her new role.
Plus channelling her character’s distress during anxiety attacks had Marsha feeling like she needed to reach for the anti-migraine pills.
“There were a couple of scenes where Jenn is alone,” she continued in an interview with Digital Spy.
“One is in the car and one is in the bathroom mirror where she’s feeling an immense amount of anxiety and is doing her breathing exercises and trying to calm herself down.
“I found those difficult. First of all, to get to that place and it really gives you a headache, physically. It’s weird. Those two are the ones for me that were the most difficult because they were physically difficult.”
Nothing could have fully prepared Marsha for the arduous nature of her scenes.
However, she did find that it helped to have an on-screen connection with her co-stars before she began filming, especially in the era of the pandemic.
“The cast reached out to me and we started a WhatsApp group, we did some Zooms, so I already felt a sense of connection with them when I arrived on the first day,” she explained.
“I didn’t feel any [nerves about replacing Morven Christie as the show’s lead], but then as my first day approached, really my feelings were more about the nerves of being in a new job in an established show,” she added.
“I was definitely aware that those are big shoes to fill, [as Morven] was so great as Lisa.
“I was a bit like Jenn really, because it’s like: ‘New day, new job with these people who’ve all been working together for ages’, but everybody was brilliant.”
Marsha has spent over 25 years in the business, receiving acting credits on shows from Prime Suspect to The Good Doctor.
However, impressive credentials aside, she is adamant that “The Bay is my kind of show”.
The Bay airs tonight on ITV at 9pm.
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