Hotel Babylon: Anna Wilson-Jones Plays Juliet Miller

Like co-star Nigel Harman, Anna Wilson-Jones’ first day on set was nerve-wracking to say the least. She had long serious passages of dialogue to wade through, not to mention cast and crew to meet.

Having watched Hotel Babylon before, Anna had an idea that she would be thrown in amongst a great crowd of actors, despite not having worked directly with any of them before. However, her first day was not quite what she expected.

“The first day of filming can be daunting at the best of times but when you are joining a show that has been running for three years with a very tight ensemble cast then it can be even more nerve-wracking,” she explains.

“It was great to have Nigel joining as a newbie as well… we were shaking, holding hands together in a corner on our first day,” she laughs.

“But we both had these big chunks of dialogue that we had to get through which made us even more nervous.”

“There is a lot to learn on this show,” she adds.

“Like the freezing technique which I honestly didn’t know about despite having watched the show. And I really thought they were playing a trick on the new girl – the director will shout freeze and the entire floor has to stop mid-sentence or stride. I had no idea what was going on.”

Having worked constantly for the last 14 years on projects as diverse as Ashes To Ashes (BBC), Waterloo Road (BBC), The Time Of Your Life (ITV), Midsomer Murders (ITV) and Sugar Rush (Channel 4), Anna was delighted to join the cast of the glossy Hotel Babylon.

“It was a great atmosphere on set and from the off I felt I fitted in and was made to feel very welcome by everyone. I play a no-nonsense trouble-shooter whose job is to go into hotels and close them down when they aren’t profitable,” she says.

“When she arrives at Babylon she is already a very unpopular person. Potentially she could be closing down Hotel Babylon and everyone might be losing their jobs.”

“However she isn’t a horrible person. This is her job and this is what she has to do. She is basically very good at her job but her first task is to face the staff at their morning meeting and she is met with a very frosty reception. But that goes with the territory,” she explains.

However, her first day doesn’t go too well as Juliet spills coffee down her blouse and ends up dressed in a grotty old sweatshirt facing her ex-husband for the first time in four years.

“I am told there is someone who is demanding to see me so I walk outside to reception to discover it’s my ex. I run back into the office in a tizz and Sam follows me in. Once there, I do a very poor job of trying to be cool but I’m clearly flustered.”

For Juliet, being in control is part of her make-up but coming face-to-face with her past brings all sorts of feelings and pain to the surface.

“Having been married once, Juliet and Sam were at one time in love and even if you think something is over, it still must throw up old feelings of some kind or other. It comes as a real shock throwing her right off kilter,” she adds.

“Sam and Juliet have never worked together. She was the anchor in the relationship and Sam was too flighty, yet without the other to level them out they would have been all over the place.”

Despite her initial apprehension, Juliet soon succumbs to Sam’s charms and powers of persuasion. Before the end of episode one she finds herself accepting his job offer to be General Manager of Hotel Babylon, much to the disgust of the rest of the staff.

“Juliet can’t quite believe she has been sucked in again by her ex-husband’s charms,” says Anna. “But charmed she is and try as she might she can’t help but cast sidelong glances at him.”

“There is still something between them but Juliet can’t quite work out what that is yet. She is determined not to let him get under her skin again and yet… she can’t help herself,” she says.

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