Paradox: Tamzin Outhwaite plays DI Rebecca Flint

DI Rebecca Flint is a high-ranking detective who always goes the extra mile to solve a case. However, when she is shown images by space scientist Dr Christian King of a disaster that appears not to have happened yet, her world and belief system is thrown into turmoil. Actress Tamzin Outhwaite, who recently starred in ITV’s The Fixer, explains what drew her to Paradox and the part of feisty police officer Rebecca.

How did the role of Paradox actually come about?

I was in LA with my husband, Tom, and my agent called saying how fantastic this new script was. I’d always wanted to work with the writer Lizzie Mickery and I knew Murray Ferguson at Clerkenwell Films had worked on Persuasion, so I was really excited about it.

When the script arrived, it brought up a lot of questions for me. In fact, I am still questioning a lot of the concepts in it. My opinions change all the time which is what makes it so exciting and interesting.

What’s Rebecca really like?

Rebecca is very driven and doesn’t want to be defeated. When the images come through she takes complete and utter control and just goes for it – she doesn’t question too much. She’s also excited by having the power to be able to change the future for the right reasons and she thrives off the ticking clock and having to get it done.

She also gets a buzz from being able to change somebody’s life and the sense of achievement she gets afterwards becomes very addictive. After this experience I think she’d find it very boring to go back to ordinary police work.

How does this role compare to others you’ve played in your career?

What I love about it is the way it starts with the ordinariness of the police unit, but then there ends up being so much more to it. It certainly stands out for me as one of my most intense and biggest roles. I’ve also absolutely loved doing the stunts!

What sort of stunts did you film?

I had to drive towards an explosion with Chiké, who plays Callum, and my instincts were telling me to stop before I hit any human beings. But the director wanted me to drive as fast as I could.

Everything was planned in fine detail to ensure everyone’s safety but, in order to get the shot we needed, I had to drive towards the cameraman. Even though everything was controlled, it was the scariest stunt I’ve ever done because I was so nervous I was going to run him over! Needless to say it made my heart really race and I wanted to get out of the car straight away.

A real life space scientist, Dr Margaret Aderin, worked as a consultant on the series. How did you find working with her?

Fantastic – she is quite literally a rocket scientist! When we say: ‘Yeah, but it’s not rocket science, is it?’ it actually is in her life. I spoke to her at the very beginning of filming and she is an incredibly interesting woman whose career is about constantly questioning the issues we cover in the series.

What research did you do for the role?

I hadn’t played a copper before so I spent some time shadowing a female DI and I was surprised to learn she is called Ma’am by her colleagues, which seems quite old fashioned.

She talked to me about an awful lot of things and explained she worked across the board from Child Protection to the Drug Squad. However, what really shone through for me was she loves her job and I wanted to ensure Rebecca had the same enthusiasm for her work.

Having worked on Paradox, what are your opinions on changing the future?

My opinions have changed a lot and I tend to analyse my dreams more now and wonder if they are premonitions. I do think that maybe we see the future in all sorts of ways, but the question in Paradox is do the images of the future come from God or a scientist?

What have you got planned next?

I’m starring in Sweet Charity at the Menier Chocolate Factory. It’s going to be strange singing and dancing after all these years but I’m really looking forward to it.

How have you found juggling motherhood with work?

It is a struggle and your social skills become very honed because you have to work out who’s having Florence at what time, and where. If only she knew what chaos and organisation went into bringing her up – I think children would be quite amused by all the flapping that goes on around them!

Being a mother is an absolute delight, though. I’m really enjoying everything that’s happening at the moment.

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