Porters interview - Claudia Jessie (Lucy)

Claudia Jessie plays naive nurse Lucy, Simon's would-be love interest in Porters.

Porters interview - Claudia Jessie (Lucy)

What is Porters about?

Porters is about the journey of a young man called Simon Porter who works as a porter but really wants to become a doctor. He joins two other porters, Frankie and Tillman, and they sort of nurture him, well, try to! I think Frankie likes to torture him more than nurture him! Then when you get out of the basement where they spend most of their time, enter Lucy, a nurse played by me!

What's Lucy like?

She started life being told she would marry a prince and she's a princess. She became a nurse to help people but also to find a husband, preferably a rich doctor! The idea of perfection for her is to be the nurse who marries the doctor, so she goes after various handsome doctors and then Simon shows up and she's taken in by him and his desire to be a doctor. He's never going to be one, but she's built him up to be one in her head! It's all very sweet.

What drew you to this show?

I love comedy with my whole heart, it's what means the most to me. I like anything that makes people laugh, I like being the clown. My audition scene involves a dead Rabbi, I had so much fun, I thought the comedy was brilliant. I knew the cast they were getting and I was just so excited.

Viewers will know you from Line Of Duty, how does this type of show compare to heavy dramas like that?

I'm a lucky young woman to be able to do drama as well as comedy. They are two different worlds to me, comedy is my first love so I feel like I am coming home when I get a show like this. I feel there's always an emotional connection to a job, there are plenty that I go for that I don't get, but with this I felt like I had to get it. I really wanted it, something grabbed me.

What's it like working with Rutger Hauer?

When we found out he was joining the show the rest of us were like, 'What? Are you kidding?'. We really couldn't believe it. All my family are really proud of me now. I'm like, 'You do realise I was in Line Of Duty?'... nope, they don't care, they're like, 'You've met Rutger Hauer now!'. My mum is so excited, it's literally made her life! It's not just him, every cameo actor coming in like Kelsey Grammer, have been unbelievable. With someone like Rutger, I think it's very courageous and impressive that a man in his 70s has decided to work in a British comedy when he's never done it before and feels vulnerable doing it. What was great is you could really see he was enjoying the process.

Did you research what life is like for a nurse?

There's so much you can do before but it has the potential to stop you from being funny. With dramas I've done, like Line Of Duty, there's a certain amount of research you can do before you get to a point where you could potentially ruin the character for yourself.

Watch a clip from Porters

Is there a divide between the staff upstairs and the porters downstairs?

That upstairs/downstairs thing does come into play and I think it'll be shown in what it looks like, so upstairs, which is the world of the doctors, is beautifully shot, there's a lot of hustle and bustle, it's all light blues and creams. Then you go downstairs and it's darker and more sinister! I think Lucy's the bridge between the two worlds because she's not quite up there with the doctors but she's not down with the porters.

Have you had a lot of fun with the other cast?

I can't really talk about it because I get too upset! I've had such a good time doing this show. It's so good to work with such wonderful people, both cast and crew, I can't believe it's over, I'm genuinely getting choked up. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I got to spend a lot of time with Ed Easton who is the funniest man in the world. He always makes me laugh!

There must have been a lot of corpsing on set...

I think corpsing is delicious. It's such a nice feeling but it's terrible when it happens. I was saying to Ed the other day that I can't believe how well I have done to hold it together when I am opposite someone as funny as him when he's being ridiculous.

Have you had any spooky experiences working in a disused hospital wing?

One of our directors went to the toilet, no one was here but the light switched off while he was in there. It had properly been switched off. When we film in the mortuary we do have to stop because the corridor to the other mortuary is still being used so when they need to bring someone through we have to stop and clear the hall.

Would you like to come back to film more Porters?

Oh my god, if they will have me, of course. Please, can I come back? That would make me the happiest person ever!

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