Keeping Faith star Eve Myles admits she was about to QUIT acting before landing the show’s title role… and reveals she had just four months to learn how to speak Welsh for the part
Despite a seasoned career as an actress in the likes of Broadchurch, Torchwood and Cold Feet, Eve Myles was on the cusp of quitting the industry – to become a midwife.
But then the script for Keeping Faith landed on her desk, and she gave showbusiness another stab – which paid off.
‘I was having a bit of a wobble,’ she told the Express. ‘Everything was a bit same-y and I’m the kind of character that likes to be challenged. I’ve been doing this job for more than 20 years and I was thinking about doing something completely different.’
Change of plans: Despite a seasoned career as an actress in the likes of Broadchurch, Torchwood and Cold Feet, Eve Myles was on the cusp of quitting the industry – to become a midwife
Eve, 40, became fascinated by the work of the sonographers she met during routine scans when she was, herself, pregnant. She even signed up for a course, before receiving the Killing Faith script.
Eve admits that Keeping Faith – which sees a wife on maternity leave wake up one day to learn her husband has vanished without a trace – was ‘very special’ and that it had ‘that Welsh warmth and humour and love’.
But, despite being a native to Wales, Eve didn’t speak the language and had just four months to learn it.
‘I started with the scripts and had to learn the Welsh alphabet. I didn’t even know there was a different alphabet! I would drop the kids off a nursery at 9AM, pick them up at 3PM and in between I would just sit at the table and just do it, word for word, sound for sound.’
Change of direction: The script for Keeping Faith landed on her desk, and she gave showbusiness another stab – which paid off
Eve’s husband, actor Bradley Freegard, plays on-screen husband Evan to her Faith in last year’s surprise BBC hit.
With the show returning for its second run, the plot picks up 18 months after Evan’s initial disappearance, interlaced with flashbacks outlining events after his shock return.
In the first series, Faith found herself simultaneously running the domestic show, trying to save the sinking family business and discover what on earth has happened to her supposedly respectable husband, who turned out to be concealing his secrets.
‘Series two is about the scars that appear when there’s been so much lying and deceit and how we carry on,’ Eve told You Magazine earlier this month. ‘It’s a tougher story and a harder path for Faith – last time I thought I was digging deep to play her, but it was nothing compared to this.’
Fond: Eve admits that Keeping Faith – which sees a wife on maternity leave wake up one day to learn her husband has vanished without a trace – was ‘very special’ and that it had ‘that Welsh warmth and humour and love’
While Faith’s family ties unravelled shockingly quickly (in the last series her in-laws refused to back her when she temporarily lost custody of her children), Eve herself clearly has a rock-solid support system.
She was raised in a series of council properties by her single mother Jennifer who worked two cleaning jobs in the morning and in a shop in the afternoon to support Eve and her elder brother.
Her parents split up when she was three but her Scottish father lived nearby in Swansea.
Eve didn’t see so much of him when she was a child as he suffered from alcoholism and spent a lot of time in recovery, but now he’s been sober for 20 years and the pair are close.
‘He’s always been a great dad – he has that ability to say helpful things. At times when I’ve been tempted to stay quiet when something’s upsetting me, he’s said, “Flowers don’t grow in the dark – voice your concerns”, and it’s helped so much.’
- Keeping Faith will be on BBC One and iPlayer from 23 July
It’s back: Keeping Faith will be on BBC One and iPlayer from 23 July