Fearless: Helen McCrory's TV drama explores the modern woman's dilemma
It is the modern woman's dilemma. How much of your personal life should you sacrifice for your professional one?
In Fearless, a new British drama, lawyer Emma Banville takes on the case of a man she believes was wrongfully convicted of murdering a teenage girl 14 years ago.
Emma, played by actress Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders, Penny Dreadful), is obsessed with her work and is desperate to prove there has been a miscarriage of justice.
"What appealed to me about Emma was both her job and her personal life," says McCrory.
"She's a human rights lawyer, and I know quite a few lawyers in my life and I am very interested in their work and their world. They are very clever, quick people, dealing with real life – unlike actors."
But Emma's commitment and dedication to her career comes at a cost.
"It's also about her home life and that has been put on pause, basically, for her work," says McCrory. "And now she has suddenly realised that she wants to have children and she probably can't have children and so she wants to adopt.
"So I was really interested in this woman who has made such sacrifices for her job and now has realised that she can't have her cake and eat it, which has happened to quite a few of my friends."
In what some may see as a surprise move, Liverpudlian comedian John Bishop plays Emma's partner Steve.
"I didn't know that he did straight drama and when we did the read-through he was so completely charming that Patrick (Harbinson, the show's writer) went out and wrote five extra scenes for him," says McCrory.
Harbinson is an executive producer and writer on Homeland, the US series which starred McCrory's real-life husband Damian Lewis (Billions, Wolf Hall).
For McCrory, a big drawcard in signing on for Fearless was Harbinson's work. She says: "I have not read a British series for so long that is such a page-turner."
Fearless, UKTV, starts Monday September 4.
- TV Guide