Kelly Macdonald feared she ‘wasn’t going to turn up’ to film ‘intimidating’ Line of Duty

Line of Duty: Kelly MacDonald speaks to Dan Walker about series

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Kelly Macdonald has admitted that ahead of filming for season six, she started binge-watching previous seasons to get up to speed with the drama. However, Kelly, 45, almost talked herself out of taking on the part.

I wasn’t going to turn up I think in Belfast if I carried on

Kelly Macdonald

Kelly, who plays Acting Detective Superintendent Jo Davidson in the hit BBC One legal drama, first appeared in the series in March 2021, as part of the Operation Lighthouse investigation, looking into the murder of the former journalist, Gail Vella.

However, as the series has continued, Jo Davidson has found herself in the firing line after being accused of working alongside the Organised Crime Group [OCG].

As part of the investigation, Jo claimed that she was responsible for the murder of PC Ryan Pilkington, who was working alongside the OCG and disrupting the police investigation led by Davidson and Kate Fleming, played by Vicky McClure.

Line of Duty found itself a new audience during the initial coronavirus lockdown period in March 2020, as the drama became an instant binge watch for viewers who couldn’t leave their homes.

READ MORE: Martin Compston endured ‘miserable’ time in lead up to Line of Duty

One of those viewers was, in fact, Kelly Macdonald, who hadn’t seen an episode until she was cast by producers for the role of Jo Davidson.

Glasgow born Kelly almost talked herself out of filming the drama after becoming too involved as she watched from the comfort of her home.

After managing to get up to season four, Kelly forced herself to stop watching as Thandiwe Newton’s character, DCI Roz Huntley, was leading the Operation Trapdoor investigation.

Speaking to Lauren Laverne on BBC Music Radio 6, Kelly said: “I wasn’t going to turn up I think in Belfast if I carried on.”

Kelly went on to say: “It was just too intimidating, I was sort of, I think, about midway through Thandiwe’s [Newton] season.”

“Yeah, so I need to get back to it at some point but yeah, it was just too much for me.”

During season four, Thandiwe’s character became the centre of an Anti-Corruption Unit 12 [AC-12] investigation led by Kate Fleming, DI Steve Arnott [Martin Comptson] and Superintendent Ted Hastings [Adrian Dunbar].

Earlier this week, Kelly faced an intense grilling on BBC Breakfast as she refused to disclose any information ahead of tomorrow night’s dramatic season finale.

It comes after Jo Davidson famously answered “no comment” as she was grilled by AC-12 officers as well as DCS Patricia Carmichael.

Quizzing Kelly, BBC’s Dan Walker asked: “When you read the scripts, did you think there was a printing error when you saw the number of ‘No comment’ you had to come out with?”

“So funny, when I started the job I hadn’t received those episodes, at first I saw the ‘no comments’ and I thought ‘I can do this, this is fine, this is going to be ok’.

“Then, unfortunately, she does start to talk more,” responded Kelly.

Hoping that Kelly would accidentally leak a spoiler, Dan asked: “Can I press you on some concerns that many of our viewers have? I want to see what we can get out of you this morning.”

Not one to give anything away, Kelly simply responded: “No comment” to every advance.

“Is Jo Davidson going to make it through to the series finale – are you going to survive the last episode? How long has Marcus Thurwell been dead for? Who do you think your real father is? What’s under that concrete floor? Is Marcus Thurwell actually dead?” Dan went on to quiz.

He concluded: “Is Hastings bent?” before Kelly erupted into laughter and repeated: “No comment.”

Line of Duty season six concludes on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

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