Honeysuckle Weeks has played the part of Samantha Stewart (Wainwright), trusty aide to a detective, in Anthony Horowitz‘s period drama “Foyle’s War” since 2002. As she says in our webcam chat (watch below), “it’s a third of my lifetime, a part of my life when I have had the most changes happen, marriage, children, illness, the usual slings and arrows that life besets you with.”
The first six seasons were set in a seaside town during WWII and followed a police detective (Michael Kitchen) and his assistant as they solved crimes. The final two took the pair to post-war London where they become ensnared in the mysterious world of espionage. Foyle made an unlikely spy and spent as much time navigating the labyrinth that is MI-5 as he did righting wrongs. And while Sam found herself a fellow, rising politican Adam Wainwright, and got hitched, she continued to keep her hand in the game. “Anthony struggled to include Sam in the last two series and Michael had some misgivings about the believability of Sam being consisdered to be a spy … so I had to change my expression of the character, change her sensibility from happy-go-lucky innocent to someone who had a bit more gravitas.”
The last of the 28 telefilms, “Foyle’s War: Elise, The Final Mystery,” marks the first time these lavish period pieces have been eligible for the Emmys. American-based Acorn TV, which specializes in programming from across the pond, stepped in to co-produce for the first time to ensure these final episodes reached US audiences. Weeks has been submitted in the TV Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actress category. (Make your Emmy predictions here).
Watching the interplay between Kitchen and Weeks is always a delight, with many small moments magnified by the strength of their performances. However, in this final instalment, with an expectant Sam knowing that she will soon have to give up her job, there is a an extra layer of poignancy to their last moments together. “It is the end of her life with Foyle and the beginning of her life as a mother. It touched me no end. I was moved beyond the beyond.”
Acorn boasts a slew of acquistion titles, including the best of British TV as well as that from other Commonwealth countries like Canada and Australia. While it delivers a range of new fare, such as the popular “Doc Martin” and “Midsomer Murders,” it also offers an extensive back catalogue that includes such Emmy darlings as “Upstairs, Downstairs” and “Prime Suspect.” Now, with “Foyle’s War” and “Poirot” it could have a couple of Emmy winners of its own. To that end, Acorn is making the two telefilms available to all TV academy voters via a website. It offers a hassle-free way (no ID, no password required) to watch these two top-notch telefilms.
Watch our interview below to find out what Weeks thinks becomes of her character as well as to learn of her unusual audition for the role and her misadventures with her period costumes.