Michelle Dockery interview: ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’
“She’s really living a lie in many ways,” declares Michelle Dockery about her character in the Netflix limited series “Anatomy of a Scandal.” The series developed and written by Melissa James Gibson and Emmy-winning writer and producer David E. Kelley, follows a wife and mother (Sienna Miller) who struggles to support her husband (Rupert Friend), a British politician who has had an affair and is accused of rape. Dockery plays Kate Woodcroft, the prosecuting attorney who endures her own lingering trauma. Check out our exclusive video chat with the four-time Emmy nominee above. Spoilers for the full season ahead.
The character of Kate turns out to be more than a mere attorney. The audience eventually learns that Kate’s real name is Holly Berry, and that as a student, Kate/Holly was raped by the same politician Kate is presently prosecuting. Dockery says that the character’s duality was one of the key attractions of the role. “She’s changed her identity to bury her past,” she says. “I loved that there is this fantastic kind of journey throughout the story for her because she starts out as this quite closed off human being and very guarded, and then as the story goes on those layers begin to peel back.”
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Because the show was filmed out of sequence, Dockery shot her emotional breakdown for the final episode very early in the filming and spent a great deal of time isolated from the rest of the cast. The actress argues that the circumstances helped in portraying her character. “It worked out great because I could get all of that rage and emotion out in those final moments with Kate and then sort of work backwards,” she explains. “That separation from everybody was really good because Kate’s a lone wolf. She’s very private and she likes to be alone. So it was good to get into the character in that sense.”
Dockery says that the entire production went to extraordinary lengths to tackle the issue of sexual violence in a way that is both honest and respectful to victims, including working with victims’ advocate groups throughout the United Kingdom. “It’s obviously a subject that is a really sensitive one, and we were all adamant that it was delivered in the most authentic way possible,” she says. The actress describes how it was sometimes difficult to leave the character behind after filming certain scenes. “Whenever I do something that is sort of guttural and emotional, I go home and I’ll feel tired and it’s a little harder to shake off,” she claims.
One thought on “Michelle Dockery interview: ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’”
Is Fantastic Dockery related to John Cleese? She seems to have his mannerisms, speech and tiny body language similarities. No answer or publication needed!