Katherine Kelly shot to fame as everyone’s favourite barmaid, Becky McDonald, on Coronation Street in 2006, and has since gone on to star in some of the country’s favourite TV shows, from Happy Valley to Mr Selfridge.
For that reason, as we notice her new brunette, blunt bob is a world away from Becky’s bleach-blonde locks, she’s extremely quick to remind our sister publication Woman she left the ITV soap eight years ago!
Katherine, 40, is now back on our screens a s Detective Inspector Karen Renton in the second series of ITV drama Liar. Here, the mum-of-two tells us all about what went on behind the scenes…
Hi, Katherine. We almost didn’t recognise you with your new hair – we’re so used to seeing you as Becky!
That was eight years ago now. I’ve just finished filming as Detective Hobbs in the second series of Criminal, so this is all paid for by Netflix – my hair choices are never my own!
You’re also a detective in Liar. Do you enjoy playing police officers?
Well, it’s like saying, ‘How do you feel about playing teachers?’ You take the part, not because of their job description but because of who the character is beneath all that. They’re just such different characters, it’s almost like a coincidence that they happen to be police.
What made you join the cast of Liar?
The fact that everybody came back – not just the people on screen but James Strong, who is such an in-demand director after Broadchurch. For him to clear his diary to do a second series was big! We’ve also got a director of photography who’s got a policy that he doesn’t do second series, but he did for this. So I think that’s all testimony to how good the script is.
Do we find out anything about your character’s background at all?
Hopefully as little as possible. We did actually shoot a few scenes where you find out a little bit more, but we shot them with the hope that we don’t need you to see them. The plot is so strong that I don’t think you need an explanation as to why she is the way she is, because she’s there to solve the case.
You’re often spoken of as being part of a group of former Corrie actors – such as Joanne Froggatt and Suranne Jones – who have experienced success after leaving the soap. How does that feel?
Maybe our work is just in people’s minds a bit more. Lots of actors are huge on things like Netflix, but if I’m not on terrestrial [television], my nan’s like, ‘When are you gonna be on ITV?’.
You’re busier than ever. How do you juggle all the different parts?
To be acting, you need to be working. I’m a really good team player and enjoy being part of an ensemble. I’m dead easy to work with – I really am! I get re-employed by the same people a lot – I think that’s the way to tell.
Is there any chance of a third series of Liar?
I’m not sure, but Laura and Andrew’s story is so satisfying, which is what makes it feel complete.
Liar continues on ITV, Monday