ITV drops its gripping, women-led drama – and you’re bound to be hooked


Looking for something utterly binge-worthy to watch? Let us point you in the direction of ITV’s new, northern-set drama, Deep Water.

Centred on the increasingly intertwining lives of three women – including mother-of-three, Lisa, played by Anna Friel – this gritty, British Big Little Lies-esque drama takes place against the gun-metal grey skies of The Lake District – a metaphor for a storm brewing behind closed doors…

Oh, and there’s also a lez/bi character in the form of Faye Marsay’s (Avocado Toast, Pride) DC Joanne Aspinall, the local police woman and “glue” that holds the narrative thread together, much as she does in the original book series from which the programme is adapted.

Ahead of the show’s release, we jumped at the chance to chat to Faye and find out a little more about our new, favourite small-town police detective…

SPOILER ALERT! There’s no biggies in here but if you want to keep everything a surprise, go and binge-watch a few episodes first, ‘kay?

DIVA: Tell us about your character, Joanne. Who is she?

FAYE MARSAY: Joanne is a police officer. She’s been in The Lake [District] for about five years, though she’s originally from the northeast.

What brought Joanne to The Lakes?

She was in a relationship with a woman who died, so she’s grieving. [As a character], she’s quite contained and stiff. She’s stuffed it all down and throws herself into her work.

How do we first come to know Joanne in the series?

She’s trying to figure out the deal with the disappearance of Kate’s (Rosalind Eleazar) daughter. Later on, an auntie of her’s turns up who’s lost her job and moves in with her for a minute, and so she’s like, “What the fuck?” This forces her to confront some of the stuff that she’s been going through.

Sinead Keenan, Anna Friel and Rosalind Eleazar in ITV’s Deep Water

What’s her role in relation to Deep Water’s three leading women?

She links them. She looks after Roz’s (Sinead Keenan) daughter, she tries to help Roz out financially as well and they’ve got a really strong bond. But she’s had quite a lonely life. It’s about work for her, really.

What drew you to the role? Was the lez/bi relationship a factor?

It was incidental. I wanted to do something that was focused around women as lead characters. And I spoke with Anna Symon on the phone and the producers, and I just went, “Yeah, go on then!” The Lake District is beautiful as well. I was interested to see what they would do with it.

When you were offered the role, did you know there was going to be an LGBTQI storyline?

I did, actually. And I thought that, you know, we need to see more of that. So that was another reason. I think all stories need to be told, and more people need to tell them.

Deep Water. Faye Marsay as Joanne Aspinall.

Anna Friel said that filming Deep Water [over four months] in the Lake District was a lonely experience. What was it like for you?

I have friends in Whitehaven who don’t live too far away, so I rented a car and drove over when they had a baby, which was really nice. But I was lucky because I was in the centre, I was in a hotel. The girls, because they were in [the series] a lot more, they were in apartments which were a lot more spread out. I think that was probably quite lonely. But I loved it. I mean apart from the fucking rain! It was very cold, but it was beautiful.

What season were you filming over?

When we started it was autumn, so it looked beautiful. Then eventually it just turned into the coldest, rainiest place on earth.

Deep Water. Faye Marsay as Joanne Aspinall.

And you did literally end up in deep water, in the lake, during filming?

I did! I was a bit nervous at first, but there are always safety divers. It was freezing – it would literally take your breath away. And I had a wetsuit on. You know, there are people who go in and swim without a wetsuit? Why would you do that?! But yeah, jumping in a lake? That was fun!

Deep Water is available on ITV Player here

Only reading DIVA online? You’re missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It’s pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves. // //

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