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Alison Steadman opens up about filming difficult scenes for BBC's Life

Alison plays Gail in the drama

alison steadman life 1
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
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Alison Steadman is wowing us every week with her portrayal as Gail in BBC's Life – but the actress has said candidly that some scenes in particular were "difficult" to film. The Gavin & Stacey star, who appears in the Doctor Foster spin-off alongside Adrian Lester and Peter Davison, told press at the show's launch Q&A that the emotional aspects of the storyline made filming challenging.

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"There are always scenes that are difficult to film," she began, adding: "It was challenging at times because of the emotion of the character […] but that's what's great about it, that's what's so exciting and wonderful."

alison steadman life© Photo: BBC

Alison Steadman as Gail in Life

Alison continued: "As an actor, you're always wanting to serve the writer, you want to get it right, you want to make sure that you're on track. So there's always a feeling of working, working, working, working so that you give what the writer and the director wants."

The actress plays the role of Gail who (spoiler alert!) makes the tough decision to leave her husband after a realisation that she was being mocked and undermined for the entirety of her marriage. Despite her husband's illness, Gail decided to put herself first. The storyline has sparked a mixed reaction from fans of the show – something that Alison herself also commented on. 

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bbc alison© Photo: BBC

The actress opened up about filming emotional scenes

"It's good to tell this story, and I think a lot of people at home will recognise that, and know someone in that position," began the actress. "I think audiences will either side with Gail or Henry, and will be shouting 'Don't you say that!' at the screen. There will be all these mixed emotions, and hopefully audiences will go on a journey."

The six-part series follows the life of Pilates teacher Anna, who now goes by the name of Belle and was the neighbour of Suranne Jones' character Gemma in the 2015 drama series Doctor Foster.

Elsewhere in the drama, it was revealed that Saira (played by Saira Choudhry), who was beginning a relationship with David (Adrian Lester), had in fact been in a relationship with David's late wife Kelly. Meanwhile, new-mum Hannah continues to navigate the difficult relationship between her baby's father and her fiancé Liam.

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