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Nicola Walker reveals why she almost never starred in The Split

The actress stars as Hannah Defoe in the drama

hannah the split
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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Nicola Walker has revealed that she almost didn't play Hannah Defoe in the BBC's popular legal drama, The Split, which returns on Monday. 

MORE: The real reason why The Split is coming to an end after three seasons

In an interview with the Daily Mail's Weekend Magazine, the actress revealed that she didn't think that she would land the role and gave casting directors a list of five other actresses to choose from. 

WATCH: Nicola Walker has fans 'sobbing' in teaser trailer for new drama

"The scripts are incredible but I thought, 'There's no way I'm going to get this job,'" she explained. 

"I'd never played that woman - a woman so successful and seemingly so together. I was coming from trying to fix a tractor in an old man's shirt in Last Tango [in Halifax], so I gave them the names of five actresses who could do the role."

MORE: Nicola Walker has fans sobbing in The Split series three trailer

MORE: Everything you need to know about The Split star Nicola Walker

The 51-year-old went on to admit that she found it "difficult" getting into character for the show. "Then when I got the job, I found it daunting - the slick wardrobe and the manicures," she said. "I found all of that difficult to begin with. It took until season two for me to start thinking, 'Ok, I've got Hannah's professional armour on. That's her." 

the split nicola nathan© Photo: BBC

Nicola revealed that she didn't think she'd land the BBC role

Nicola also teased the upcoming third and final series, which will see divorce lawyers Hannah and Nathan go through their own rocky separation. Explaining that viewers can expect a "very bumpy ride", she said: "Hannah has hit rock bottom, so, for me, it was really interesting to play someone who's got to look at herself in the mirror before she leaves for work every day. And she's beginning to understand what being honest to everyone really means. 

"It was fantastic actually, as I like playing people with ordinary human failings," she added. 

the split nicola© Photo: BBC

Nicola stars as Hannah Defoe in the popular drama

Series two ended on a huge cliffhanger after Nathan came to learn that his spouse had been having an affair with Hannah's work colleague and former boyfriend, Christie. Viewers watched as Hannah sobbed on the stairs after discovering the wedding ring that Nathan had abandoned upon leaving the family home. 

The new series is set ten months after the couple's marriage ended and we find the two lawyers negotiating their divorce.

The Split returns to BBC One on 4 April 2022 at 9pm, and seasons one and two are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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