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Marriage: Nicola Walker 'relates' to character's personal grief in new drama

The actress is starring in the BBC drama opposite Sean Bean

nicola walker in marriage
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
August 21, 2022
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Nicola Walker has opened up about understanding the grief her character Emma faces on BBC's latest drama, Marriage.

MORE: Marriage cast defends BBC drama after fans make same complaint

The actress, who is known and adored for her roles in other popular shows such as The Split and Unforgotten, was chatting in a new interview when she revealed she could relate to her character's grief due to her own personal experience with it.

WATCH: Marriage on BBC starring Nicola Walker and Sean Bean

Discussing her character not being able to tackle the grief of losing her child, Nicholas, Nicola said: "Emma can't talk about this thing that has happened because it's too big. When she lets even a squeak out of it, it’s followed by a complete emotional breakdown," she told Radio Times.

She continued: "I feel that about grief. When I lost my mum – a long time ago now – there was a month or six-week period when I felt that someone had pulled back the curtain in The Wizard of Oz and I really felt I saw the world for what it was: a very frightening place.

MORE: Marriage: Viewers make same complaint about new BBC drama

MORE: Everything you need to know about Marriage star Sean Bean's own love life

marriage sean and nicola© Photo: BBC

Are you a fan of the show?

"Then, slowly, the curtain comes across again because you can’t live at the sharp end of grief. And that's what Ian and Emma have had to achieve."

All four episodes of Marriage, which also sees Sean Bean portray her on-screen husband, Ian, are available on the iPlayer now and many have binged through the entire boxset before it airs on TV.

Throughout the episodes, viewers are shown the inner workings of Ian and Emma's relationship and their struggles including loss, family tensions and arguments are played out on screen.

sean bean and nicola marriage© Photo: BBC

Sean Bean also stars

Towards the end, the couple's battle with grief comes to a head when their daughter, Jessica, encourages her parents to speak about their feelings more. To find out more about the finale of Marriage, read our ending explainer, here.

Meanwhile, although some viewers have branded the drama "boring", others have praised its heart-wrenching story. "Read a lot of negative stuff about this show but I'm gripped. Extraordinary performances. Gimlet-eyed writing, courage of conviction. Heartbreaking and blood-curdling."

A second agreed, tweeting: "#marriage one of the best dramas I have seen on #bbc for ages. So compelling and unusual. Love the use of silence and there are so many scenes I am going back to, to study the acting. Bravo to everyone on the making of this." 

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