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Exclusive: Oona Chaplin talks challenges filming Netflix's Treason and why Charlie Cox wouldn't make a good Bond

The actress plays Maddy in the drama

oona chaplin spotlight
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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Treason is Netflix's latest TV offering in the form of a gripping spy thriller, which made its debut on Boxing Day and is the perfect treat for a festive binge. Its star, Oona Chaplin, caught up with HELLO! to chat about working on the drama - and revealed why she thinks her co-star Charlie Cox wouldn't make a good James Bond.

MORE: Christmas TV guide 2022: the best shows to watch this festive season

The actress, who is the granddaughter of British film icon Charlie Chaplin, has appeared in a number of successful shows and films over the years, including Game of Thrones, Taboo and the new Avatar sequel: The Way of Water, to name a few. 

WATCH: Catch the trailer for the gripping spy series below


Add Treason to the list, which follows Charlie's character Adam Lawrence, an MI6 agent whose career is on the rise until his past catches up with him in the form of Russian spy, Kara. Starring as Adam's wife Maddy, Oona spoke about the challenges she faced getting into character and her favourite moment with her on-screen husband. 

Tell us a bit about Treason 

Treason is a classic spy show in some ways, but in other ways, it's a family drama. And I think that's what I like about it is it goes into the aspect of what being a spy in the high offices of MI6 does to a family. And so the kids, Ella and Callum, they're very big parts of it. Then Maddy is Adam's wife and Maddy is one of the most loving and caring characters that I've ever played. 

Her capacity for love is so so big. Just as an illustration of it, she's adopted Charlie's kids. You know, they're grown kids but the way that she loves them and takes care of them and is really, really there for them in very deep and meaningful ways, it really inspired me to learn from that character. 

Was it your character Maddy that drew you to the project?

Yes, it was. I haven't seen or read very many characters that embody care and integrity and love in the way that Maddy does. And even though it gets her into some tricky situations, I feel like she's a very inspiring role and I wanted to embody that so that I could feel what that feels like and feel the kind of mentality and brain and heart that is driving her.

oona chaplin cover

What was filming like?  

We had a really good time on set. I had the great, immense, huge blessing of working with Charlie Cox, who is a really wonderful human and a very wise man and a very gifted actor. So I was in heaven for the whole time because I was like, I can't ask for a better time than this. 

MORE: 9 Christmas movies that are coming out in 2022

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Were there any challenging moments during filming?  

There were a couple of bits that were challenging. I think for me as a woman, it's very, very difficult to imagine what it feels like to have your child's life put at risk. 

Imagining what that feels like is such a stretch for me because I don't have children of my own and I haven't adopted any either. I have godchildren, though, and so I was trying to like reach that. I can't imagine anything that would bring out the lioness more. 

beau gadsdon oona chaplin samuel leakey© Photo: Netflix

Oona with her on-screen children, Beau Gadsdon and Samuel Leakey

Then another piece was marrying the world of spying, which is founded on lies, to the world of integrity, which in my mind is founded on truth. It's possible because you can hold multiple ideas in your mind and be fine with it, but that piece was like, wow. I don't know how much I would trust my husband if he was a spy. How much can you really trust them because their whole job is to deceive people in order to get information for ulterior motives that are surely very honourable, in most instances.

Did you have to do any training in preparation for the role? 

One of the things that I can reveal about my character Maddy is that she was a captain in the army. She's not in the army anymore, she's now a physical therapist but she's had that training. It was curious to feel the softness of motherhood that she has settled into and then have to reactivate that military focus training for fight scenes. It was really, really cool to embody that reactivation. 

We actually went to train with this amazing guy who helped me with gun training. He's the brother of one of the producers and is a really, really lovely man. It was such an honour to witness the kind of discipline and self-mastery that somebody who's actually been in the army can have.

charlie cox© Photo: Netflix

Charlie and Oona play on-screen husband and wife, Adam and Maddy

There are lots of twists and turns in the series. What was your reaction to reading the script?

There were a fair amount of surprises for sure when reading the script and also there were a few updates and a few changes that were made halfway through where we were like, 'Oh, God, that's happening now?'  

So that was fun. And then there was one particular piece that the production had to actually call me and go like, 'Are you sitting down because we've made a change and now this is what's going to happen.'

It was a total game-changer.

Do you have like a favourite memory from filming?

There was one scene with Charlie and I. We were in a house out in the sticks and we have a lot to talk about. We're like basically unravelling with one another, trying to come to terms with one another and come to an understanding. So there's a lot going on.

There's so many threads that are getting woven in this one scene. 

Charlie and I went and rehearsed it with Sarah, the director. We got to a place within that scene that is like the magic of this job, it was freaking electric. We just got the emotional landscape of it. We got the intention, the intensity, we got the relationship, we got the lines. It was so much fun to shoot that scene. 

It's what I live for because often in TV, you don't get that kind of time but they gave us that time for that scene. It was just electric and so much fun.

oona chaplin charlie cox© Photo: Netflix

Oona would love to work with Charlie again

Would you like to do another series? 

Yeah man, of course. Absolutely. Matt is an amazing writer and human and the whole production team, I feel like there's a lot of good thought that gets put into the making of this show. It'd be an honour to work with those guys again. 

I would work with Charlie Cox on anything at any moment at any time. He is just such a gem of a human being. 

Do you think Charlie would make a good James Bond? 

No. I don't think he'd make a good Bond because he has too much heart. You can see, he's a really good man and Bond can't be a very good man. 

He's got honour and dignity, he's a freakin' ninja, you know, but being a good man isn't what he is. With Charlie, you can see his heart in his eyes. But maybe, he's also a very gifted actor, so [expletive] it.  

Maybe he was just putting this on because this is the character that he had to play. Maybe if he got given the chance to play by Bond, he would make a really badass ninja killer.

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