Hasina Haque stars as the new drama series
You were first seen in Casualty. What was the experience like for you?
I went into national theatre, did two plays one of which was Shakespeare before I landed Casualty. Once my big debut for the drama came along I was blessed to have worked with a brilliant cast and I had a wonderful character to play. I used to watch Casualty with my parents all the time. My character was a naive girl from Pakistan, who wanted to become a nurse and had a love interested with one of the guys. It was about her getting to grips with the UK. I had to do an Indian accent, which was really easy. People actually thought I trained in this accent!
How intense was it working on set?
Shooting was very demanding. It was a 12-hour shift and you could be jumping from different episodes, which meant putting yourself back in four weeks ago. It was great and I because my character was regular it was so easy to learn the script. I am always very committed to my job, constantly thinking about my character. They have left the character open, which is great but I also wanted to venture into new avenues and that’s where my new project called ‘Kidnap and Ransom’ came about!
You must’ve loved all the gore in casualty, right?
I never used to love watching it on screen but now it’s manned me up in a womanly way. In Casualty you have a medical team and they teach you everything so you know what to do. It can get quite gross on set but I’m alright with it now.
How does it feel knowing the nation is watching you on prime time TV?
I never see it like that. When I get a script I think about the story my character is trying to tell and if it comes across as believable. It’s people who stop me and remind me that I am on national TV.
Do you ever feel you are being type casted?
TV and film has a lot to do with how you look and Casualty is great as it represents what A&E is today, it represents reality and is not made up. There is no such thing as Asian roles. I’m an actor and want to play lots of different roles so it’s up to us to stay positive and change it.
How did Kidnap and Ransom come about?
It’s a three-part drama airing in Thursday. Once I finished Casualty I had a meeting with Trevor Eve to be part of the second series. The character is brilliant and Michael Crompton who wrote the piece really takes you places. My character has so many layers and it’s wonderful that it was left open so that I could put in my own inspiration. The script was brilliant.
The film was set in Kashmir…
It’s set in Kashmir but filmed in Cape Town. The way the set was transformed from the sand dust to the actual bus was incredible.
What was it like playing a kidnapper?
The start of my character shows that she isn’t set out to be a kidnapper, it was something that was set upon her but wasn’t her intention. She is a straight A student and eventually turns into a kidnapper and finds herself in a bus hostage and the whole entire journey escalates and gets into deep trouble. She did not intend for this and you see her struggle where she hits her lowest. The script has so many twists and turns and it gets deeper. Being in that mindset was very demanding and you had to constantly stay focused.
The bus scenes must’ve been quite intense…
The whole shoot was shot in a special way. The bus scenes felt like we were actually living there. We ate pakora’s, samosa’s, played games, and stank like hell, looked like crap. There was a lot of love / hate relationship with the cast that caused the actual drama. Some scenes were quite horrific and in that situation you don’t know what to do. One scene involved my character contacting the organiser after so many days wanting to quit but her life is in danger, the steaks are so high. I had to read out one line saying that I didn’t want to do this anymore and it was really hard hitting.
What did you learn from this drama?
It made me realise how people cope in life/death situations and having people’s lives in your hands is terrifying. Your life flashes before you.
What image changes did you go through?
We spent a couple of days in a fabric warehouse holding the hostages who had lack of sleep, were exhausted and sweating so we had to represent just that. I remember people shouting that they need more sweat on me but I had enough of that!
Can you relate to your character?
I haven’t been kidnapped but I can relate to the feeling of my character being homesick. Your family is your family and they are the ones that make you. It comes down to security and I’m a great believer of love and people who have been hurt shouldn’t stop. There’s nothing more wonderful than loving somebody and I would sacrifice if someone really made me happy.
What’s your one dream character?
It has to be Cleopatra!
Hasina will appear in Kidnap and Ransom series 2, Thursday 23rd February, ITV1, 9pm