The Deceived: How did Ophelia actress prepare for role? 'It was difficult to phase out'

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The Deceived has just started airing on Channel 5 and the eerie series stars Emmett J Scanlan as university lecturer Michael Callaghan. He starts an affair with one of his students, Ophelia (Emily Reid), and shortly after his wife Roisin (Catherine Walker) dies. Her death drives Ophelia mad and fans are wondering how Reid prepared for her role – she spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to reveal all.

How did Ophelia actress Emily Reid prepare for the role?

In the series, which is set in Northern Ireland, Ophelia travelled to Ireland to find Michael at his family home – known as the house at Knockdara.

As soon as she arrived at the huge manor house, she started to feel uneasy and sensed a dark history.

She is haunted by the fact Roisin knew about her affair with Michael before she died, and she started to see manifestations of Roisin around the house.

The spooky goings on make Ophelia believe she is losing her mind, and actress Reid does an excellent job at portraying such a vulnerable character.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk she said: “Preparation is really interesting because it begins in a similar manner for me for every role but then always veers off in different directions depending on what is required.

READ MORE: The Deceived: Is Roisin really dead? 

“In this case I made sure I didn’t make any presumptions about the emotional experiences Ophelia goes through.

“I wanted to make sure I was incredibly sensitive in that regard. I drew on some elements in my own life, as one always does, but then the majority of it came down to a combination of research, imagination and total presence on the day.

“I like to leave room for the unexpected as well, it makes it exciting and organic.”

She said it was difficult to switch off from such an emotionally-charged role, as Ophelia starts to show signs of mental instability.

Reid said: “Sometimes it is difficult to phase out after filming. Especially when it’s been a particularly emotionally draining day.

Speaking more about her character, Reid said: “Ophelia’s obsession manifests for such a range of reasons.

“She’s in awe of her for a start because Roisin is an incredibly admirable woman and a fabulous writer, who Ophelia has been a fan of even before her relationship with Micheal.

“Ophelia is also somewhat of an isolated character and she’s lonely in a lot of ways.

“It was important to tap into a deeper psychological reason as to why the obsession takes root so fully and that was a personal process for me as an actor to discover.”

Ophelia started to grow suspicious of Michael after she found messages from Roisin’s friend Ruth (Shelley Conn) on their computer.

Ruth suggested Roisin had been scared the same night she died, and Ophelia started to believe Michael was hiding something.

Fans have shared their thoughts on the series so far on social media, with one saying on Twitter: “You genuinely need to serve this with a ‘reminder to breathe’ disclaimer. So tense!”

Another fan said: “This is so good and tense, can’t wait until tomorrow night.”

The four-part series is airing daily on Channel 5, with the final episode airing on Thursday, August 6.

The Deceived continues on Channel 5 at 9pm



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