Thaddea Graham

THADDEA
GRAHAM

The Irregulars • Us • The Letter For The King

Photography: Jonah Lees and Thaddea Graham

Thaddea is the star of the new Netflix show, The Irregulars. The show is based on the Baker Street Irregulars from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels. Set in Victorian London, Thaddea plays Bea, the leader of the gang, who helps Doctor Watson investigate a series of mysterious, supernatural crimes happening in London. We sat down for a virtual interview with the Irish actress, to talk about Bea, the show and life in general.

THADDEA
GRAHAM

The Irregulars • Us • The Letter For The King

Photography: Jonah Lees and Thaddea Graham

Thaddea is the star of the new Netflix show, The Irregulars. The show is based on the Baker Street Irregulars from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels. Set in Victorian London, Thaddea plays Bea, the leader of the gang, who helps Doctor Watson investigate a series of mysterious, supernatural crimes happening in London. We sat down for a virtual interview with the Irish actress, to talk about Bea, the show and life in general.

THADDEA
GRAHAM

The Irregulars • Us • The Letter For The King

Photography: Jonah Lees and Thaddea Graham

Thaddea is the star of the new Netflix show, The Irregulars. The show is based on the Baker Street Irregulars from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels. Set in Victorian London, Thaddea plays Bea, the leader of the gang, who helps Doctor Watson investigate a series of mysterious, supernatural crimes happening in London. We sat down for a virtual interview with the Irish actress, to talk about Bea, the show and life in general.

Thaddea Graham
Thaddea Graham

THADDEA
GRAHAM

The Irregulars • Us • The Letter For The King

Photography: Jonah Lees and Thaddea Graham

Thaddea is the star of the new Netflix show, The Irregulars. The show is based on the Baker Street Irregulars from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels. Set in Victorian London, Thaddea plays Bea, the leader of the gang, who helps Doctor Watson investigate a series of mysterious, supernatural crimes happening in London. We sat down for a virtual interview with the Irish actress, to talk about Bea, the show and life in general.

Thaddea Graham

THADDEA
GRAHAM

The Irregulars • Us • The Letter For The King

Photography: Jonah Lees and Thaddea Graham

Thaddea is the star of the new Netflix show, The Irregulars. The show is based on the Baker Street Irregulars from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels. Set in Victorian London, Thaddea plays Bea, the leader of the gang, who helps Doctor Watson investigate a series of mysterious, supernatural crimes happening in London. We sat down for a virtual interview with the Irish actress, to talk about Bea, the show and life in general.

Thaddea Graham

THADDEA
GRAHAM

The Irregulars • Us • The Letter For The King

Photography: Jonah Lees and Thaddea Graham

Thaddea is the star of the new Netflix show, The Irregulars. The show is based on the Baker Street Irregulars from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels. Set in Victorian London, Thaddea plays Bea, the leader of the gang, who helps Doctor Watson investigate a series of mysterious, supernatural crimes happening in London. We sat down for a virtual interview with the Irish actress, to talk about Bea, the show and life in general.

THADDEA
GRAHAM

The Irregulars • Us • The Letter For The King

Photography: Jonah Lees and Thaddea Graham

Thaddea is the star of the new Netflix show, The Irregulars. The show is based on the Baker Street Irregulars from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels. Set in Victorian London, Thaddea plays Bea, the leader of the gang, who helps Doctor Watson investigate a series of mysterious, supernatural crimes happening in London. We sat down for a virtual interview with the Irish actress, to talk about Bea, the show and life in general.

Thaddea Graham
First off, how are you? Where are you currently at and how are the lockdown rules over there?

I'm currently in Cardiff. I'm actually not too sure of the local rules because I'm on a production at the minute. And the rules here are basically just isolate, isolate, isolate. We're being COVID-tested quite regularly, which is quite reassuring.


You star in the upcoming Netflix series The Irregulars, based on the Arthur Conan Doyle novels. The show is about the Baker Street Irregulars, a group known in the novels for helping Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson solve crimes. You play the leader of the gang, Bea. Can you tell us something about your character?

Bea is a headstrong, confident, very emotionally intelligent seventeen-year-old, whose entire driving force throughout the series is her little sister Jessie. Bea and Jessie's mother died when they were young and so Bea has had to step up and look after Jessie. And she doesn't take that lightly. She's had to grow up very quickly and she really looks after the rest of the gang as well. They all kind of look after each other actually. That's something that Bea definitely becomes more aware of as the series goes on. She doesn't have to figure out everything by herself. There are people around her and I think that's very reflective of life. There's always people around you, ready to support you in whatever way they can, even if you're not immediately aware of it. 


Did you grow up reading Arthur Conan Doyle books? Or did you read any of the books in preparation for the role?

I didn't grow up reading them actually. But my mother is an avid reader and she has this beautiful copy of the entire collection in one big book. I started reading that before we started shooting. But once I got the script, I kind of left the books alone. Although we're set in that world, we have created our own little version of it. We have a supernatural element that comes in that really sets us in a different vibe. I kind of just delved into the script and used Tom's creation as my little bible to prepare. And I spoke a lot to Tom about the overall arc of the story and Bea's story as well, He's very collaborative, patient and so articulate. Very humble and very grounded. I think he's just wonderful — I admire him a lot. 


Was there anything specific that drew you to the role? 

Oh my goodness. Bea is a dream role for me. I'd been watching Killing Eve and what Jodie Comer was doing with Villanelle.. that's such a nuanced character to delve into. There's so many different parts of her that Jodie can explore and have fun with. There's this very dark side, there's this comic side. It's a dream role. And then Bea landed in my lap and I thought, this is my Villanelle! There are so many sides to her that I got to play. There are light moments and there's the relationship with Jessie, with that sisterly bond in the forefront of it, which I think is so important to see. It really drew me in and it's just such a rich character and world to explore. 

Thaddea Graham
What was the biggest challenge playing Bea?  

The biggest challenge was not really to do with Bea, but just kind of as an actor, to sustain yourself over what turned out to be over a year long shoot. And kind of making sure that you have the energy to. Because you can easily fall into a trap of going home and working until like 4am and not be able to stop. And then go to sleep at 4am and get picked up at 5 or 6am again. hat's not a lot of sleep to start a 12-hour shooting day! So yeah, you have to really learn how to look after yourself. Make sure you sleep and eat properly. And sometimes step away and do things that aren't attached to the show at all, just to clear your head. 

Are you much like Bea yourself?

In many ways, I think I am. Well I hope that I have the same qualities as her. In terms of her perception of other people, her emotional intelligence and how she is not quick to judge anyone. There's a line that she says that has stuck with me — "it's too easy to just think that people are crazy". I love that line. Bea really looks at people and contemplates what has made them the way that they are. Other people may be quick to jump to conclusions and make judgments but Bea wants to see what's happened here and look at the human beneath it. And that's the beauty of all of our monsters of our show — they're human.

And was there a particular quality you specifically wanted to add to Bea’s character? 

I don't think I wanted to add anything to Bea because Tom has written her so beautifully! There's so many little facets and layers to her. I definitely wanted to tap into that heart that she has and the empathy and care. I think that is at the heart of it all. She's a very empathetic person and I wanted to make sure we felt her pain and her justified outbursts of emotion or rage or sadness. I think you really have to earn those moments. You can't just come in and cry at a level ten. You have to work your way up to that and I think Tom's writing did that. And I just had to make sure I was doing my job to lift that off the page and be sure we cared about her and were on her side before we hit those moments.


What was it like working with the rest of the cast? It must have been much fun on set! Did you all bond? And did it make filming easier?

Absolute awful. They were terrible, hated them all. No, it was an absolute dream! Everyone is so funny and so talented. It's a real honour to work alongside people like that. And nobody takes themselves too seriously, which I love. We basically play dress-up and make-belief all day. We work hard, we take it seriously, but it's really fun what we do and that is kind of infectious. We had a lot of fun on set and yeah we did all bond. And it did make filming easier as well. Not even just on-screen. But if you're having a tough day, we could kind of read each other. Especially Darci (Shaw) and I — we spent a lot of time together because of the nature of the scenes, but also outside of work.

Thaddea GrahamThaddea Graham
The show is set in Victorian London. You have been in a costume piece previously. Do you ever grow tired of costumes and elaborate sets?

No, absolutely not! I have zero fashion sense. I live my life in sweats and t-shirts and I never wear hair and makeup. So when I get to set, it's so much fun to be like — I'm a canvas, do what you want. Also, to collaborate with people who are so unbelievably talented and knowledgeable, was just a dream. I miss the trousers, those braces, the boots and the hair.. I miss it all. The only thing I don't miss is the fake dirt underneath my nails and ears!

You are a Chinese-born Irish actress playing the role. How important is Asian representation for you?

I think representation of any kind is very important. I think that it is important for all people to be able to see themselves on screen. I remember chatting to someone on set. I sat down in the trailer and she went, I just had to come up and say hello because I saw your headshot in the truck and I saw we had an Asian actor and I just had to come and say hello because I think that this is amazing. I looked at her and I thought, she gets it. She understands. I hadn't really felt that way until she said it. I think it's easy to get lost in the day-to-day of everything and forget that at some point, someone is going to watch this. And when you step away and look at what you've done, you truly realize the weight of it.


You play the piano, guitar, you sing, you photograph as well! How did your creative passions start?

I think it's always been a part of me. When I was young. I'd always been fascinated by this industry. It's just a hella of a lot of fun. And I've always been very expressive. I used to write short stories when I was little. Maybe that comes from being an only child. I had to create my own fun because I didn't have siblings to play with. Not that I was a loner, I have friends, I promise! But I think it stems from that.


Growing up, did you ever feel any pressure from your parents to do something else? 

It was the complete opposite. I was in my last year of secondary school. I was about to apply to Law or Psychology, with the hope of going into music therapy with kids. And my mom said, what are you doing? You're not going to be happy in that very strict, academic setting. You're not going to thrive, you're just going to be miserable. She'd done all this research and put together a file of all the auditions I could go through for drama school and we went through all of them and applied. She took me to London. I had never heard of drama school before so I saw it as a bit of fun and a chance to see what London was like and how the industry worked. I just really enjoyed the process and was open to whatever they threw at me. And then one of them took a chance on me. All of this is because of my mom and my dad — and I think they saw something in me that I didn't.

Thaddea Graham
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS


Iona or Bea?

I’m too frightened to answer that. Both would absolutely destroy me in their own way if I picked the other one!


Biggest influence in your life? 

100%, the people around me. Those who I’ve known forever and those who come and go like ships passing in the night.


Latest obsession?

Trees, no joke. At work I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors in beautiful locations and I’ve found myself just staring up at the treetops between takes. I’m sure I look like I’ve completely lost the plot, but I find them utterly intriguing. They take what they need, give back to the forest floor and continue their growth. There’s something very strong and beautiful and calming about them.


Memory from the past that haunts you? 

When I was about 12, we were on holiday and I bought a white chocolate magnum ice cream. I carried the precious goods back to the room and put it in the freezer to savour for the right moment. Only when we were halfway home did I realise that I’d waited too long and it was still in the freezer, alone, abandoned and uneaten. It genuinely upsets me now thinking about it!


Favourite Chinese saying?

Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.

Item in your closet you cannot ever let go of?

Iona’s gambeson that the costume department on The Letter for the King gave me to take home on wrap. It’s signed by the team with little messages and at the top it says Kia Kaha which means stay strong in Maori. If it wasn’t so loud and jangly because of the armour, I’d wear it every day!


Strangest thing that happened recently?

At work, someone saved a newt from getting trod on and picked it up to move it to a safer location. I was fascinated by the little thing as he tiptoed across my palm and I named him Jimmy Newtron. When I got back to the hotel, I was googling newt facts and learned that you shouldn’t handle them because in the wild they give off toxins which protects them from predators. And if ingested by humans, it can cause stomach problems.

Thaddea GrahamThaddea Graham
Thaddea on film: Chinese New Year in Liverpool • 221B Baker Street • the grownups • Eileen • home from the sky

Catch Thaddea Graham on The Irregulars from 26 March on Netflix.

Thaddea Graham

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