Hubble Bubble, Toil and Trouble


Supernatural drama Hex returns to Sky One this September. Elise Harris talked to some of the cast about their haunting show

Cult British series have been thin on the ground in recent years – although what with Doctor Who returning and the new series of Hexstarting again this autumn, maybe all that’s about to change for the better.

Jemima Rooper, Thelma in the show, found it hard to talk about the first series because of certain events that happened in the second episode. Now there are no such restrictions.

It was really weird because when I was doing press for the first series I couldn’t, obviously, reveal that I died and so it all came as a bit of a shock. All I could say was ‘well she’s a girl…” and I was just dying to say “ I play a lesbian ghost.”’

Her character drowned early on in the series, but still managed to be a key character. This season her ghostly character has learned how to change her outfit and hairstyle. The actress herself has also lost some weight.

Although most right-thinking grown-up liked and respected Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jemima thinks comparisons between Buffy and Hex are misleading.

I think that Hex has a wider audience than Buffy. A lot of people have sat down and enjoyed it – a lot more adults than maybe watch Buffy. I think Buffy is narrower in that market. There’s a lot of mythology behind the supernatural stuff in Hex, about the history of England.’

She describes the show as ‘Very English. It’s obviously high concept but it’s chilling, subtle and tongue in cheek.’

As it’s set in a school, the staff also have a very important role to play in the story. Colin Salmon, tipped by some to be the next James Bond (he played Charles Robinson in Die Another Day) is the headmaster, and Anna Wilson Jones (Tim’s ex-girlfriend inSpaced) who also worked with Jemima on As If plays friendly teacher Jo.

Jemima says, ‘She [Anna] plays a character who is a teacher who’s lovely and incredibly good at her job – and still most of the students don’t acknowledge that. She has a very nice relationship with Cassie, she’s been coaching Cassie as well.’

Series two sees heroine Cassie (Christina Cole) trying to keep on the right side of the ambiguous fallen angel Azazeal (Michael Fassbender). The child she had with him at the end of series one has grown at an accelerated rate, and (like Damien from The Omen )it could be a danger to humanity.

Michael Fassbender thinks the series is bigger and grander than it was last year. ‘I think we’ve learned a lot about what we could have done differently. ‘There’s more money involved.’ he says.

Azazeal is charismatic and irresistible, and ‘just a bit misunderstood’. Michael thinks there are elements of the character in him. ‘There are dark elements in everyone. I relate to his ambition – and he’s quite focused.

I don’t know if he’s evil at all. He’s just driven. Quite Machiavellian. The ends justifies the means – people have to get killed along the way. Shit happens.’

He says, ‘The idea for Azazeal is in the Bible – I couldn’t really find it, I don’t think every edition has it – but it’s there somewhere!’

(An angel called Azazel appears in The Book of Enoch.)

It’s the story of the Nephilim who were god or angels who fell for mortal women and were cast out from heaven. He was the leader and he’s trying to get them all back and challenge the authority of god.’

There is another Nephilim in the new series, an older character who was created to highlight the fact the Nephilim are ancient beings. But Azazeal is still in charge.

Just don't call him evil.

Series 2 of Hex started on Sky One on September 18, 2005 at 9pm, the making of Hex was on an hour earlier (8pm)

Copyright Elise Harris, all rights reserved.

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