Interview: Miranda and Waterloo Road’s Sarah Hadland

Hi, Sarah! Can you tell us a bit about Stevie and what it’s like playing her?

Stevie Sutton is the best friend of the show’s lead, Miranda. She manages (quite badly) Miranda’s joke shop for her. She aspires to be on The Apprentice and thinks she is very efficient but actually is just as rubbish as Miranda…

Are there any similarities between you and her? 

I love playing Stevie – especially the slapstick comedy – and to be working with such lovely funny people like Miranda and Sally and Patricia is just brilliant. Stevie and I are both bossy and love a clipboard. Interestingly, we share the same height of 5 foot, 1 and a half inches…

Stevie is famed for her impressions of Heather Small. What was it like working with the woman herself for Comic Relief?

Doing the impression to her face was a bit weird, but she was so lovely and when she sang back at me it was incredible. Her voice is just SO powerful; it was like a wave of sound, very impressive. Also she had my face on a stick, which made it equally weird as I stood there holding her face on a stick!

Did you anticipate Miranda would do so well?

We are all  thrilled and amazed the show has been such a hit. We were so nervous doing the first series as we just didn’t know how it would be received. Turns out people falling over is still funny.

Is playing Linda in Waterloo Road very different?

She’s a psycho – it’s fabulous! I couldn’t have asked for a more contrasting character to Stevie Sutton. I think most actors relish playing someone twisted! Everyone loves a baddie, so it’s great to be in such a different role.

How did you first get into acting?

Getting into acting for me was a long journey – I began in musical theatre but loved playing the character parts the most and really wanted to act. As I couldn’t afford to retrain at drama school I just tried to get experience doing plays on the fringe for no money, learning as I went. There is, or at least was then, huge snobbery towards musical theatre ‘twirlies’ and it was hard work to even get seen for jobs. I was determined though and it paid off.

What has been your favourite job to date?

It’s hard to pick a favourite job but two jobs do stand out: Confetti, an improvised feature film. I auditioned on location and next thing I was improvising on camera with Alison Steadman as my mum, Jessica Hynes as my sister and Martin Freeman as my future brother in law! I put my dance past to use as horrific cruise ship dancer Jen, who was the sister-in-law from hell. My joint favourite also features Jessica – she wrote Learners, a comedy drama that I played Fiona in,  opposite Jessica and David Tennant in a love triangle. It was bliss to be doing comedy and drama with two such brilliant actors who can do both equally well. I loved it and it was a dream come true to work with those actors. I feel very lucky to do both comedy and drama – it’s what I always hoped to do.

Is there an actor you’ve particularly enjoyed working with?

I did a small part in a film called Now is Good this year and got to work with Paddy Considine – he is one of my favourite actors working today. His ability to express simmering rage  and be utterly terrifying, and then to make you laugh, is genius.

Can you tell us something that the public may not know about you?

I love camping – tents not drag, although I am a fan of that too!

What’s your favourite TV show?

Easy – The Killing, Danish version obviously.

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