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Questions with Rosie Cavaliero

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Prey star Rosie Cavaliero portrays Susan Reinhardt, a determined (and grumpy) Detective Sergeant tasked with solving two high-stakes cases. Here she discusses playing a character who isn’t always easy to like, the series’ tough chase scenes, and DS Reinhardt’s new relationship.

In Season 1, how did audiences react to your character?

Cavaliero: The funny thing was, a lot of people didn’t initially like my character. After the first episode they’d say, “I don’t really like her, she’s horrible, she’s not very good at her job, she’s not very sympathetic,” which I thought was great! It’s nice to play someone who’s not particularly liked. But by the end of the season, they’d all grown to like her and were really routing for her. So that was an interesting reaction.

What sets Susan apart from the other female detectives on TV?

Cavaliero: Prey is different and the team behind it didn’t go for the obvious glamour woman when casting Susan. She’s pretty fallible and she makes mistakes. There’s an overall low-key look and feel to her — she’s underplayed in every sense. There’s not a lot of make up or hairstyling, and her clothes aren’t particularly glamorous. But I think she’s quite funny and witty in her own grumpy way! I think lots of people found Susan quite refreshing as a character, because it was nice to see someone being a bit more realistic and normal looking.

What do we know about this season’s prey?

Cavaliero: Reinhardt and her new partner, DC Richard Iddon (played by Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), don’t know much other than the fact that a female prisoner called Jules Hope (played by MyAnna Buring) has escaped from a hospital. Prison Officer David Murdoch (played by Philip Glenister) was with her at the time, and now he isn’t accounted for either, so Reinhardt and Iddon are trying to piece together what little information they have and track them down.

Tell us about Susan and her new partner’s dynamic.

Cavaliero: It’s quite a funny dynamic. Iddon is young and ambitious while Susan’s older and quite jaded. She finds him annoying because he’s super keen, and in being super keen he makes mistakes — so she treats him like a child. She’s really bossy and always putting him down. At times she can be pretty vile, though on a couple of occasions he does deserve it because he’s a bit impulsive. As the series unfolds they do develop a slightly closer relationship. Iddon admires and likes Susan as a colleague, and he dares to say things to her that others probably wouldn’t, because he’s quite self-confident and believes in his own ability.

What is the state of Susan’s personal life in Season 2?

Cavaliero: She’s moved on a bit. Emotionally, she’s not still obsessing about her ex. She’s kind of over him and in a new relationship with a guy called Phil (played by Kieran O’Brien). She’s trying to have a go at maintaining a normal, conventional relationship, but at the same time she’s a workaholic. When her job gets interesting, that completely takes all of her focus. She’s also considering a career change. Her peer in the first series, Ashley Chan (played by Ben Wong), got promoted and she didn’t, so she’s feeling like she’s not quite on track with her career. She loves her work, but is contemplating going into police teaching. There’s also probably a side to Susan that wants to run from the relationship with Phil, since she doesn’t really know what she wants. She’s a bit of a commitment-phobe.

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Was the role still physically demanding?

Cavaliero: For me this season wasn’t quite as demanding as the first. I still had lots of running and chasing, but I didn’t have quite as much as I did last time. I’d say Philip and MyAnna cover most of the physical activity. They both had some really tough scenes to deliver, especially as they’re handcuffed for quite a lot of the story too!

What was it like working with your new co-stars?

Cavaliero: Because of how the story plays out, I don’t actually have a lot of scenes with Philip and MyAnna. Most of my scenes are with Nathan, and then a few are with Ralph Ineson and Kieran O’Brien. We all met at the read through and then again in rehearsal time. Because everyone’s so easy to get along with, we all just seemed to click when it came to being on set together!

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See what Rosie Cavaliero’s Season 1 costar John Simm has to say about working with the actress and his brutal on-set injury.

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