Acorn TV has a new series coming out called The Other One, and it’s on our radar. The storyline is dark and somewhat devastating, but with it being told in the framework of a comedy, it is easily digestible. And bingeable, with all seven episodes premiering today (August 10).
When Colin Walcott (Simon Greenwall) unexpectedly passes away, his wife and daughter learn that he had a secret family up the road, with a long-time mistress and a second daughter. Both his daughters are named Catherine, with one going by Cathy and the other by Cat.
We had the chance to speak with series lead Lauren Socha during a phone interview, graciously set up by our friends over at Acorn TV.
The call started off so friendly and fun, with Lauren providing quite the ice breaker, practically singing, “Hellooooo, Brigid. My grandmother’s name is Bridget. We call her Brighty.”
It was a such a sweet way to meet someone for the first time, and from there we got into the nitty gritty of all the good stuff going on with Lauren these days.
Lauren stars in The Other One as Cat, opposite Ellie White as her sister Cathy and Siobhan Finneran (Downton Abbey) and Rebecca Front (The Thick of It) as their mums, respectively.
It made us think, which one is the “other one.” For example, one might say, “That’s the other sister.” Depending on the situation and who is speaking, either Cat or Cathy might fall into that category. But, nope, the series’ title is definitely referring to Lauren’s character, as no one knew Cat existed until the girls’ father passed away.
Lauren helped explain the meaning of the title and its intent, saying, “They (the two sisters) obviously didn’t know each other. So, I’d sort of like to believe that the character I play, Cat, is probably more drawn to be the other one.”
She also pointed out that their names play a role in the differentiation, saying, “I think the norm, especially in Britain, is to have a ‘Cathy’ more than a ‘Cat.’ So, I probably see myself being more of the other one. We (Cat and her mother) were sort of the black sheep of the family. We were kind of in the background, if that makes sense?”
It does make sense. And, it’s nice to know there is a tangible answer and that this Q is on point.
If you’ve had a chance to watch some of the preview clips, you’ll see that Cat is this very loving, free-spirited, inclusive girl. She goes out of her way to make people feel comfortable.
Here’s a peek at what we mean by that:
We understand that Cat is a character, and the words and actions are written for Lauren, but at the same time, it seems like Lauren puts a lot of herself into the role. Like, we can feel her energy bouncing off-the-screen.
We asked Lauren about this, with her saying, “Yeah, I think, I am quite like that. I’ve got an older brother, Michael (who is also an actor, starring in Electric Dreams), and I feel massively grateful that I have a big brother. And not many people have that, where they can get along. I’m kind of a bubbly person anyway, but you can take a bad situation and turn it into a good one. And I think Cat really plays that well. She’s not bothered about much. I think she just wants to make her sister a part of her life.”
In the series, we first meet Cat at her father’s funeral. Lauren describes her interpretation of the scene and what Cat may have been going through, saying, “It was just her and her mum on one side and then a whole bunch of people on the other side. I feel like she may have felt possibly awkward around it. But, by the end of it, the funeral, she was incredibly hopeful and excited that she had found a sister.”
Things could have gone much differently, and that’s a really positive way of looking at a situation that is so intense.
In regards to Lauren herself, we first met her as Kelly in the supernatural series Misfits (2009-2011). And, she was our favorite misfit (and not just ours, she won a BAFTA for her performance in 2011). With that said, it made us wonder what it’s like to go from an ensemble cast to taking the lead.
Lauren talked about going from the “rough as nails” Kelly to the sweet and humbled Cat, saying, “You know what, when filming Misfits, Kelly was massively angry and hard. You get typecast a lot of the time and then all of a sudden to be thrown into this bubbly, happy, charming, nice kind of character, it was such a pleasure to do that, because I’ve always played such rough people.”
She seems to have really enjoyed changing things up, going from dark and gritty to a story of hope and renewal.
The Other One deals with complex situations like death, adultery and betrayal. We see all four women attempt to put the pieces together and move on. While the topics are heavy, it’s told through the lens of a comedy, which helps take some of the edge off.
We wondered if these topics came up on-set and were a way for the actresses to get to know each other a bit more? Lauren agreed that these topics do provide a starting off point for conversations, saying, “Yeah, I think we all found ourselves saying stuff like that. ‘Oh that happened to my friend, and my friend said that…’ I think we all found ourselves having a connection with the actual storyline.”
It’s a true testament to a project, whether it be TV or movies, when the viewer is still thinking about it afterward, possibly sometimes through to the next day. And The Other One seems to fall into that category.
We asked Lauren what she hopes the viewer takeaway is, with her saying, “I’d like to think that it’s funny. And funny to you lot (North Americans, U.S. and Canada). And you guys think it’s good, that’s a good thing. I think people will enjoy it. I don’t see why not?”
That is such a great attitude toward managing expectations. And, we agree, “Why not?”
And while Lauren is a seasoned actress and has a solid CV, she still gets excited when learning she has landed a role. She did audition for Cat, but it turns out the character was written with her in mind, which she didn’t learn until much later.
That makes complete sense to us, as it felt like the role was written for her when watching the series.
Since we had Lauren on the phone, it seemed like the right moment to ask what her “a-ha” moment was when getting into acting, i.e. like when she definitely knew this was for her.
Her answer is AHmazing, with Lauren saying that at 15-years-old she starred in a music video for the Arctic Monkeys. She didn’t explain how she got the gig and landed on the set of a music video, but she said that she did not want to go home at the end of the day. She said after filming finished, “I cried my eyes out.”
The video, also starring Stephen Graham (Line of Duty), has some NSFW language, but if you’d like to give it a watch, you can do so over at YouTube.
She went on to say, “I just sort of wanted it from the get-go. So, yeah, that was the moment.”
A lot of times actors don’t necessarily have the time to watch TV, as they’re busy making it. But, even so, we asked the question, what’s on Lauren’s watch list? We were pleasantly surprised by her answer, with her rattling off two genres without even having to think about it, including reality TV and gritty drama.
She expanded on the answer, saying, “I really like reality television, believe it or not. I’m a big fan of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Only Way Is Essex. All of the reality stuff, I love. But I do like dark, gritty drama. I love a lot of Shane Meadows’ stuff (This Is England).”
It’s a funny coincidence, because this writer definitely indulges in reality programs like Real Housewives of NYC and killer thrillers like, oh, you know, Killing Eve. It does make us wonder, what does it say to enjoy the dark side of content? As well, the genres are such extremes, but both deal with some serious drama (bickering/murdering).
And Lauren agrees, saying, “Exactly. It makes me feel sort of blessed, that my life is not that messed up. You just get so indulged in it. It’s a bit mad.”
It’s not mad, it makes sense to us (or, maybe we’re a bit mad, too).
With all of that said, now that we’ve had a catch-up with Lauren, it’s time to get to watching her new series The Other One, written by Holly Walsh (Dead Boss), with all seven episodes premiering on Acorn TV today (August 10).
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