Jessica Raine: 'Leaving Call the Midwife wasn't so terrifying'

It takes a lot of bravery to walk away from a leading role in a hit BBC drama that made you a household name, but Jessica Raine says she didn't feel nervous at all about walking away from Call The Midwife last year.

"I'd spent four years after drama school doing incredible theatre where I never knew where the next job was coming from," says Jessica. "So leaving Call The Midwife wasn't as terrifying as it might have been because I'd already experienced that."

"It's just your life and you never know what's coming next and I kind of enjoy that," she explains. "I've been lucky and worked very hard, but I just can't stress enough how no actor has a career plan!"

Jessica plays young mum Jules Sutter in Fortitude, Sky Atlantic's star-studded new 11 part thriller set in the icy wilderness of the Arctic Circle...

With a raft of famous actors including Michael Gambon, Stanley Tucci and Christopher Eccleston on board, Jessica said the opportunity was too good to miss.

"The first read-through was pretty intense," she explains. "I was sitting next to Michael Gambon and Stanley Tucci which was pretty incredible. I had a lot of scenes to record with Michael Gambon and he's a real joker, he's so naughty on set!"

With Fortitude being filmed in a far-flung corner of Iceland, there was plenty of wilderness to explore for those who enjoy the outdoors and Jessica even had producers in a flap when she went exploring on her own.

"One day there was a big snowfall and I was like 'Brilliant!' I went off exploring, which made some people very dangerous because the landscape can be quite dangerous."

Despite her adventures and an arduous shoot, Jennifer says the whole cast found plenty of time to share a few drinks in the evenings.

"All the cast were holed up in the same hotel so we'd often have boozy meet-ups in the evening. I was actually much more social out in the middle of nowhere than I usually am in London!"

Fortitude continues on Sky Atlantic on Thursday, February 5

Sean Marland
Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV, TV & Satellite Week and

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.