The Mill's Laura Main: 'They added dirt instead of makeup!'

(Image credit: Ryan Mcnamara)

Laura Main was happy to dress down for her new role in Channel 4 period drama The Mill (opens in new tab).

The actress, who also plays nun-turned-doctor's wife Shelagh Turner in Call the Midwife (opens in new tab), joins the cast for the show's second series as Rebecca Howlett, the matriarch of an impoverished migrant family from the south of England who turn up at the mill in search of work, while Doctors (opens in new tab)' Mark Frost plays her husband John.

However, Laura knew from the outset that is wasn't going to be a glamorous part.

"As I went for the audition, I thought: 'I don’t reckon this is a makeup part,' so I went without and actually it’s not just no makeup, they added dirt as well!," Laura told TV & Satellite Week (opens in new tab).

"It's so authentic though and I just threw myself into it, but I when I put on Rebecca's white cap, I did think: 'Ooh, is this a wimple again?!'"

The Mill returns on Sunday July 20 at 9pm on on Channel 4 at 9pm.

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.


Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.


Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.


In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.