Eva Pope explains why she quit Waterloo Road
Waterloo Road star Eva Pope describes filming her final scenes as bride-to-be Rachel Mason and giving up the head’s office to Amanda Burton! Your exit is a cliffhanger. Did you have any input into how you would leave? “I didn’t have much of a say in it, but I do think she deserved a nice, fun exit considering the amount of trauma she’s been through over the years.” How have you enjoyed your whirlwind romance? “It’s been scary for Rachel and it took a strong person to make her even consider getting married. She’s thinking, 'This is it. I’m just going to leap straight in and not question it too much, otherwise I might not go through with it.' That’s why it all happens so quickly.” Do you think Rachel and Adam are well-suited? “Rachel’s an extremely strong woman and it takes a lot for someone to be able to be her equal. It takes someone of equal strength to get inside her life because she doesn’t like to let anyone get too close. Adam sees that and opens up her vulnerability. Steven Waddington was great fun to work with and I enjoyed playing that relationship with him. It’s been one of my favourite storylines.” What about your previous relationship with deputy-head Eddie Lawson (played by Neil Morrissey)? “The fans really loved Rachel and Eddie’s relationship, but after Melissa got pregnant the storyline couldn’t have been changed. Neil wanted to move on and I was glad to get new blood into the show – it always gives it a lift.” Will you miss playing Rachel? “I loved the character and she has had so much support from fans of the show that I feel like I might have let them down by going. But it’s always good to move on. I’ve never stayed on anything as long as this – three years for me is unheard of.” What else will you miss? “The cast. It was such a lovely family atmosphere there. We all got on really well and I miss that connection. I’m still in contact with Angela Griffin, who plays Kim Campbell, and Lizzy Berrington, who plays Ruby Fry. Lizzy and I went to college together. And I loved working with the kids and teenagers. When new people joined the show they’d treat me as a head-teacher figure, but as soon as they’d known me for a few minutes that changed. I got treated more as a kid than the rest of them!” What don’t you miss? “The one thing I don’t miss is the hours. Out of all the jobs I’ve done since I joined the profession 18 years ago, Waterloo Road has been the hardest. You get up at the crack of dawn, you work all day and then go home and learn eight pages of dialogue every night. It’s unrelenting.”
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.