Juliet Stevenson: ‘One of Us is like a Greek drama!’

Behind the scenes One of Us
Juliet Stevenson behind the scenes on One of Us (Image credit: BBC)

Juliet Stevenson reveals BBC’s hot new four-part thriller One of Us is a timeless whodunnit with classic twists.

Murders, revenge and dark secrets - BBC’s new series One of Us has tragedy in spades. Star Juliet Stevenson explains why One of Us reminds her of a classic Greek drama…

The new four-part drama kicks off this week and tells the stormy story of two families living in the remote Scottish Highlands torn apart by a violent double murder in Edinburgh. Everyone wants answers and many want revenge!

Tell us about your character in BBC’s dark new drama One of Us "I play Louise Elliot the mother of Rob (Joe Dempsie), Claire (Joanna Vanderham) and Adam. Adam is Louise’s youngest child and he’s been murdered. Louise’s not only lost her newlywed son, but also her daughter-in-law Gracie and the child they were about to have – so it’s a triple loss, and all down to a very violent crime with absolutely no motive."

She must be devastated by Adam’s murder… "What can you say for a mother whose youngest son is murdered – that happens on page two of the script! All the characters are in a situation where almost inconceivable, terrible things happen at the beginning of the story. You watch them all spiralling."

There’s more to this story than Adam and Gracie’s death – what can you reveal? "Adam and Gracie’s death takes the lid off all sorted of things. A lot of the story is about secrets being released and their impact on everyone’s capacity to hold onto their sense of who they are, which changes as events unroll. Secrets about what’s gone on in the past between these two families see everyone end up in a drastically different place to where they began!"

What’s Louise’s background and how did she come to live in this remote corner of Scotland? "Louise came to Scotland over twenty years ago with her husband when he was struggling in his work and their marriage. They had two small children at the time and Louise thought they could make a fresh start in Scotland, live in the country with hens and a vegetable patch and it will all be great!"

But it didn’t work out? "The family live in an exquisite place but it didn’t solve their problems, they brought those with them. Louise’s husband left. He was regularly unfaithful so it was quite a bitter separation when Adam was very small."

How has the separation affected Louise? "Louise’s grown up with a greater dependency on her children than perhaps a mother should have. Rob has been her rock but she’s had to let him go now he’s living with his girlfriend Anna (Georgina Campbell). Claire’s a nurse and very often the one who holds the rational and practical line. During the course of the story Louise becomes very dependant on Claire."

It’s a great cast. Julie Graham and John Lynch play Gracie’s parents Moira and Bill, and Gary Lewis also stars. Have you enjoyed working with everyone? "That’s the beauty of an ensemble. We’re working together on intense scenes telling this amazing story. One of the great joys of the job is we’ve worked together and talked together a lot. I’ve loved it."

Cast Of of Us

All the stellar cast are hiding secrets! Photographer: Mark Mainz (Image credit: BBC)

Given the circumstances is a happy ending impossible? "None of the characters comes of this very well! Everyone is keeping a secret from the others. It’s a bit like a Greek drama! One of Us is a whodunnit… A bunch of people gathered in one place is a timeless formula – one event explodes a load of human psyches!"

BBC1’s new four-part series One of Us premiers on BBC1 at 9pm on Tuesday 23rd August



Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and www.whattowatch.com covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.