Rebekah Vardy actress Natalia Tena was in contact with the real Vardy before C4 drama

Natalia Tena as Rebekah Vardy in Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama
Natalia Tena plays Rebekah Vardy in the two-part C4 drama (Image credit: C4)

Natalia Tena has revealed that she contacted Rebekah Vardy before playing her in Channel 4 miniseries Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama

The Game of Thrones and Harry Potter actress stars alongside Chanel Cresswell in the two-part series telling the story of the much-talked-about "Wagatha Christie" trial, which took place earlier this year. 

It was a case that first began when Coleen Rooney — wife of ex-England captain Wayne Rooney — accused Rebekah Vardy — wife of striker Jamie Vardy — of leaking stories she'd posted on her private Instagram account to The Sun newspaper. 

Vardy denied the accusation before suing Rooney for defamation and now the story of the court case that ensued will be told in a Channel 4 miniseries using transcripts from the actual trial. 

Natalia Tena plays Rebekah Vardy in Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama

Rebekah Vardy arrives at court with her husband during the trial (Image credit: Getty)

Having never heard of the case, Tena was initially unsure about taking on the role, yet after deciding to play Vardy she got in touch with the woman she would be playing on social media.

"We've Instagrammed a little bit," said Tena when she spoke to us at a recent press event. "You know [it was] just kind of friendly, but I hope that she, and the people that know her, feel that I've represented her accurately and given life [to] the transcripts. I wasn't in that courtroom, so I hope that we're all delivering the lines. How the people did it. That's kind of my job I hope!"

Tena would not reveal anymore about the conversations she and Vardy shared, yet says she admires her bravery in the face of the media storm the case generated.

"I became Team Rebekah," she explains. "It's not black and white, so I played her as if she's telling the truth."

Natalia Tena plays Rebekah Vardy

Michael Sheen (centre) plays Rooney's barrister David Sherborne (Image credit: C4)

Adding: "She and Coleen are like two queens having a very public fight. The sense of betrayal and ideas of morality played into it, and those high stakes made it interesting. Humans are drawn to seeing dirty laundry aired in public. But also, who is telling the truth? Rebekah Vardy doesn't back down. She's a fighter and she’s relentless. It's fascinating on a psychological level."

Michael Sheen plays Rooney's barrister David Sherborne in the two-part series and Vardy was shocked by the way the QC set about his task during the trial.

"I found it fascinating that, instead of having to prove evidence, Sherborne is completely demolishing her as a human," she says. "That is the way that courts work, isn't it? She’s on the stand, saying this person is lying about her, and Sherborne is saying that she is a particular kind of person, which is enough to win him the case. He has a job to do and he’ll do it by any means necessary — it’s brutal."

Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama begins on Wednesday, December 21 on Channel 4.

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

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 The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.