Susan Ateh reveals we're in for an eye wateringly gripping series finale in Kat & Alfie: Redwater. Will Bernie catch the killer priest?
Viewers know Redwater priest Dermott Dolan is a multiple murderer. Many are rooting for local policewoman Garda Bernie Kelly, who is about to crack open his sinister secrets. But will this lead to more lives lost?
What’s on TV talked to talented and engaging Redwater star, Susan Ateh, who revealed Bernie’s hot on the killer priest’s tail in the exciting series finale of EastEnders’ spin-off Kat & Alfie: Redwater…
Bernie’s secret investigation into Dermott is at the heart of Redwater’s final episode. What is she like to play? "I love Bernie; she’s a very strong person and a protective momma bear. She’s married into this complicated family so there’s an element of being a fish out of water. Her way of coping is to focus on her work as a Garda. She loves her work!"
What’s driving her to investigate her grandfather-in-law’s seemingly natural death? "It’s a series of things. Before Bernie had her new baby she had a strange encounter with Dermott (Oisin Stack) in the local Garda station. She realised something was off with him when he tried to take advantage of confidences she shared with him in confession. It triggered her mistrust in him, but then her water’s broke!"
Being a new mum hasn’t distracted Bernie from her doubts about Dermott? "Since giving birth in the station she’s also realised Dermott didn’t call her husband Andrew, even though she could have died in childbirth. Bernie knows something isn’t right. She doesn’t trust him and suspicion is percolating in her now. She’s like a dog with a bone. You could say she’s obsessed, but really it’s her way of keeping busy."
Is she closer than ever to revealing the truth in this week’s final? "Bernie knows her grandfather-in-law, Lance Byrne, was strong and healthy. In this week’s final episode she’s piecing little things together. However, Bernie’s also aware Redwater is a small community and she can’t be seen to overtly ask a lot of questions. She’s very subtly trying to do what is right. I don’t think she’s thinking about Dermott as a murderer or what it would be like if she arrested him. She just knows something doesn’t make sense, and she’s driven to find out what!"
What else is behind her need to keep busy? "Bernie’s very aware her relationship with husband Andrew (Peter Campion) is fragile. Her instincts are on high alert there. But because she doesn’t want to see it, instead she turns it around and gets obsessed with Dermott and what’s not fitting there."
Behind all the bigger drama, Bernie’s story is quite sad and touching… "I really feel for her. She loves Andrew, but isn’t equipped to deal with the drift between them. Bernie thought perhaps bringing a new baby into the world might help fix things with Andrew. I think a part of her is quite fragile and very vulnerable."
Tell us more about yourself? "I’m Irish Cameroonian. My mum’s from Monaghan and I spent all of my summers in Monaghan town when I was growing up. I still love to go back. When I was fourteen I moved from Cameroon to Killester in Dublin and later I studied drama in Dublin. I got the part in Redwater by doing an audition on Skype!"
Was acting a big part of your life growing up? "I went to a French school in Cameroon, but struggled with French! Then a teacher suggested I try drama, and it was somewhere I started to feel myself. I also did musicals like Calamity Jane at school in Dublin. Redwater has been such a great job. To work at home in Ireland with such an incredible cast and in such a peaceful place, it’s a job I’ve really treasured."
Redwater is gripping TV. Have you been surprised by the reaction? "I live in LA so I’ve not seen the reaction in Ireland or the UK, but I have had a lot of texts from family and friends. I used to work in a school in London and a colleague got in touch to tell me she had to do a double take when I appeared on her screen!"
For more Redwater reveals read our interview with Oisin Stack, who plays killer priest Dermott Dolan
Will Bernie catch Redwater’s killer priest? Watch Susan in action in the series finale this Thursday on BBC1 at 8pm
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