03/02/2017 11:01 GMT | Updated 03/02/2017 11:05 GMT

Broadchurch’s Julie Hesmondhalgh Admits Initial Fears About Sexual Assault Storyline

'I had to look at some of my own internalised misogyny.'

Julie Hesmondhalgh has admitted to initially having reservations about her part in ‘Broadchurch’, explaining why she was worried about playing Trish, who is the victim of a sexual assault. 

The case will be the central storyline of the third series, which begins later this month, and the former ‘Coronation Street’ star has explained that she had a number of important conversations with the show’s writer Chris Chibnall, before agreeing to take on the role.

ITV Pictures
Julie in character

Speaking at a press launch for the new series, she said (via Digital Spy): “Obviously, there’s been a lot of discussion about the televising of sexual violence and the way that it’s almost normalised in our culture now. Putting a face to that was something that I really had to think about.

“It took a conversation with Chris - because I didn’t know Chris and I didn’t know what his politics were around this issue. I needed to know that it was going to be handled in the right way.”

She also praised the showrunner’s decision to cast an actress in her 40s for the part, admitting that it forced her to face her own “internalised misogyny”.

Ian West/PA Wire
Julie Hesmondhalgh

“Even in the very fact that it’s me that has been cast as the person who’s experienced this... I think that’s very interesting,” she continued. “I’m an ordinary-looking, middle-aged woman, rather than the classic ‘young girl being chased through the woods’ - I think that in itself is quite an interesting take on it.

“I had to look at some of my own internalised misogyny really, because I had fears that the audience wouldn’t buy that this could happen to someone like me.

“But obviously this isn’t an act of sex and desire, it’s an act of violence and it happens to all people - men, women and children.”

While a trailer revealed earlier this week confirmed that the episodes will focus on an assault that takes place at a party, very few other details have been released.

 Julie isn’t the only new face joining returning cast members such as David Tennant, Olivia Colman and Arthur Darvill, as Lenny Henry and Sarah Parish will also be making their ‘Broadchurch’ debuts.

ITV is yet to confirm an exact air date for the new episodes, but they will be screened before the end of February.

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