Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean failed to meet the actors playing them in the upcoming biopic of their career, it has been revealed.
Will Tudor and Poppy Lee Friar, who are playing the iconic ice skaters in ITV’s big Christmas Day drama ‘Torvill and Dean’, admitted they hadn’t actually met the pair in person prior to filming.
Instead, they were forced to catch up with the busy ‘Dancing On Ice’ judges over FaceTime, as they tried to gain an insight into their illustrious career, which famously saw them win gold with their Bolero routine at the 1984 Winter Olympics.
“They were very busy,” Poppy admitted to HuffPost UK as to the reasons why her and Will hadn’t come face-to-face with the pair.
“We had a nice FaceTime call with them, which was great because we talked about what they were like as teenagers, and their background.
“Ultimately, they gave us their blessing to have creative license with this as a drama. They’re such lovely, kind people so it was nice to be able to talk to them.”
She insisted: “They were very much involved in this whole process and they’re very much present throughout the whole thing.”
The one-off drama documents how the ‘Dancing On Ice’ stars first met and shows their humble beginnings training together in Nottingham, before charting their rise to gold medal-winning Olympians.
With only a limited insight from the stars themselves, Poppy and Will spent hours watching old videos and reading profiles of them to prepare for their roles.
Poppy explained: “I went to the YouTube videos of their interviews when they were young and winning competitions. When Jane was younger, she had this sort of shy head tilt, where she looks up underneath her fringe. Little things like that you think about putting in to your performance.
“Accents is something else as well that people might not be aware of. When they were younger, they had Nottingham accents, which we both had to think about.”
Arguably the biggest thing they had to get their heads around was the skating itself.
Only having a grip of the basics, Will and Poppy were thrown into an intensive two-week skating crash course, which was complimented with dance rehearsals to help them master Torvill and Dean’s routines.
However, they left some of the tricker skills to their body doubles.
Will said: “We were very lucky in that Nick Butler and Penny Combes, two of our trainers, were also playing our doubles in it, so they do a lot of the extraordinary routines you see on the show, but you will see us on the ice doing a little bit.”
With Torvill and Dean still very much in the public consciousness thanks to their stint on ‘Dancing On Ice’, Will and Poppy will undoubtedly be judged on how they manage to master playing them. However, despite the added pressure this comes with compared to other acting roles, Will has insisted it is not something they are too worried about.
He said: “As actors, it is very important that we serve the writer and director’s vision, so fingers crossed we get that right, but I think what’s nice is that it’s such a lovely script and they’re such fascinating people that there was a lot to play with.”
‘Torvill And Dean’ airs on Christmas Day at 9.15pm on ITV.