Interview with TRAITORS star CARA HORGAN, who plays Rae. She talks Jewish history, documentary Shoah and new series West of Liberty.
The story of Traitors (starting on Channel 4 from 17 February) follows Feef, a bold woman who joins the civil service in 1945. Determined to make something of her life, she agrees to spy on her own government on behalf of the Americans – who have a hidden agenda.
“It's a spy thriller set in the aftermath of the Second World War, following the lives of a group of people who work for the government.”
“Traitors is unique because no one is quite what or who they seem to be. Many of the characters have dark secrets. It was a time of complete mistrust and uncertainty – which makes our characters behave in very surprising ways.”
Cara is Rae Savitt, a Jewish woman who works as a typist for the Home Office. “She hides her religion from her colleagues at work and has sent her son away through the duration of the war to keep him safe.”
“He has returned with little memory of her. She also has some secrets of her own!”
The show’s setting meant that extra knowledge was required – “I did quite a lot of research into what it was like to be Jewish at that time. I watched some very upsetting documentaries and films. Shoah which is devastating, I read Night by Wiesel and watched an inspiring film called The Lady in Number 6. All those were helpful.”
“It was an interesting time to be a woman because for many it was their first experience of being in a work environment where they earned their own money. They became the breadwinners for their families and there are some great accounts of that online.”
The show is created and written by Bash Doran in her first original commission for British television. “It was the nicest cast! I loved working with Emma Appleton and Keeley Hawes. They were both so wonderful.”
“Also - Luke Treadaway and Michael Sthulbarg, it was a real dream to have such a lovely group of actors to learn from.”
Horgan has been a part of previous series such as The Rotters Club, Law & Order, Jane Eyre and Afterlife. “I loved working on all of them equally.”
When asked on the show she enjoyed working on most, she said it would be Peep Show. “It was hysterical to work on. Everyone from the writers, producer, director and actors were just brilliantly funny.”
“Every take felt different and it was quite hard not to be constantly cracking up!”
Meanwhile the actress is hoping to have a busy year. “I’ve got another show called West of Liberty coming out later in the year. I’m currently working on something else too.
Telly Binge spoke to Cara Horgan in February 2019. Follow her on Twitter for updates.