The Version Interview... Emilia Fox on Sky 1's new drama, Delicious
Dawn French, Emilia Fox, Iain Glen and Sheila Hancock star in a bold new four-part drama on Sky 1 this Christmas.
Written by Dan Sefton and directed by Clare Kilner and John Hardwick, Delicious is part of Sky’s commitment to offer customers brand-new original drama all year round. Passionate cook Gina (Dawn French) was once married to Leo Vincent (Iain Glen), a successful entrepreneur, chef and hotel owner in Cornwall. Leo owes much of his success to Gina’s exceptional cooking, but since leaving her for the glamorous Sam (Emilia Fox), his business has continued to thrive. When Sam has suspicions that Leo is having an affair she confides in Gina, confident that she’ll recognise the signs. Only to later discover that it’s Gina herself who is the ‘other woman’.
The secrets and scandals that spill out are proof that sleeping with another woman’s husband is never a good idea – even if he was your husband first. As Sam and Gina try to fix their broken families, will a friendship rise from the ashes of betrayal or will they tear each other apart? Delicious is an honest and compelling story of love, sex, lies and betrayal, where things are never as they seem.
Emilia Fox tells us more...
Can you tell us a bit about Sam?
Sam came from London, and worked at first as a manager at The Penrose. When she married Leo, no one would speak to her. People spat at her. It took six months to get a good morning. Locals thought she was a floozy, a tart after Leo’s money, but she stuck it out because she loved Leo. Sam is a paradox because she is incredibly vulnerable, suspecting that Leo is having an affair, and you learn that she had fragile health issues in her past. But she’s strong, and it’s this strength which must have helped her survive a marriage of more than 18 years with a charming, charismatic, philandering, passionate perfectionist of a man.
Her relationship with Gina is quite a complex one, isn’t it?
Certainly it’s not about two women pitted against each other as love rivals. What I love about Dan’s storytelling is that it feels real and grown-up. This is absolutely a much more complex story than two women still vying for the love of one man. The heart of it is actually about the relationship between the two women who both love the same man, women who are polar opposites, but who are forced through circumstance to come together and potentially to forge a future together. Having children of similar ages and living in the same area, they have had to co-exist for many years, but there are things that haven’t been said to each other that only come out now because of what happens to the characters. Ultimately, it becomes about the survival of both Sam and Gina as women and mothers, who discover that secrets are painful and truth is the only way forward.
What’s Sam’s relationship like with food?
Dan’s writing has cleverly given each of the main characters a relationship with food, which I think is very true to real life. Sam’s is the polar opposite of Gina’s and Leo’s, and this plays a huge part in her feeling of exclusion from their understanding of each other. Leo declares in the opening of the series that his first and only love is food. Gina understands this and shares and celebrates this attitude whereas Sam, who doesn’t have this kind of relationship with food, is shut out of the primal, sensual joy they both experience and indulge in. Her relationship with food is instead very controlled and health-focused, rather than pleasurefocused. Also because she lives with a man who has had affairs, she is conscious and concerned about getting older and holding on to her youth and figure, and this is demonstrated by what she cooks, which is mostly fish, and her body-conscious gym routine.
What’s your own relationship like with food?
I am like Sam in that I like eating healthily when cooking for myself. I wouldn’t say that I cook sensually, but I have grown to enjoy it and I would say I have learned to cook adequately and practically. I’m the opposite of Sam, however, in that I love and appreciate good food and great cooking, and am absolutely happy to indulge in that. And I don’t go to the gym nearly enough! I think delicious food is one of life’s greatest treats and can be a wonderful bringer together of people.
What was it like to work on a Sky project again?
I absolutely loved working on The Tunnel and was delighted that Sky has had me back in such a great role in Delicious. It’s a very different part to the one I played in The Tunnel though! Sky has such high production values and I feel that it embraces truly original drama. It feels like a story that a lot of people will relate to in some way. It demonstrates Sky’s support for writing and drama that shows the challenging, unpredictable highs and lows of life, and the ever-changing complex relationships between human beings. This is a story about love, friendship, parenting, and hopefully these are all things that an audience will identify with and feel familiar with, but told in an unpredictable way. It is character-driven rather than plot-driven, and it’s unconventionally told and shot. I can’t think of another project like Delicious, and the support and encouragement from Sky has made it a true joy.
Delicious airs on Sky 1 later this month.