Actress Keeley Hawes reprised her role as matriarch, Louisa Durrell in the fourth and final season of the sun-soaked series, The Durrells.
She’s joined by Josh O’Connor, Callum Woodhouse, Daisy Waterstone and Milo Parker, who plays her unruly and spirited on-screen children in the BBC First drama.
While season three was set in 1937, this season will speed through the Durrells’ remaining time on the island of Corfu and take us all the way to 1939 – and according to Hawes things will get “dark” as the family’s idyllic life on Corfu is interrupted by the outbreak of World War Two.
Hawes chats about the season and how emotional shooting was.
Where do we find Louisa as the new season begins.
Louisa is now running the house as a high grade guest house, with a new ‘penthouse’ floor and she is actually very good at it. Louisa's a brilliant cook and obviously loved surrounding herself with people. She is a real people person. I think that comes across really well in this season.
World War Two is looming is there a darker undertone this season?
Louisa is slightly in denial of the impending and inevitable changes that lie ahead. She has lived through one war and has no interest in living through another one. Like so many people of that generation. They had lived through the worst war imaginable - the First World War - and lost people.
So there was no appetite from her for another one. Louisa has four children including sons who would be called up to fight. So she does stick her head in the sand. The outbreak of war was very close at this time and Corfu was eventually invaded and occupied.
The kids grew up in front of you, how did that feel?
I’m five foot ten and Milo is now almost as tall as me. He’s also got a lower voice. I first saw his voice had broken at the end of the last series. This young man opened his mouth and somebody else’s voice came out. That was very odd.There’s also a moustache there.
Are you satisfied with the last season?
Yes, I’m so pleased we were able to tell the story and take it through to its natural end just before most of them left Corfu. It feels like the right thing to have done. Not only selfishly for us but also because it’s such a brilliant story for the viewers. It’s a very satisfying end. Also with the kids growing up together alongside me, both on and off set, we’ve become a part of each others lives in a much more intimate way.
Where would you place this season compared to previous?
I think this is the strongest season of all four. We were able to throw everything at it. I hope people love the episodes as much as we loved making them. We feel we’ve done The Durrells proud and we hope other people do too.
How emotional was it filming the last scene?
The actual final scene of the whole show in Corfu we filmed a few weeks before we finished. That was the most emotional. It involved all of the main players and we knew it was the end. That was very sad. It was quite tricky to hold that together. We all had a round of applause afterwards and lots of hugs.
* Catch Keeley Hawes on The Durrells S4 on BBC First, Fridays at 8pm.