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7 Questions with... Warren Brown: I hope people don't think 'Not him again!'
From antagonist in The Responder to confidant in Trigger Point, Warren Brown has kicked off 2022 with roles in two of TV's hottest dramas. 'I'm just rolling with it!' says the busy actor.
Warren Brown is a familiar face on TV at the moment. If you've already caught him as Ray Mullen in BBC drama The Responder, turn to ITV and you'll find him appearing as Karl Maguire in Trigger Point, the tense bomb-disposal thriller which reunites Line of Duty pair Jed Mercurio and Vicky McClure.
Karl, who first appears in episode 2, is a former Army colleague of McClure's character Lana Washington. As the series continues, Karl and Lana become closer, putting her personal life under pressure just as her professional life is troubled in the face of a relentless terrorism campaign which sparks a crisis of confidence.
Brown, who has also starred in Shameless, Hollyoaks, and Luther, spoke to the press about his Trigger Point character, what it's like to appear in two big-hitting TV shows at once and whether he'd be a box-set binger or a weekly watcher.
1. What does Karl bring to Trigger Point?
Karl comes in at a time when Lana’s professional and personal lives are being put to the limit, and I come in just to make that even more complicated.
It’s clear that she’s able to talk with Karl in ways that she’s not able to talk to [boyfriend] Tom. They’ve got a shared history, they understand one another so there’s potential that they get closer, which again is just going to put Lana’s world a bit more into a spin.
He’s also ex-military. There’s a certain understanding [with Lana] because he’s had similar experiences, a common ground they’ve got that makes it easier for Lana to talk to Karl.
Further down the line, with a lot of people leaving the military and trying to assimilate back into normal life, that can throw up big challenges so we might delve a bit more into how that transition was. They’re going to get closer and that’ll make things more complicated for Lana.
2. Should we be suspicious of Karl or is everyone a suspect?
Everyone’s got to be a suspect, right, and that’s the whole point, it's the “I told you it was them, I told you it was her” thing. It’s often very easy to assume right at the beginning “Oh, we know what’s going to happen” but as ever with Jed Mercurio, the script does a great job of keeping people guessing and making people think that they know what’s going down.
3. What’s it like going into a drama that has the potential to be as talked-about as Line of Duty? Did you watch it?
Yes I watched Line of Duty - that was a huge success and rightly so. I’m good pals with Martin [Compston, Line of Duty's Steve Arnott] and Vicky and I knew each other a little bit and we’ve got a few good friends in common so it was good to work with her.
But Jed and everyone involved in this show, they’re not trying to recreate Line of Duty, we’re trying to make another gripping, entertaining drama. To get back to work after the last 18 months and be involved in something as good as this is fantastic.
I feel like I had it easy street because I was just coming in and hanging out with Vicky for a day and the next day they’d be going out and doing the explosions. I felt really lucky that we were just sat in a pub playing pool for a full day and having a laugh.
4. You’re everywhere at the moment – were Trigger Point and The Responder shot close together?
The Responder was the first thing back after the Covid break, and while I was filming that I knew I was going to be doing Trigger Point so they were literally one after the other.
I felt very fortunate to be working in close succession with great casts and great scripts in both, they're very different. I didn’t know that they would be out so close together, but having had a break what better way than to have them both on at the same time?
You never know when your shows will be on – they keep everything from us as well – and in the last few weeks when you’ve got dates I thought “brilliant”. It’ll either work out well or people will think “not him a-bloody-gain!"
5. The Responder is already available as a boxset, but Trigger Point is broadcast weekly. Which do you prefer?
Each to their own. Even though a show is online some people won’t necessarily binge it, some people like to watch it each week. You can do whatever you want! But I feel like people are getting better at not spoiling stuff even if they’ve got access to it. Even some of the big films out at the moment, people are going and respecting that it’s worth other people having that experience first hand.
6. Do you follow the reaction to your shows on social media?
I did for the first episode [of Trigger Point] because I was around. It’s a funny one because even coming in and doing the live tweet-along, for me I’m like “put your phone down, watch the thing and tweet afterwards!” You do need to pay attention but at the same time I know that’s what people do, they watch TV with their phones in their hand. I guess with ITV you’ve got the breaks, but still…
7. Luther, Strike Back, The Responder, now Trigger Point – do you love being involved in these big meaty thrillers?
I feel lucky to have been involved in these but so often you don’t know how well something’s going to go down. You read the scripts and think they’re great scripts but the honest answer is that you never know until it goes out. We may think it’s brilliant but that doesn’t translate to an audience reaction.
With Luther, we thought that was great at the time but the response, when it came out it, was crazy. I’ve been working really hard - the harder you work the luckier you get and it’s great to be involved in some of these shows, I’m just rolling with it.
To go to work and to be able to make a living doing this is amazing, it’s a bit mad!
Trigger Point airs on ITV on Sunday evenings at 9pm. Catch up on ITV Hub.
Watch The Responder on BBC iPlayer.