KEEPING FAITH: MARK LEWIS JONES | INTERVIEW
Back for its third and final season, the love triangle at the heart of Carmarthenshire-set thriller Keeping Faith has had each of its points interviewed by Buzz’s Carl Marsh: Faith herself (Eve Myles) for season one, Evan (Bradley Freegard) for season two, and now Mark Lewis Jones, who plays Steve.
For season three of Keeping Faith, then, most people will be hoping that Faith either ends up with your character Steve, or goes back to Evan for the sake of the kids. Can you drop any hints?
Mark Lewis Jones: There’s quite a considerable time gap between season two and three – about 18 months – where Faith and Steve have been separated, but there’s something that keeps drawing them back together. I think it’s fair to say that it’s been going on since they first met outside the court, and when she first represented him. My belief has always been that on that day, he fell in love with her, and there’s been this attraction since – this kind of magnetic pole between them, that’s undeniable to both of them. Obviously, I speak on behalf of Steve, but I would imagine for Faith she’s drawn towards the family… still, there’s definitely something between Steve and Faith.
Steve’s journey throughout the series has been a difficult one, but where we end up with series three, after some time since their last contact… I don’t want to just say it’s the strongest season out of the three, but it has the right level of tension, and drama that really pays off. And that’s all due to the two series that preceded it, really. I think it takes it to a new level.
It sounds like you were taken aback by how it ends – one of those “I didn’t see this coming…” moments?
Without giving anything away, very, very much so. I was very taken aback. The end is pretty… [long pause] yeah, it takes you aback!
In season three, episode one, we find Steve living in a log cabin in the woods, doing up motorbikes. Seems like the ideal place to be right now!
What a great place to do lockdown [laughs]. But I don’t think that’s the reason Steve’s there. There’s always been this loner aspect to him, you know, but he’s retreated into himself – retreated away from society. I know this is all pre-isolation, but that’s what he’s doing: he’s isolated himself away from everything and everyone. I think it’s quite ancient what he’s doing, moving yourself away from society – coming to terms with what’s happened, but also to recover and repair himself internally.
While I’ve only been given access to that opening episode, it also features a scene with you, Faith and another character that just made my head spin, as we the viewers just don’t know where this storyline is going! You’ll know the scene…
And that’s a perfect example of the whole season. The stakes are so much higher in the third series – they can only be that high in the third series. It can’t be like that in the first or second, because you’ve got nowhere to go then.
I think it’s been plotted brilliantly by Matthew [Hall, creator] and Pip [Broughton, director] and the rest of the team. Of course, you want all of your episodes to work and to have an impact, but you’ve got to hold something back as well, and I think they’ve done that marvellously. Keeping Faith fans old and new will be taken aback by the whole thing.
It’s got a very strong following: people understand what’s been going on, and they have now invested so much in the characters that they really care about them. It’s an accurate indication of how strong the series is when the audience cares about what’s happening. In terms of the triangle – coming back to that for a minute – you know that some people want Steve and Faith, and some want Evan and Faith. All I can tell you is that the end is going to be huge. People will be blown away. That’s what we hope, anyway…
The opening episode of Keeping Faith’s third season is on BBC One on Sat 27 Mar at 9pm. Info: here
words CARL MARSH