THE PACT: GABRIELLE CREEVY & ALED AP STEFFAN | INTERVIEW
Created by Cardiff production company Little Door, here’s the latest BBC crime thriller to spark debate and alarm in lounges and on internets – or that’ll be the hope when it debuts on Mon 17 May. Carl Marsh speaks to two of The Pact’s cast: Gabrielle Creevy [pictured, top] and Aled ap Steffan [pictured, below], who play siblings Tamsin and Ryan.
You’re currently filming the second series of In My Skin for what will be your third time on the screen together, and The Pact – your second – is about to air. You must enjoy working together!
Gabrielle: Yeah. We’ve known each other for years, though. We went to stage school together; we kind of lost contact, but saw each other at the In My Skin auditions and it went from there. And we haven’t stopped working with each other.
Aled: We were maybe 11, then went to different drama schools and then met back up at those auditions in 2018.
With The Pact, did you both know you were going for the parts before you got cast?
Gabrielle: By that point, we had become quite good friends, and I messaged Aled asking him if he was going for this role – then we saw each other at the audition, which I think was like a week later, wasn’t it Aled?
Aled: Something like that. I think Gaby was going in maybe two after me, so we’d met up for a quick coffee in between. I’ve gone from me playing her bully at school to being her big brother in The Pact!
Fans of each of you, and In My Skin, will be watching this new show to see how different you are in these roles. Will they be surprised at how different?
Gabrielle: I think Tamsin and Ryan have a very beautiful relationship, and I’m exactly the same as my sister and me. I mean, we’re better now, but when we were younger, oh my gosh, it was like carnage. We weren’t close, but now we’re also a bit more mature and wiser, so we’re good friends, but Tamsin and Ryan have a wonderful relationship. I’d describe them as like best friends, wouldn’t you, Al?
Aled: I would, yeah. They’re very close, and I could relate to that because I’ve got a sister to whom I’m very close. I don’t think you see that much on TV, but there is a really close bond between siblings… not incestuous. [laughter]
Playing your parents in The Pact are Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad) and Jason Hughes (Midsomer Murders): two very established actors, but were you both aware of what they had been in before? Fans of them?
Aled: I was very aware of them both and knew exactly who they were as soon as I saw them. I loved Midsomer Murders – I grew up watching it, it used to scare the shit out of me when the music started. I had just seen a play [On Bear Ridge] that Jason had been in at the Sherman Theatre, so I was very aware of him… and then I couldn’t believe it was the Laura Fraser from Breaking Bad!
So, yeah, it was a very pinch-me moment. And I love the fact that she’s Scottish, as is her character, so she doesn’t have to be Welsh: there’s more of a backstory to build when someone is from somewhere else.
What about you, Gab?
Gabrielle: I was aware of Laura, but not Jason, and I didn’t get to see him in On Bear Ridge even though I heard how amazing it was. I don’t think it affected it, though, as Jason is such a warm character and has this infectious energy that draws you to him. Even when you watch him on the screen, you can feel the warmth. We were pretty lucky – both of them just invited us in, and it was like a lovely little family. We went for walks together down the park to bond.
Aled: Everyone wanted [the onscreen family connection] to be as realistic as possible, and they wanted to put in the work outside of work. We were lucky in that respect, and we had a few rehearsals. We had one before the pandemic, which for me anyway, I was like: “oh my god, it’s Jason and Laura!” Then I had the whole of the pandemic to let that all settle in before filming.
The Pact debuts on BBC One on Mon 17 May. Info: here
words CARL MARSH