The Rebel Series 2 interview: Anna Crilly

We'll be seeing a slightly different side to Henry's put-upon daughter Cath in Series 2. Actress and comedian Anna Crilly talked to us about the return of The Rebel.

Anna Crilly interview

Has Cath changed since the first series?

Yes. She has a lot more warmth in the second series. She's also slightly more flawed and slightly more silly.

How would you characterise her attitude towards Henry?

In the past, she has been very frustrated over his behaviour. But we are now seeing more of their father-daughter dynamic, and they're showing more care and warmth towards each other. We're delving into that in greater depth during this season.

How have you found it working with Simon?

Delightful! He is especially fun when he's playing manic. The faces he pulls are extraordinary. He has muscles in his face that others simply don't have.

Why are audiences drawn towards the furious Henry?

Everyone loves the naughty one. People adore living vicariously through the naughty kid at school. We all want to be the naughty one but we don't dare. So I've really enjoyed sitting behind him on this journey. It's a bravura performance from Simon.

Do viewers also relish his rants?

Definitely. Everyone can identify with him railing against authority, particularly in the current political climate. Everyone now feels like they have a platform on social media. People have become more confident about speaking out. Everyone can have an audience now. They're exercising their right to express themselves. Henry is very brave in that. He's raging against authority when it tries to tell him what to do.

Do you relate to his rebellion?

Absolutely! I'll never be told what to do; I'm very naughty. Can I give you an example? Even on set I'm quite naughty. We actors are very lucky because a car is sent to drive us into work every morning - mainly because otherwise we can't be trusted to get ourselves there on time! But I always try and drive myself, so I can be five to six minutes late. That five to six minutes is a win for me!

What do you hope that audiences take away from The Rebel?

That age doesn't necessarily calm you down. In fact, age just makes you braver. It's very positive. It shows Henry not going quietly. On telly these days, you only see hapless people under the age of 35. It's as if once you become 36, you can no longer be directionless or quirky. You have to be sensible. So it's lovely to see that a man of 71 is still enjoying himself. For the older generation watching TV it's important to quell the culture of invisibility. Some people may think that you have become invisible once you reach the age of 50, but The Rebel shows that is absolutely not the case.

What do you enjoy most about The Rebel?

I genuinely enjoy working with Simon, Bill and Anita. I have such respect for them because they're legends. They sit and chat about actors from bygone days and even though I've never heard of them I nod along happily. They say things like "I remember his Hamlet at the Little Free Theatre" - and I love it!