The Baker Street Babes Podcast
Transcript, Episode 27: Amanda Abbington
Released 27/05/12, Transcribed by Amy, Curly, & Ardy
Amanda: What’s a heart shake? I’ve never had that. Will it be an actual heart?
Kristina: It better be. Only a few people know that we’re doing this today, and they’re like, “Have fun! Say hi for me!”
Amanda: That’s so sweet!
Kristina: All the American-based Babes are like “We hate you, but we love you! Give her a hug for us!” So, America is hugging you.
Amanda: I love Americans, America, I think you’re lovely. Oh that’s so nice…Oh, and Martin sends his love. He says hello and sends his love.
Kristina: When do they actually finish up?
Amanda: End of July. Yeah, it’s a long old stint. They’ve been there since…a year and a half! It’s hard, but we’ve said now that anywhere he goes, we’re going to go with him because it’s really tough. We didn’t think it would be that hard. And also, he’s going to bed when I’m getting up, so you miss each other. Just mentally, you miss each other, because he’s ready for bed, and I’m starting the day. So it’s a bit, “Good night!”, “Hi!” It’s a bit wearing.
Kristina: I know. I used to live in Japan. It’s sort of like the same time difference. I’m getting home from work and my mom would be like, “Hi!” and I’d be like, “I’m so tired! I’m not talking to you right now!”
Amanda: Yeah, and that’s what it’s like. It’s tough. So we’re going to rethink it if he goes. There’s some stuff going on in LA. Not before January. That’s when the third season [of Sherlock] starts filming here.
Kristina: Happy noises!
Amanda: I know! Going on in our house as well, it is! So, when did all this start?
Ardy: About a year ago.
Kristina: Yeah, our one-year anniversary is next month.
Turk: Is it?
Ardy: It’s some time in May.
Kristina: So it’s almost been a year. Basically, I did a radio show in college, and I was like, I love podcasts. I want to do a podcast! So, I had all these friends who were Sherlock Holmes fans, and I made this Twitter list—I just called them the Baker Street Babes, and someone else was like “that sounds like a group of something!” And I was like…Speaking of, do you want to do this with me?
Amanda: It’s really good. Martin’s well aware of it, just so you know.
Kristina: Oh, is he? Jesus.
Amanda: But it’s very good. He loves it. He first showed this stuff to me last year. Somebody told him about this thing called tumblr. We didn’t know what the hell Tumblr was, but someone said, “You should look on this,” so we did, and one day, he just said to me, “You’ve got to see this because there are people putting my body on, like, the heads of cats!” And I said ok, and then he said “And Ben’s like a cat, and I’m like a hedgehog, and they’re comparing me to hedgehogs, and it’s quite cute!” And we would just sit there, laughing. And that’s how we kind of got into the Baker Street Babes and that sort of thing. It was great. The are very aware of it. Sue’s a big champion of this sort of thing.
I talked to Mark Gatiss yesterday. He was going into a script meeting with Steven [Moffat]. Very exciting. It’s going to be good. I think they anticipate this being better than the second series.
Amanda: I know!
Ardy: That’s what we said after the first series as well.
Amanda: Yeah, I know! It’s like—How could you top that? Oh, you did!
Kristina: Oh, you did it quite well, actually.
Ardy: That worked out quite well for you, there.
Amanda: So what do you think about the film—Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr.?
Kristina: I think they’re entertaining. I don’t think they’re very canonical at all, but they’re good for explosions and for gratuitous banter and everything. I don’t dislike them.
Ardy: They’re good fun. I don’t think they’re in competition.
Amanda: No, I don’t think Ben and Martin are worried about them much.
Kristina: No, I don’t think they should be. Yes, they get a bunch of money and publicity because it’s a movie and it’s Robert Downey Jr., but when you compare the quality, there’s never any contest.
Amanda: No, I think so. I think this one’s got a better Moriarty. Y’know, Andrew Scott, you’d be hard pushed to get better than Andrew Scott. He’s just my hero. I’m finding it very hard because Martin and Andrew are nominated for the same BAFTA. I don’t know who I’m going to support.
Turk: Another actor that I’ve been a fan of for years is Joseph Mawle [also nominated for the same award].
Amanda: He’s with my agent, and I think he’s amazing. He’s deaf isn’t it?
Turk: Yeah. I first saw him playing Jesus in The Passion, and I’ve not just quite got over that.
Amanda: I think it’s a tough category this year. But when I told Martin—because he didn’t know he’d been nominated—I rang him, and I said, “You’ve been nominated in the BAFTA agai!” He went, “Is Andrew in the category?” and I went, “Yes!” He went, “Fuck!”
Kristina: Yeah, the roller coaster of emotions that was the BAFTA nominations.
Amanda: I’m still really cross.
Kristina: [Regarding the show not being nominated for a BAFTA for drama or miniseries] It doesn’t make any sense. On the merits of it as a drama—it broke all the records on iPlayer! It makes no sense. Blargh! I was so angry!
Amanda: No. I think there is a part of it that’s jealousy. I spoke to somebody about it, and they said, “Oh, the reason why Sherlock wasn’t nominated is because it’s become too popular and mainstream.” And I said, “You can’t have that argument. Spooks is in there and Scott and Bailey, which are mainstream ITV.” I don’t know why it’s been deliberately overlooked.
Kristina: I think it has, because they got all the actor nominations, and they got the YouTube audience award.
Ardy: And if you look in the miniseries category… I mean, not to slag everyone off…
Kristina: No, seriously…
Ardy: The Crimson Petal and the White?!
Kristina: I saw the first episode, but I didn’t go past it.
Ardy: It was just disgusting.
Amanda: Thank you. That’s the best word. I didn’t want to say it. [Regarding the nominations]
Ardy: If it was at least something in there that was deserving.
Amanda: There’s nothing that really stood out. I don’t know if that’s worthy of being there.
Ardy: This is England maybe. Everything else in that category…
Amanda: Yeah, This is England.
Turk: I was looking at it thinking… I don’t think I watched any of these things.
[Amanda’s drink arrives]
Amanda: Do you want to try this? Would you like to try some?
Kristina: Sure… it’s just like The Heart?
Amanda: … it’s weird. What did he say it was?
Kristina: It smells like peanut butter!
Amanda: What’s in it? You’re not going to tell me are you?
Waiter: [some sort of thing], milk and Jack Daniels.
Kristina: [Back to the BAFTAs] I woke up, and I started scrolling down. I think I saw you and Louise Brealey’s tweets—being angry—and I was like, “What happened?” I was like, “Oh, Benedict, good, Martin, good, Andrew, good—WHAT?”
Amanda: But it was such a shock! It was such a shock to me. I was expecting to see it, and when I didn’t see it in the category I thought it was a mistake. I honestly did.
Ardy: I just thought it hadn’t been eligible because of broadcast date. But then I saw Steven Moffat confirming that it had been. This doesn’t make any sense!
Amanda: No. Did anyone else want to try this? It’s weird isn’t it?
Ardy: Tastes really odd. Alcohol and peanut butter doesn’t seem quite right.
Kristina: It does taste like peanut butter.
Amanda: Alcohol at half-eleven in the morning! He [the waiter] made me get this…. he forced me.
Kristina: Conspiracy! So… honestly, my first question is, what made you decide to start interacting with the fans and the fandom in general?
Amanda: Because you’re all so lovely to Martin. And you’re all really nice. You all seem very intelligent, funny, and talented girls. Seeing some of the artwork and some of the stuff that was being written. It’s so good. Martin’s very very very very private—freakishly private, which is a good thing. I love that he is. But I just wanted to say thank you on his behalf and say hi and I fully support what you’re doing. It’s fine! And I’m not one of those girlfriends or wives who goes, “Those bitches!” I’m not like that at all, and I just wanted to say, you’re doing a fabulous job, because you are. I think it’s lovely how much you love Martin, and I love it. I genuinely love it.
Kristina: One of the Babes—I think it was Lyndsay—said, “Martin is our hero, and I’m so glad you get to actually go tell him.”
Amanda: That’s really lovely to hear, and I’m really proud of him, and I like that other people are really proud of him.
Kristina: We are.
Amanda: I’m really proud of what they do in that show. It’s genius, actually. I’ve never seen anything like it on television, and I think it’s good that people love it. And you need to be told that everyone knows that you love it. You know what I mean?
Kristina: Definitely. You said that Martin found Tumblr first. Did that come before or after you started playing on the Facebook group?
Amanda: After. Everything came afterward. So we looked at Tumblr first and just used to giggle a lot. “Look I’m a kitten, why am I a kitten?” It went from there, really. I thought it was really fun.
Kristina: What’s your favorite thing or the most ridiculous thing you’ve seen?
Amanda: There’s one picture. Oh I’m laughing now. [Martin with the BAFTA, next to a picture of a hedgehog. Amanda has it saved on her phone and shows it.] But we love all the artwork. Some of the paintings are just amazing. And the knitted stuff! I got sent a knitted otter and a hedgehog. I love it. They’re upstairs. I won’t let the children play with them.
Kristina: These are mine!
Ardy: This is not a toy.
Amanda: No, these are Mummy’s.
Kristina: Aw brilliant. What’s your favorite episode?
Amanda: The [Reichenbach] Fall. Definitely. From the minute you start with that…it’s just a roller coaster. I’ve watched it—I’m not joking—I must have watched it about 30 times now, and I never get tired of it, and I always cry at the same point, and I would laugh at the same bit, and it’s just beautifully pitched and perfectly acted. And a joy to watch. And I think all of them are stand out films. You can take every one of them and watch them as separate films. And that’s what I love about them. But the Fall, my favorite scene in it, one of my favorites—I’ve got two—is when Moriarty is at the Tower of London, and he’s got his headphones in and he’s listening to Bach, and everyone’s having morning tea. I love it. And you see him breaking into the jail and the bank. And all drinking tea at eleven o’clock, and it’s beautiful.
Kristina: It’s so quintessentially English.
Amanda: It really is, and I love that.
Ardy: I need to ask what the other favorite is.
Amanda: My other favorite scene? The scene at the end, the very end when Martin’s—agh!—when Martin’s talking to the grave, and you see Ben’s standing there!
Kristina: We watched it with my friend, and we were staring. We thought they were going to leave it at the cliffhanger. I was like, “You can’t do this!” and we started screaming, “Yes, thank you!”
Amanda: I’m getting goosebumps with you telling me!
Kristina: It’s so beautiful. He [John] walks away, and your heart is broken, and then he’s [Sherlock] there.
Amanda: I know! He’s going to get his ass kicked for that, isn’t he?
Kristina: Yes, please! It’s our hope. If you can’t give us a hug, please let him punch him in the face! Please!
Amanda: Yeah, he’s good at that bit, my boy. He’s good at the old emotion.
Kristina: That actually goes with something I wanted to ask. One of the babes Maria wants to know… how is it for you to see your husband on screen as John Watson? Do you connect to it on a personal level or as the character? Like, do you see Martin?
Amanda: Well I watch him, in anything actually. I think he’s a fantastic actor. Yet he’s always very good at the characterization. So I kind of step out of it. So I don’t watch him as Martin. I watch him as the character. Although, at the end when he has that scene at the grave, there was part of me that gets upset for Martin, but I think on a general level, I watch him as a character. He’s fantastic on stage. Have you seen him on stage?
Kristina: No, I haven’t. When I saw Clybourne Park he wasn’t on it anymore because it had transferred to the West End. So when I saw it I was like oh this is really funny. Someone told me Martin Freeman played that one guy and I went “BLAGH!” Why didn’t I see that version?!
Amanda: His stage work is amazing. Try and get him to do another play. I kind of detach myself when I watch him. I don’t watch him as Martin. I do watch him as characters. He’s very good at it.
Ardy: He’s very, very good at being John Watson.
Amanda: He is. Subtle nuances that he doesn’t do in real life, like the way walks, the way he stands, he’s kind of military, and he isn’t like that in real life. He’s the least military person I know. He’s my favorite actor. Well, him and Andrew and Ben.
Kristina: There is this website called The Bookshelf Bombshells, which I think is a great name.
Kristina: They asked us and asked if we could ask you, what does Sherlock as a show actually mean to you?
Amanda: I was never a huge follower or fan of Sherlock Holmes. I really wasn’t. It wasn’t in my canon of literature. I don’t really know why. Maybe I associated it with Woolsey. It was never very accessible to me when I was growing up. I’m reading it now. At the moment I’m reading The Sign of Four.
Kristina: Mary Morstan?
Amanda: Yeah! But I wouldn’t have done had I not been involved in the show. Which is good, it’s great, it’s opened me up to his work.
Kristina: Are you enjoying the stories?
Amanda: They’re great. They’re really good. They really drag you in. It’s very interesting and very engaging. It zips along. I’ve got to have something that zips along… I can’t if it’s slow and meandering. I have to finish a book as well. Once I start a book I have to finish it. Even if it’s really shit. It becomes a battle for me. I’m gonna do it! The Doyle stuff is quite easy to get through, which is a testament to good writing.
Kristina: When you’re reading, do you picture Ben and Martin in the roles?
Amanda: That’s interesting. I don’t. In my head I have a sort of… in my head Sherlock is always kind of tall and quite willowy. Yeah no, I don’t imagine Martin & Ben. Sounds a bit weird! I don’t picture Ben & Martin in my head. Girls on tumblr are going “Oh! Oooh!” now! Oh Martin & Ben together! Oh my God! I wish they were married!” [Meaning Sherlock & John]
Kristina: Honestly, what do you think about it [the Sherlock/John slash in the fandom]? Do you take it as it comes, or what?
Amanda: It makes me laugh. It’s quite sweet. Some of the pictures, as well. People have drawn them together. It’s like “Awww… okay.”
Kristina: I think most of the time people draw them as the characters.
Amanda: Absolutely. Oh no it’s never Martin & Ben. It’s always that they should be together Sherlock & Watson should be together. Which is fair enough. There’s that undertone to the programme, I think there is. I was talking to Martin about it. In the Scandal in Belgravia, when Watson goes to see Irene at Battersea Power Station and they have that conversation where he says, “Why did you hurt him?” and I said to Martin, “It’s like you’re jealous.” He never played it like that, but I watched it where it was kind of affecting him on a deeper level. He didn’t get that. It was quite interesting. I said, “It’s quite homoerotic. It kind of is, because you live together and you’re both quite…. Sherlock’s really weird and he’s really straight, and there is that— there’s quite a homoerotic undertone.” I think there is. I know they didn’t play it like that, and I know that wasn’t what they thought of when they were filming it.
Kristina: It just kind of plays out that way, whether they want it to or not. There’s chemistry there. Basically it’s the roles that they have.
Amanda: Absolutely. It does.
Ardy: It tends to do with Holmes & Watsons though.
Amanda: And neither one can do without the other. That’s what’s so beautiful. They depend on each other. They need each other for different things. And you see that at the end. Watson’s bereft and he’s watching him… it’s beautiful.
Kristina: It is.
Amanda: I love it. I remember seeing one on the Internet. I think it was Daniel Radcliffe’s face, and someone had written on it that “he should be with Benedict. Martin should be with Benedict,” and I remember thinking—people actually do think that Martin and Benedict should be together. I was slightly worried, but Martin said it’s fine. People don’t really think that. And that’s fine.
Kristina: There will always be the slightly odd fans, and that comes with everything.
Amanda: Well, you know who they are—you just go, whoa, bye!
Kristina: Yeah, it’s like—hi, we’re gonna go.
Amanda: They’re so invested in it.
Kristina: I think, in general, how fandom works, it’s sort of like this big family, and if anyone acts out, it’s like, immediately, “You need to stop that!”
Amanda: Yeah, it’s great. You’re protective of the show and of Martin and Ben and the people that they love, and that’s one of the things that I love. I do. I love it. It’s really sweet and caring, and, like, everyone was very sweet when the picture of our children went up. Everyone was really lovely, and they were kind of very protective. Of course, we can’t do anything about that. It’s an unsolicited photograph. I had no idea it’d been taken, and the next thing, it was up. Martin and I are very, very careful about not involving our children in any of this, but you know, they have to see their dad. We have to go down and see him, and you can’t stop people from photographing. We are so careful about not getting them involved in anything.
Kristina: Yeah, I know.
Amanda: Everybody was very lovely about making sure that came down.
Kristina: I haven’t seen it for a while. I think the issue was that when they first went up, there was a big attack. It was like, “Take it down!” And then new people came in with Series 2, and they didn’t realize. I hope that it’s well aware now.
Amanda: Yeah, it’s lovely, and I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me that you care about that concern. Thank you. I do appreciate it.
Kristina: So, what were the set visits like? Did you just go to the one?
Amanda: I took a few, but the Baker Street one was always attractive because it was easy to get to. That was just great, and the children loved it.
Kristina: Do they like seeing him act and everything?
Amanda: They love it—and just seeing Daddy as Watson. It’s a big thrill for them. My daughter—when she grows up, she wants to be Moriarty. And she will be! She’s terrifying. Were big fans in our house.
Kristina: Oh, and I have to say, your dogs are amazing and precious.
Amanda: Aren’t they? They’re ridiculous. I love them so much. They bark for England! When the doorbell rings Archie will literally bark for ten minutes. And this is for nothing in the end, he’s barking for no reason They’re a bit annoyed at the moment. They won’t walk in the rain. They just sit there. So they’ve had no walk for about two days, and then they get all cross with me, but they won’t go, so what can I do? I’ll not force you out, so they’re really cross with me at the moment. But they are lovely. Little Moriarchie.
Ardy: There was one that we were talking about earlier, and that is because you were saying that you started reading the stories and things. Is there, apart from the main characters, a favorite female character that you have, or someone that, if you were given the chance on the show, that you would like to play?
Kristina & Ardy: Hypothetically!
Ardy: Who’s your favorite?
Amanda: My favorite character is Irene, and I think Lara did it beautifully. She was a perfect Irene Adler. She was a real wonderful foil for Sherlock. She actually looked similar to him, which I loved.
Kristina: Yes, they were sort of like looking in a mirror, male and female.
Amanda: She played it perfectly, which was just wonderful. Who I’d like to play? … Mary would be nice…but, you know, I don’t know what will be next. It would be lovely to play any part in Sherlock. I’d love to be a part of Sherlock. It’s brilliant, but I’m working quite a lot—I’m doing a costume drama and then doing Case Histories again, and then hopefully another sitcom for Hartswood.
Kristina: Is that the pilot that you’re doing?
Amanda: Yeah. But it would be great to be in it. I’d love to. Mary’s a great character.
Baker Street Babes: Yeah she is
Amanda: I was reading about her and she’s beautiful, and she does die.
Kristina: Good old TB.
Amanda: Yeah, it’s a fantastic character. But I don’t know what they’re going to do with that.
Ardy: It was a hypothetical question.
Kristina: Completely hypothetical. We were asking the other Babes on this email chain that we have for any questions, and one of them was like, “Who do you want to play?” and everyone was like, “Should play Mary! Should play Mary!” I’m like, why would you do that? That would be heartbreaking to the extreme because she dies!
Amanda: Yeah! That would be great to play, wouldn’t it? I’d love that, to play that. Yes, we shall see.
Kristina: Obviously, you can’t tell us anything about Series 3, and we won’t ask any questions about Series 3, but when Martin gets the script, does he immediately tell you what’s going to happen? Do you have to pry it from him?
Amanda: He reads it, and then he comes and goes, “This is so good! Read it, please read it,” and I say, “No, I’m going to wait until it comes out,” but I think I read the Reichenbach [script] because he said, “Please read it. It’s so good.” But I generally don’t read his scripts. He will read them straightaway, and then he’s very, very, very excited for a long time. They’re so brilliantly written. It’s so good. Oh I’m such a big fan!
Kristina: I think we’re probably containing ourselves from fangirling him, because eyou’re his wife and it’s be a little weird. But he’s amazing!
Amanda: He is.
Kristina: One of the questions that one of our friends, Kristen McHugh wanted to ask, was, what do you fangirl?
Amanda: Oh, hang on, see, it’s all in my head. I do it a lot. Louis CK. Do you know Louis CK? He’s a standup comedian. Funniest man in the world. And I fangirl a lot over him. A lot. Yeah. He’s very funny. So yeah, I fangirl over him. Andrew [Scott] as well. I adore him. I met him for the first time. I’d been to an audition and I was in Covent Garden and Mark was doing the Recruiting Officer at the Donmar and I walked around the corner, and sitting outside a café was Mark with Andrew, and I just went—Hiiii! And Mark was like, “Hello, Darling, come and sit down for a coffee?” and I was like, “Really!? Oh my god!” and he got up and was like “Hello Amanda, I’ve never met you, you’re the only one I haven’t met” and I was like, “Hahaha!” and I was shaking! I was shaking! And it was pathetic. And that’s when I said, I want to go and see Bedtime Stories.
Kristina: Oh, okay. Yeah.
[Gesturing about the awkwardness of the encounter.]
Amanda: He was talking and was like “What do you think?” And I was like… “I’m sorry, what? I’m sorry… oh I’m sorry.” I’m a big stupid fan of his. I’m allowed. Martin says I’m allowed. I was such a fangirl. I’m like that with Ian McKellen. I met him, and Martin said, “I can always tell when you’re like really, really stupidly, like, in love with someone because you just go around going, “I think you’re so good!” So yeah, I get like that quite a lot. I love him [Andrew]. I love him! He’s just an amazing actor.
Kristina: No, he’s fantastic. I didn’t know about him until Sherlock,
Amanda: Neither did I!
Kristina: And it was like, who is this guy? In the first series in just how many minutes of screen time?
Baker Street Babes: Ten
Kristina: It was like, who is that?
Amanda: I asked, “Is he nice? Is he nice? Please tell me he’s lovely,” but he’s gorgeous.
Turk: Just after that episode I met him and I started running a fansite for him. Felt like I needed to be a proper fan and go and watch everything else he’d been in.
Amanda: His other stuff is amazing. It’s great. Yeah I’m a big fan. I’ve got a t-shirt with him on it. It’s pathetic isn’t it? It’s grey and it’s got an outline of him going “Westwood”.
Kristina: Oh that one, ok yeah.
Ardy : We know it.
Amanda: And I’ve got one with Benedict and Martin as Peanuts characters.
Kristina: I love that piece of art. It’s so adorable.
Amanda: I’ve got another one that says… oh God, this is pathetic. I’ve got a red one that says “Honey, you should see me in a crown.”
Kristina: I love that you own as many Sherlock shirts as I do.
Amanda: Martin says, “Please don’t wear them when you’re with me. Please.” I’m not allowed to wear them when I’m with him. I have to wear them when he’s off doing stuff. I have to restrict myself to when he’s off doing stuff. He thinks it would be a bit weird, and he’s right.
Turk: I have to make an active effort not to look like Andrew. So many times people tell me in the street for no reason, “You look like Moriarty!” We know, we’ve had a conversation about this. It killed the fangirl element for me. And I can’t fangirl him if I look like him. That’s just weird. It’d be like fangirling myself.
Amanda: That’s so sweet. He’s lovely. I love him.
Kristina: I couldn’t tell.
Amanda: I could happily watch him all day. And Martin. And Ben, actually!
Ardy: You sound very similar to us.
Kristina: So Lyndsay had a question because we obviously know that Martin is really into music. Do you have a favourite band that you like to listen to?
Amanda: At the moment? Alabama Shakes.
Kristina: I saw you tweet about that.
Amanda: Yes. He sent me a video link of them and said, “You’ve got to watch them because they really affected me.” He gets really affected by music. And I watched it and I was… the girl’s voice, it’s just, I don’t know where it comes from. She’s got this amazing sort of bluegrass voice, which is incredible. We’re gonna go and see them. I’m more eclectic.
Kristina: I think the one complaint that people have about Sherlock is the lack of behind-the-scenes things. We want a blooper reel so badly.
Amanda: I know!
Kristina: So do you have any amusing behind-the-scenes stories that you’re allowed to share?
Amanda: I don’t know. They got a question about it once as well, didn’t they? They don’t really get it wrong do they? I know they have a really good time there. They have such a good cast and crew and they get on really well. But no… I think there was one time when they were filming in a morgue and then they got snowed in in there and were quite scared about that. They had to get out really quicky. And the riots, when the riots happened and they had to leave the filming set. I’m not sure if they took stuff. I think they did. Things were stolen.
Kristina: Yeah, I think some of the lighting rig. It was it on tumblr. If you ever need any kind of news, tumblr has it immediately.
Amanda: They’re very quick.
Kristina: They are very dedicated.
Amanda: They are. It’s almost like they have a little mole somewhere. “Tell me something, tell me something!” They’re really fast.
Kristina: He’s going to be so offended if we don’t drink this. [the drink]
Amanda: I know! They’ll kick me out. I’ll get kicked out.
Turk: It’ll be like in that episode of Mr. Bean, where he hides the stuff in his pants.
Amanda: I can’t drink it. It tastes really weird.
Kristina: It is. It’s odd.
Amanda: I might have to drink it like this.
Kristina: Hopefully Katherine’s on her way now, so we can give it to her.
Amanda: Yeah. “Look, we got this for you!”
Kristina: “It’s a present!”
Amanda: Just drink it, Katherine, just drink it.
Turk: Then again she’s really big. She might get angry.
Kristina: She is ridiculously tall.
Amanda: Is she?
Turk: Yes. Like six foot or something.
Amanda: Is she really? That’s brilliant.
Turk: I’m 5’1’’, so it’s really quite a difference.
Kristina: She’s lovely. I can’t help but ask: Have you seen the “pocket Martin”?
Kristina: I think it came from some interview with Benedict where he said, “I’d like a pocket Martin, I think he’d make a very good pet”. And it’s obviously gone wild on tumblr and there’s all these pictures of Sherlock and then this tiny Martin somewhere.
Amanda: Aww! He is quite small.
Kristina: Perfectly Hobbit-sized though. How much has Sherlock changed your lives? In terms of his public image and everything.
Amanda: I think it finally got rid of the “Tim from The Office” character homage. It certainly moved him up in the eyes of the public.
Kristina: And then The Hobbit , it’s just going to… culminate with that.
Amanda: Well, obviously that.
Kristina: I’m excited to see it, for sure. I’m a huge Lord of the Rings fan, so when I heard they were making The Hobbit, I was like, “yay”. And then I heard Martin was going to be Bilbo and was like, “Oh my God! That’s perfect!”
Amanda: He has a passing resemblance to Ian Holm.
Ardy: Yes, he does! I noticed that.
Amanda: And he’s very similar in his acting as well. The bits I’ve seen are tremendous. You forget how huge a production it is, it’s enormous. The scale is ridiculous, but it’s like a well-oiled machine. Every cog works.
Kristina: I’m so excited.
Amanda: It’s not long, really.
Kristina: I know! Well, in comparison to Sherlock. The Hobbit definitely tops that.
Amanda: Long time with that! January they’re filming… so autumn?
Kristina: Yeah… the general consensus was that once it was released that it was going to be filming in early 2013, once we got over the 2013 bit, we realized it’s going to be on in the autumn. It’s going to be another eighteen months.
Amanda: It’s hard.
Kristina: But what with the rising profile for both of them and how long it actually takes to write it and film it, I guess it makes sense, if you’re going for that kind of quality. And also, we’re willing to wait because of how good it is.
Kristina: It sucks, but we’re willing to wait.
Amanda: I know. I know, because you know it’s going to be brilliant. It’s a very clever pedigree of people. They’ve got two strong women as producers.
Amanda: Sue and Beryl are amazing.
Kristina: I’m a bit joking, like, yay for… I always call him “The Moff”, and Gatiss, but the Vertues behind everything.
Amanda: They’re incredible women. They’re amazing. And it’s so nice that they’re kind of running the show. Women running it! Women behind one of the best shows on television! How good is that? We need more strong women doing stuff like that.
Kristina: And doing it well.
Amanda: Yeah. I’m just thinking… I’m wondering if there is anything else that you’d like to know that I can tell you.
Ardy: I just want to say thank you so much for getting what fandom is all about and for being really appreciative of it. There are not that many people who are connected to shows who are understanding of it.
Amanda: I don’t really understand why. I love it. You know, I was a fan of Martin’s anyway. I’d watched him on telly. I’m an actress as well, so, well, I get to work with him, but yeah, I was a huge fan of him. I saw him in Bruiser. I remember sitting with my friend, going “He’s lovely, who’s that?” And then about two months later, I’m on a job, Men Only, and he walked past the make-up artist going “Hiiiii”. And I said to the make-up artist, “I just want a nice boyfriend. I haven’t got a boyfriend.” And she said, “There’s a young actor on here who’s looking for a nice girlfriend.” And then it came up on the radio, “Martin Freeman’s coming back,” and the make-up artist was like “this is him, this is him, just see what happens.” And he walked up and it was like a thunderbolt. I was like “okay…” And that’s really how it was.
Kristina: My heart is swelling for you. That’s such a sweet story.
Amanda: I was smitten. I still am. God, that so sick, isn’t it?
Kristina: I’m so in loooooooove.
Amanda: He’s so lovely.
Kristina: How long have you been together?
Amanda: It’s our 12-year anniversary in July. Crazy! That’s a long time to be with one person, when you say it out loud, Twelve years? I didn’t think I’d be with one person for that long.
Kristina: You’re stuck with each other.
Amanda: Yes! We’ll end up being really old and cantankerous together. Sitting on Brighton sea-front like that (mimes being an old arthritic lady) Remember? Remember when we met?
Kristina: Back to the whole fandom thing. There’s this thing that fans call “the Fourth Wall.” It’s like you appreciate something, but there’s never any direct contact. And I think everyone calls you “the fandom queen” now, because not only did you smash that wall, you sort of bulldozed it and set it on fire.
Amanda: Yes. People don’t like that, do they? Some people don’t like that. Some people get a little intimidated. By me being there.
Kristina: Yeah. I think at first because it was so much. There was you and then Martin did the pictures. It was all happening at once, so people were like, “what is going on?”
Amanda: I just wanted to say thank you. We still have a pile of postcards like that. I spent most of one morning putting them all out and photographing them. I haven’t put them up yet but I got to about the twentieth picture and I thought “What are you doing? Why are you taking pictures of postcards? Go do something constructive.” I know some fans don’t like it. They think it’s too weird. I’ve read “how could she do that? It’s just really weird.”
Ardy: It just kind of depends on how the contact is because I think it has the potential to make people uncomfortable. Because, you know, the things we draw and write, the whole homoeroticism thing. It’s like, I don’t really want the actors to know about it because I don’t know if it makes them uncomfortable. But if you’re like, “yeah, they’re really fine with it” so that’s great.
Amanda: I just, it doesn’t bother me at all. I just think, well, I used to do stuff. I mean, I didn’t have the internet when I was in my early twenties because I wasn’t into all that. But yeah, I used to fangirl over all sorts of different people. And it really doesn’t bother me.
Kristina: I think you just put a lot of people’s minds at rest. That is a thing that people always worry about: “Do they think we’re all really weird?”
Turk: I think you get some actors who discover the fandom and are like, “yay, let’s join in,” and you get some actors who discover it and run very far away and mention in every interview how scared they are. And we’re like, oops, what did we do?
Amanda: Yeah, and I think you’re doing a brilliant job. I think you’re doing it right. It’s not like you’re being vitriolic and hateful, you’re just saying you love that person’s acting and how you appreciate what they do. That’s not a bad thing. Okay, wait, here they are. So look. (shows us the pictures of the postcards they got)
Kristina: I like how you started out in rows and then it turned into piles.
Ardy: That’s massive.
Amanda: I know. I will put them up because Martin asked “How many have I got?” And I said, “Quite a few.” And he was like, “Wow!”
Kristina: I heard about it. I wasn’t able to send a postcard in but I saw it going around and I thought, oh, that’s a really cute idea. And then you took the picture of Martin holding them and I just thought “awww, he got them.”
Amanda: I think I said to him, “I think you should say thank you to everybody. Or should I just put some up?” I probably shouldn’t have put the one up that said fuck you on the font, in hindsight that probably wasn’t a good idea. But I remember somebody got really offended by it. I went on somebody’s tumblr account and they were saying things like “it’s really disgusting, she does all that stuff, she does that and then she doesn’t want pictures of their kids put up.” And I thought they got the wrong end of the stick. You know. He’s just saying thank you. That’s different from me saying “please would you mind taking down the pictures of our children, who have never been in the public eye, because I don’t want my children on the internet.” I nearly wrote to her, but then I thought, I’m not going to. I’ll take the dignified side. But I got really cross! It was a really irrational thing to say. But that was one in thousands of people who were all like “yay” and thought it was really nice. She did get really cross. I offended someone by being nice, that’s weird.
Kristina: There will always be that one person that gets really angry, and unfortunately they always stick out.
Amanda: A lot of people did reply on my behalf and said “oh, stop being ridiculous!” That was very nice. People were very supportive.
Kristina: Yes. You’re very, very well-loved.
Amanda: Aw. You’re so lovely. I love the fact that you love Martin. That makes me feel very happy and very warm inside, because it’s always nice to be appreciated and loved and there’s not enough of that in the world at the moment.
Kristina: Very true.
Amanda: So the fact that you love him and you love the show and you love what he does is great. It’s fine. It’s brilliant. I think you’re all lovely. You’re my poppets.
Amanda: (sips the weird drink) I’m drinking that because I’m feeling sorry for the man.
Kafers joins, finally…
Kafers: I’m not fashionably late. Pleasure to meet you.
Amanda: How are you, darling? Drink this, it’s delicious.
Kafers: What is it?!
Amanda: I ordered a thing called The Heart Shake. He made me buy it. I said “what is it” and he said “get it”. You can try it if you want.
Kafers: I’m feeling swayed, because I’ve just been in the rain and I’ve been on the train for a very long time.
Everyone: Try it. Drink it.
Amanda: It’s lovely. It’s really nice. I love it. Best thing I’ve ever had. (meanwhile, everyone else breaks down giggling)
Kafers: (drinks) Is it like… (pulls a face)
Amanda: That was everyone’s reaction.
Kafers: What is that?
Amanda: I don’t know! I asked what was in it and he said something I couldn’t hear and then “Jack Daniels,” and I was like “huh?” I’m driving. I have to look after my children and cook Sunday lunch for my parents, so I’m not going to drink that. I’ll be driving like that (miming bad, alcoholised driving)
Kristina: “I had a shake thing!”
Kafers: It’s interesting.
Amanda: We’ve been having a really nice chat. I’m sorry you missed it!
Kafers: No, no, it’s fine. I meant to get a train at eight o’clock and it was cancelled because of engineering works or some such thing. So they kicked us all off and we had to go on another train, and then that one was late as well…
Amanda: I couldn’t get out of the end of my road. It’s a country lane and the bottom of it was flooded. I had to really drive slowly. I have a little Mini, and I was going “please don’t drown, please don’t drown.” So it took a while to get out of my road.
Kristina: It has been a bit miserable weather wise…
Amanda: One month’s rain in a day today, apparently.
Ardy: It’s the wettest drought I’ve ever seen.
Amanda: Isn’t it? I saw a bus going past when I was standing there with my umbrella and was drenched, and on the side of the bus it said “Drought. Look after the water.” What are you talking about? This is the wrong kind of rain, apparently. It’s the wrong kind of rain. It doesn’t stay. Really? I wonder what happens to it then.
Kafers: I was walking to the station this morning and I always take a shortcut which is a bit of a gamble when it’s raining because they sometimes close the flood barrier, which involves having to climb over it to then to take the shortcut. But I was lucky. It wasn’t high enough for them to justify closing the flood barrier.
Amanda: It will be when you go home.
Turk: It was sunny when I was getting the train yesterday and thought, “oh, I don’t need my big coat. I’ll just pull this over, I’ll be fine.” And then the wet was seeping up through my socks.
Amanda: Did you come down last night?
Turk: Yes. Leaving tomorrow.
Amanda: For this? That’s so gorgeous! This is why I love you all, because you do lovely things like this. That’s so sweet. I feel like I should take you back to my house and give you some hot tea.
Kafers: We are like the stray cats. We would be like “yes, we’d love some tea.”
Kristina: If we were meeting at some random place, I was so tempted to ask you to bring the dogs.
Amanda: Aw, no! When you come down next time, we will meet up and you can see the dog. I’ll dress Archie up as Moriarty. He doesn’t don’t mind getting dressed up, actually. I used to put an old football kit on him and he just sat like that. Absolutely still. When I took it off, he ran around, but as soon as you put anything on him, like, a hat, he just sits there.
Kafers: It’s because they can’t look up, so they don’t know what it is.
Turk: Our cat’s the opposite. You can put anything on. She wouldn’t stay. And you can’t get her back, so she’s usually covered in bells, and she’s ringing.
Kafers: I feel obliged to finish off whatever this is. [the drink]
Ardy: I’ll help you.
Amanda: We’ll have to drink it because I feel really bad.
Kafers: What is in it?
Amanda: Don’t try! We spent all the time trying to figure out what it was.
Ardy: The only things I can taste are Jack Daniels and peanut butter.
Amanda: Yes, it smells like peanut butter. And milk. Disgusting combination.
Kristina (to Kafers): You have to ask Sherlock questions now because you missed everything. I am charging you.
Amanda: Yeah, exactly! Do you like it?
Kafers: Well… um, I don’t know.
Kristina: She’s the one who watched Reichenbach on the train down.
Kafers: I was like this, next to this guy who was, like, a bit from Peterborough. And I sat there and… I didn’t cry when Sherlock jumped off the building. But when John is at the grave and he’s talking to the grave, I was there, like, sobbing. There were all these people giving me odd looks.
Amanda: I cry every single time.
Kristina: So you actually watched it with Martin when you first watched it, yeah?
Kafers: Does he do that thing where he’s like, “oh, this bit’s coming up next”?
Amanda: No, he doesn’t do that. We watched it together for the first time, he hadn’t seen it. So we watched it together for the first time and I punched him afterwards.
Kafers: I would! I was really emotional.
Amanda: I punched him really hard in the arm, I was so excited about it. I went “You BASTARD!” and I punched him, and he went, “OWWW!” I was too excited. “Don’t make me cry, you horrible man!”
Kafers: I did have one question that I prepared and it’s a completely random question. If they ever did a version of Sherlock Holmes where the cast was all-female, who would be in it?
Amanda: Oh god! Me as Watson! No. Do you know who’s good? Jessica Stevenson. She’s really good. She’d be really good in it. Um. Who would I have as Sherlock? That’s such a good question!
Kafers: In your mental cast list.
Amanda: It could be anybody?
Kafers: Anybody. It doesn’t have to be British, they can put on an accent.
Amanda: Okay. No they’d have to be British.
Kristina: Let’s keep the soul correct.
Amanda: Oh Lord! Oh, that’s such a good question.
Kafers: I can’t believe you haven’t asked that question.
Kristina: Well, we asked if she would be in Sherlock, who she’d be. Hypothetically. She can’t tell us anything about Series 3.
Kafers: This is a purely conjectural conversation.
Amanda: Well, I’d love to play Watson. Can we have a female Moriarty?
Kafers: Oh absolutely.
Kristina: Completely gender-swapped.
Amanda: Oh, so Lestrade… and we’d have a Mr. Hudson.
Kafers: Like a doddery old man.
Amanda: Doddery old man? My dad. Oh no… can I think about this and email you my answers?
Amanda: I will take some serious time on this. I will go through IMDB and work out who my favourite actresses are and I will compile a list and synopsis and everything.
Kafers: This is a really important topic to me, I feel that this is something that needs to happen.
Amanda:Yes! I think they should absolutely do that!
Kafers: It’s been done in Russia, in the Victorian world.
Amanda: Fantastic! Brilliant. Better than the American’s, “Elementary”…
Kristina: I’m genuinely not opening that can of worms, because it’s going to be like, “WHYYYYY?”
Kafers: We’ll still have to watch it though.
Ardy: Yeah. Just to know what it’s like.
Kristina: I just want to know why they didn’t genderswap both of them.
Amanda: I know!
Kafers: I think Lucy Liu should be playing Sherlock.
Ardy: There were two people on tumblr who’d read the script and kind of said what it was all about. You kind of read that and you’re like “well, what is even happening?”
Amanda: Yeah. Don’t do it. You don’t have to do everything! They are so insistent on remaking stuff that we do. Just do your own! You’re making really good stuff!
Kristina: Yes! Just be original. Please!
Kafers: Life on Mars. Enough said.
Ardy: Don’t. Just don’t.
Kristina: The thing about American versions of things is that when they find out it’s not working, they just cancel it. It’s like, “you just wasted all that money and all that time, why didn’t you just leave it as it was and just show the original?”
Amanda: I know. “Oh, it’s not working, byyyyyye!” But I would want to see it. I like Jonny Lee Miller, I think he’s brilliant. I was supposed to be learning lines this afternoon, but I’m going to spend most of my afternoon thinking about that
Kafers: That’s what I like to hear. I was supposed to be working yesterday. I did all my work in about an hour between nine and ten last night.
Amanda: Well, it’s lots of lines, that’s right. But as I say, I’m going to spend the majority of my day deciding who would be in the female Sherlock cast.
Kafers: Every time I watch a film or TV series, I’m always on IMDB on my mother’s iPad, finding out who everybody is. It’s become like a second limb for everybody in the house.
Amanda: Yeah. We’re always like, “who was that actor who was in…ah, let’s have a look.”
Kristina: IMDB it. It’s a verb, like “Google” is now.
Turk: I don’t need IMDB if I’m there.. I just memorise everyone.
Amanda: That’s brilliant. So, who are your favourite characters in Sherlock? You don’t have to say Martin just because I’m married to him.
Ardy: OK, honestly? I tuned in—I watched it on iPlayer when it was first on—and five seconds into it, I was like “Who is this guy who plays Watson and why do I not know about him?”, because he’s amazing. So that would have to be it for me for favourite male. Favourite female is really really tough. I think Una Stubbs is amazing as Mrs. Hudson.
Amanda: She looks exactly like my mum.
Kafers: Does she?
Amanda: Yes. The image of my mum. It’s brilliant.
Ardy: But I think they’re all brilliant.
Kristina: I’m such a Molly fan. I love her.
Ardy: It’s what she did in the last episode.
Kafers: She’s proper my homegirl.
Amanda: I love Mrs Hudson. There’s that line where she says “you shot it” or something, it’s like the doorbell goes, and something about something he broke and it’s just like “He shot it.”
Kristina: Yes. It’s like “Of course he did.”
Kafers: It’s when she finds the things in the fridge as well.
Amanda: And my friend Zoe Telford played Sarah.
Kafers: I really liked her! I was really disappointed she didn’t come back in the second series.
Ardy: They said she was going to.
Amanda: She was great. (To Turk) How about you?
Amanda: Yeah! What he does is ridiculous. (To Kristina) What about you?
Kristina: I’m a Sherlock girl. Because I was very much in the camp that Sherlock Holmes should be Victorian. But everyone just kept talking about it, so I was like, “Fine, I’ll watch it.” And… it’s perfect. I watched the first episode and I watched the next two, and then it was like, “That’s the end,” and I screamed. That’s it? There’s no more? Being American, I’m used to ridiculously long seasons. And then I was like, “There’s only three? And it ends like that?”
Amanda: Yes! The Americans were like “What? What? Hang on. Where are the others?”
Kristina: All my friends were asking, “Does anyone know where the next couple of episodes of Sherlock are?”
Amanda: Yeah. We’re just going to give you that. See how you get on with that. And the wait a year.
Kristina: A year and a half! I just love that we thought of every single outcome possible…and then it was the Bee Gees. No one had thought of that.
Kafers: Didn’t we have a whole conjecture about what we thought would happen?
Ardy: We spent eighteen months theorising.
Kristina: None of us thought about a phone going off.
Amanda: I love it when he goes, “Sorry.”
Kafers: I just love that “I will make you into shoooooes.”
Amanda: I love him. I love him.
Kristina: She’s a huge Andrew Scott fan.
Kafers: It’s so scary. He’s such a nice man. I remember meeting him once at the National Theatre, and it’s just like, “You’re such a nice man, how are you so terrifying?”
Turk: He comes out and hugs everyone and you’re like, “but you’re evil!”
Babes: (laughter, giggles)
Ardy: There’s a lot of Jack Daniels in this.
Kristina: Don’t die!
Kafers: Let’s put this down now.
Ardy: I’m very tipsy.
Kafers: Have some tea.
Ardy: No, I’m not stealing your tea. I’m stealing her cocktail, I’m not stealing your tea. I can’t do this.
Kristina: Right. Before we wrap it up, I have presents for you. Do you remember Caitlin, who did the Martin song?
Kristina: Well, something was emailed to me last night, for you.
Amanda: She hasn’t.
Kristina: She has.
Amanda: Oh my God.
Kristina: It’s so lovely. It’s called “Amanda Abbington is the Nicest Person in the Northern Hemisphere.”
Ardy: You should have told me, I could have brought headphones.
Kafers: I’ve got headphones.
Amanda: Oh, I’ve got headphones! I’m going to be really antisocial for about three minutes. Oh my God, that’s amazing! I love her!
Kristina: She’s so awesome. She does our theme song and she’s done a lot of amazing songs.
Amanda: She’s brilliant. I sent it to Martin and he’s like “Oh yeah I know it!” I was like “What do you mean you know it?! I said “I thought I had discovered something amazing.” He said “no you have, she’s brilliant!”, “Well why didn’t you tell me?!”
Kristina: Caitlin’s going to die.
Amanda: Okay, back in a minute!
Amanda: Oh my goooooood. Can you send that to me? Will you? Oh my god that’s so- oh wow. I just wish she could sing and write music that’s all… she’s not very good—- I’m joking.
Babes: [hysterical laughter]
Kristina: That is so staying in!
Kafers: Across the world, Caitlin is like… a chill just went down my spine!
Amanda: She’s actually a bitch! That was amazing, oh wow. I think I’m going to put that on my playlist!
Kristina: Now you can tease Martin and be like, nyah! I have a song too now!
Amanda: And I’m not going to play it for you! I didn’t hear yours, I had to find yours on the internet! Oh wow. You are all delightful and I love you. I think you’re gorgeous. Thank you so much I’ve had the best time!