Season 6 of Jed Mercurio's award-winning police procedural drama returns on Sunday, March 21st, and Macdonald will make her anticipated debut as the show's sketchy antagonist, DCI Joanne Davidson. Hawes was critically acclaimed for her role as DI Lindsay Denton in season 2.
"The real issue was the sheer number of words I had to learn," Macdonald told Radio Times magazine. When I saw the script, my first instinct was to run a mile. It's all addresses and dates and police jargon, especially when I was interviewing suspects. Keeley was brilliant; she talked me down from the ledge. She said it might look as though you are being asked to do something completely impossible, but it's not."
The film and TV actress - whose previous acting credits include Giri/Haji, Boardwalk Empire and Harry Potter - also revealed that Martin Compston, who plays DS Steve Arnott in the drama, persuaded her to take the role after they bumped into each other at an awards ceremony.
"He was so excited," she recalled. "He said, ‘Hey! You’ve got to do it!’ It got to the point where I didn’t feel I could run away from it. I thought it might actually be a good challenge and it really was. Although I still can’t believe I got through some of it."
Macdonald joins returning cast members Compston, Vicky McClure (DC Kate Fleming), and Adrian Dunbar (Superintendent Ted Hastings), while Shalom Brune-Franklin also makes her debut as DC Chloe Bishop, helping Ted Hastings and his AC-12 team to root out corrupt coppers.
Perry Fitzpatrick (This Is England, I Am Nicola), Andi Osho (Kiri, Curfew) and Prasanna Puwanarajah (Doctor Foster, Patrick Melrose) are new additions to season 6, though their characters are being kept firmly under wraps.
Line of Duty begins on Sunday 21 March at 9pm on BBC One
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