Rebecca Night: From Tom Hardy's Heroine To Brendan Coyle's Daughter In 'Starlings'... (INTERVIEW)

The beautiful face of upcoming star Rebecca Night was seen contorted with pain during the first episode of Sky1's new gentle family comedy Starlings (which is shown again tonight on Sky1HD), but it was all in a good cause.

"It opens with me in a birthing pool giving birth... to a baby," Rebecca adds by way of clarification. "And then it's about my boyfriend who's done something, so it becomes about whether we can resolve what's happened, while dealing with being new parents."

Starlings is proof of Sky's avowed investment in fresh comedy, coming from the pedigree team of Matt King (Peep Show) and Steve Edge (Star Stories), with Steve Coogan - yes, that one - exec producing, and with Brendan Coyle and Lesley Sharp playing parents, whose house is full up of various long-losts.

"The best thing was definitely the people, every single person on the crew and the director…" says Rebecca. I've never heard a case where this isn't so - surely becoming the thinking woman's limping crumpet on Downton Abbey must have gone to Brendan Coyle's head a little bit? Come on, humour us.

She laughs, but the answer's sadly no: "I really don’t think it has. He likes it, but he takes it with a pinch of salt, he's got a good sense of humour about it." Bugger.

(Photo: )
(Photo: )

Rebecca Night in 'Starlings'

The set-up has made Rebecca think more about family life too. "There are eight of us living in this house together, somehow. Grand dad's been thrown out of his home after an incident... possibly drink... and obviously, for us it's tele-drama and we go home at night, but it'd be nice to think we looked after the elderly people who used to look after us. It's very difficult, but you don't want anyone to feel lonely and unloved."

No danger of Rebecca feeling either of those for a while. She's already shot her next film thriller, Suspension of Disbelief, under the aegis of star-maker Mike Figgis... "I didn’t feel daunted, but I don’t know why, must be Mike making me feel relaxed, until I remembered where I was.

"He’s so cool and really good at relaxing you, so you can improvise. And there wasn’t enough time to be scared."

Bit more scary was playing opposite Tom Hardy in ITV's Wuthering Heights: "Because of his character, he had scenes where he had to bully me and he’d just finished Bronson, so he was pretty big. But it gave me something to play back to, and he’s lovely in real life."

What's more fun, period drama or contemporary?

"If I had to pick, I’d go modern, but the thing I like about period dramas, is because of the oppression, all the things you can’t say, the corsets, it does make for wonderful drama."

And what pieces of advice are all these stars floating in Rebecca Night's orbit able to provide? "Just relax."

Except when she's in a birthing pool...

Starlings Episode 1 is being reshown on Sky 1HD tonight, and continues on Sky 1 on Sundays at 8pm. Trailer below...

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.