Nansi Nsue plays forensic investigator Luisa Rosa
Q: How did you get the role?
A: “I was put forward for the role by my agent. I didn’t see the first series of The Mallorca Files because, of course, it hadn’t yet been on air, although I did get a script from the first series so I could understand the dynamic of the cast. And I did get a bit of background information on Luisa Rosa, so I turned up for the audition with my nails done in the way that I imagined she would have them and with flowers in my hair.
I did the first casting, and then didn’t hear anything for a little while, so I was really pleased to get the call back.”
Q: How did it feel to join a cast and crew which had already bonded?
A: “It’s always nerve-wracking joining an established cast where everyone knows one another, but everyone was incredibly friendly and welcoming at the table read. That really helped me to feel settled, even before we began shooting.
And when we began filming, from the minute I walked into make-up, the crew have been amazing. When I stepped out of the trailer in Luisa’s outfit, that gave me extra confidence. I simply came out as Luisa and started to talk to people as she would have.”
Q: Was there less pressure knowing that Alex (who plays Roberto) was joining at the same time as you?
A: “For sure. It was helpful to have Alex around and nice that there was another newbie. He and I have become buddies on set.”
Q: Tell us a little more about your character Luisa Rosa?
A: “She’s a millennial, so an Instagram girl. She’s ‘airy’ and upbeat, so when we first meet her, we’re left wondering whether she’s in the wrong place, doing a job that’s not right for her. I mean, when we think of forensic scientists, we think of darker, introverted characters (like Roberto). How can she be light and bubbly and look at dead bodies all day?
You’d be wrong to underestimate her, though. Luisa’s super smart, knows what she’s talking about and is really focussed on her work.”
Q: Do you see any similarities between Luisa and yourself?
A: “There are definitely similarities, which I’m sure is what helped me get the role. But while I give the impression of being confident and outgoing when you meet me, I tend to be more reserved and like quiet and time to myself. Luisa is a natural extrovert: outgoing and full on all the time…and she’s a lot smarter!”
Q: What’s the relationship like between your character and Roberto’s?
A: “Roberto is Luisa’s supervisor and Luisa is keen to learn from him. But – like Miranda and Max – they are polar opposites and are likely to rub one another up the wrong way. Roberto is that archetypal forensic scientist: dark and brooding, while Luisa is like an unexpected tornado and likely to shake things up.
Roberto and Luisa haven’t yet done many scenes together, but I’ll be interested to see where that goes and how things turn out.”
Q: What do you think viewers will like about her?
A: “I think viewers will like the fact that she’s so different from the others and can’t be put in a box. She’s young and upbeat and hasn’t been let down by life, so she always has a positive outlook.
And because she looks at things differently, she may well be an asset to Miranda and Max’s investigations.”
Q: Have you filmed in Mallorca before?
A: “I’ve never filmed in Mallorca before and never been to the island, despite the fact that I was brought up in Alicante, just across the water. I also have an aunt who lives on Mallorca.
I had heard of it as a holiday destination, though and understood that it had lovely locations, so I’ve enjoyed getting to see the different locations and stunning scenery while on the island. I’m really looking forward to going back once filming starts again.”
GUEST STAR INTERVIEW
Phil Daniels plays Frank Bottomly in Son of a Pig
Q: What can you tell us about Frank Bottomly?
A: “Frank’s a private detective who’s based in Palma. He’s a senior-ranking detective who moved to Majorca from England to start a new life after resigning from his job.
We find out later that he left the police force under a cloud, as he had developed a drinking problem. He lost his bottle after being threatened by a criminal he was chasing and let him get away. He moved to Spain to start a new life.”
Q: Have you modelled him on anyone in particular?
A: “The part is so well written that I didn’t really need to. He’s a lovely character; very hard working and interesting, like something out of a Dashiell Hammett detective novel. There’s something almost colonial and old-fashioned about him; you see it in his mode of dress, with his wide brimmed hat and his beaten-up Beetle car, and in the way he operates. It allows you to play the part with a certain flamboyance.
When I was in Palma, I did a bit of looking around and there is actually a small detective agency there, offering services to clients in English, Spanish and German. So the character is rooted in reality.”
Q: He references his grandfather a lot. What can you tell us about his relationship with his grandfather?
A: “We discover that Frank’s grandfather fought in Mallorca against the Fascists during the Spanish Civil War and was subsequently captured and executed. One of the reasons he comes to the island is to find out more about what happened, who did it and how he can make them pay.
Frank idolises his grandfather and sees him as a hero, in stark contrast to how he sees himself. On the surface he seems to have his act together, but the reality is that he loathes himself and feels like a coward because of what happened to him on the Force.
It’s a sad story, because he gets it all wrong. He doesn’t quite grasp what’s going on: he hatches this plan to seek revenge, thinking that that will make everything right, but he’s deluding himself. As a former detective, he knows he shouldn’t do that, but his emotions get the better of him and he can’t help himself.”
Q: What does Frank think about Miranda and Max when he first meets them?
A: “He thinks they’re a pair of rank amateurs and easy to manipulate. But he’s also wary of them and has to spin them a yarn to point them away from the facts of the case, while having to look like he’s helping them.
He’s met Miranda before in England - she was a junior officer when he was in the Force - and he uses his old connections to find out about her disciplinary in order to wrong-foot her and shut her up.”
Q: What attracted you to this role?
A: “I was approached by director Bryn (Higgins), who I’d worked with previously. He talked a good show, and this sounded like a good story and a great part. I also thought it would be good fun to spend some time in Palma.
As a guest star it’s good to share the burden of a storyline and helps take some of the weight off the shoulders of the leads and gives them a break.”
Q: What’s that atmosphere been like on set?
A: “We all had a good time during filming and I really enjoyed it. We spent a lot of time in the mountains of Mallorca, which were lovely, although as this was filmed in the winter months, it did rain every now and then.
Everyone got on well and I enjoyed being with the cast. In fact, Julian and I still message one another: we both look forward to hearing whenever (football team) Bayern Munich lose!”
Q: What’s been your impression of Mallorca?
A: “I came to Mallorca many moons ago when Richard Branson had a villa on the island, but I stayed in and close to the hotel most of the time. This time around I was able to explore and visit at bit more of the island during my down time. It’s very easy to get around the island and a beautiful place.”
Q: What’s coming up for you next?
A: “I’m in a comedy series for UKTV’s Dave called Sliced, which is about pizza delivery drivers who will do anything to make a bit more money. We have six more episodes commissioned and have been looking to start filming, but of course everything been delayed due to the Coronavirus.
If something comes up that is right for me, then I’ll do it. Otherwise, I’m quite happy to sit on my narrowboat in Oxfordshire and enjoy the summer…