I’m going to be completely honest with you … I am a HUGE Torchwood fan, and I’ve been a Gwen Cooper fan since Day 1! So, when I had the chance to take part in a call for Torchwood: Miracle Day yesterday afternoon that included Eve Myles, the woman who so sublimely brings Gwen to life, I felt like a teenage girl getting ready for her first school dance! Before tomorrow night’s premiere, here’s a bit of what we learned from Eve about Gwen in the upcoming season to get you all fired up!
Without giving too much away, where will we find Gwen when Miracle Day begins?
Well, you’ll find Gwen Cooper living in complete isolation and completely self-sufficient and cut off from the world. I mean she’s living with her six-month-old baby girl and her husband. And they’re living in this very, very remote beautiful cottage and somewhere in Wales overlooking the sea and that is their life. So you’ve gone from this woman who has saved the universe to being completely cut off and it’s quite sad and it’s very unusual to see Gwen Cooper in this kind of place. And the only person that she can tell stories about her past and Torchwood to is a little baby whilst giving her dinner.
So it’s a very lonely place actually for Gwen Cooper. And then unbeknownst to her, (Jack’s) been Gwen Cooper’s somewhat guardian angel. He’s been keeping her and her family safe. She thinks by being in isolation and being hidden away from the world she’s keeping her family safe but actually there is a bigger picture to it.
The big brother, which is Captain Jack Harkness is watching over at all times, keeping her and the family safe. So we see her looking like she’s having this somewhat idyllic life but actually there isn’t a cupboard or a closet in the house that hasn’t got some sort of explosion kit or a gun or a grenade or a knife or some sort of form of weapon because she knows one day it’s going to come knocking. She’s constantly on alert and boy does it come knocking. It comes knocking with helicopters and rocket launchers. So the girl was right.
Gwen’s now a mom, but she hasn’t stopped kicking ass. As a working mother, do you see any parallels between your life and Gwen’s?
She doesn’t stop kicking ass in the entire series. She is like a lioness with her cubs. She’s absolutely fierce and yes, she uses her fists a lot. She uses a lot of weapons but yes, it’s all very grounded and very real and quite a lot of it is quite humorous as well. So she is really quite militant this year and full on.
And trying to compare it with my life, my god, the only confrontation I have normally is with myself in the mirror in the morning. To think of the pressure that Gwen Cooper has on the show every day is unbelievably crazy and huge so no, I can’t make a comparison at all although we do have tight tempers the both of us.
In light of what happened in Children of Earth, what was it like for Gwen Cooper to return to Torchwood, after its near destruction?
Torchwood is an absolute – that’s Gwen Cooper’s adrenaline. And she is an absolute adrenaline junkie. It runs through her veins and her heart and her soul. And when it’s not there, how on earth are you possibly going to carry on your life without having something to do with that wonderful, weird, bizarre, crazy organization called Torchwood? It leaves the biggest hole ever and nothing, nothing fills it for Gwen Cooper except for Jack Harkness, Torchwood.
So when she is seemingly having this very quiet, very strange, secluded life when she sees Jack Harkness, when she sees trouble knock on her door, it’s not good. But in a way her heart starts pounding again and that’s the Gwen we all know and that’s the Gwen I love playing. So coming back to Gwen Cooper, well, it’s just the best thing in the world.
Now that you’ve played Gwen for several years, how do you stay challenged as you step into the role with each new season?
That’s completely to Russell T. Davies and what he puts on the page for us. And he challenges me as an actor every time I get a script through the door. It’s kind of new, but it also keeps you alive as an actor and every day you go in and once you’ve conquered the scenes – and some of them are massive, big, epic, beautifully written scenes – it’s the best feeling in the world. Every year those characters are evolving, becoming different people, becoming stronger people, and becoming these great kind of modern day kind of heroes but in a very, very different way. That goes for every character in it this year. It’s down to Russell and the words he gives us to say.
In the first few episodes, there are nods to Torchwood‘s past, which fans will certainly love. What is your reaction when you see these little references in a script?
There are lots of references, and there are lots of references also to people we’ve lost and things that the fans are going to go crazy for which we went crazy for when we read it. It’s very like when Russell brings up little elements of the past – it’s fantastic.
My fiancé is a massive, massive Torchwood fan. I can’t even leave a script in front of him and he gives me a huge telling off because he doesn’t want to know anything about it. He wants to watch it every week and get excited every time it’s on. And I’m not allowed to tell him anything. So I can’t wait for him to see certain elements where he’ll give me a nudge and go. “I know what’s going on here,” and get excited about it of course, very excited.
Photo Courtesy of Starz