Irish actor Charlie Murphy discusses baring it all in new thriller, Obsession

Pic: Netflix

We all fell in love with Charlie Murphy when she played Siobhán in Love/Hate. She is an incredible talent.

So we were delighted to see her face pop up in a trailer for Netflix’s latest erotic thriller – emphasis on the erotic. The Wexford native stars as Anna in Obsession alongside Richard Armitage.

The series follows Anna as she begins an affair with Richard’s character, William who just so happens to be her fiancé’s father. Just normal things.

When we caught up with Charlie and Richard they are miles away from their on-screen counterparts giggling and joking as we chat ahead of the series dropping on Netflix.

Here’s how we got on…

Pic: Netflix

Hi Charlie and Richard. First off, Charlie, Obsession is very, well, racy. And, as you know, we don’t have that carry on in Ireland! How do you think it’ll be received? 

Charlie: I’m from a very large family. And that’s what we’re known for in Ireland. So I don’t know how that happens. Hopefully good. [Laughs]

Richard: They’ll be very proud of you. They’ll be waving their Irish flags.

Charlie: They’ll be proud from the shoulders up. [Laughs]

Richard, you spent a lot of time with Charlie. Did you pick up any Irish slang? 

R: Only in secret. I would go home and practice the accent then come back in and do it for her. [Laughs]

C: Anytime you’re whispering to me on screen, you’re doing it

R: It definitely helped us bond through humour. I think Charlie sees the funny side to everything. Which really helped.

C: We really had to bring some humour into it.

Pic: Netflix

Yes, the show is really quite intense. How did you decompress? 

C: The rehearsal time we had was brilliant because it eased us into it. There was no “now you have to get there and you deal with how you get out of it”. The whole project felt like I was in some sort of cocoon. I could still see my friends and be very social and stuff. But I wasn’t very social during that period. I was trying to stay in the zone. But I wasn’t catatonic.

R: I feel like Glen [Leyburn] and Lisa [Barros D’Sa], our directors and Adelaide [Waldrop], our intimacy co-ordinator were like mum and dad and big sister who were guiding us through. I felt kind of innocent in a way which is strange considering the subject matter. When you’re naked on set, well Morgan talked about it in the script that William is reborn and I felt a bit like that to an extent. I felt like the rehearsal gave us that structure. I felt like mum and dad were okay guiding us through, holding our hands the whole way.

C: I think it’s because we were so protected we felt quite childlike. You can come away from a job feeling quite drained but I came away feeling quite replenished. I feel like, I enjoyed what we were doing.

Pic: Netflix

The show is based on a modernised version of the book Damage. Did you lean into the book description or did you want to make your own mark on the show? 

C: Morgan Lloyd Malcolm did the adaption, this four-parter. She just did an incredible job. Josephine Hart wrote the book and it was the male perspective, the male gaze it felt to me. She created an incredible world but Morgan then really took that up and fleshed out the female characters. We both read the book in preparation for this. We both pulled from it. I pulled a lot about Anna’s childhood, that was a really good source for me.

R: I think because the book is written from William’s perspective it is just a ready-made diary, But this iteration of the story really benefits from all the different perspectives. The book is called Damage and the source of that damage is Anna’s character who Josephine didn’t write about. But Morgan did which I think is very good.

Pic: Netflix

And before we let you go, what would you tell your characters, Anna and William?

R: Don’t put that olive in that woman’s mouth and get a cab.

C: I was going to say don’t eat the olive. Don’t feed the olive, don’t eat the olive.

Watch our full chat with Charlie and Richard below:

Obsession is now streaming on Netflix

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