'It's great for Gwen - she saves the planet and becomes a mum' Torchwood star Eve talks about her toughest role yet.
FRESH from saving the world from an alien attack, Torchwood star Eve Myles has spoken of facing her biggest challenge yet - becoming a mum for the first time.
Last night the Cardiff-based, Bafta Cymruwinning actress said life had imitated art - she discovered she was pregnant not long after she'd filmed the emotional scenes in which her character Gwen Cooper also reveals she's to be a parent.
"Of course, what I've really done is take method acting to the extreme," laughed Ystradgynlais-born Eve, who's due in November.
"I realised that for the fourth series Gwen will need a baby and I just thought, 'Why let the casting department go to all the bother of finding a baby when I can just make one myself'!
"I've wanted to be a mum for years now but work always took priority," added the 31-year-old, who shot to fame in 2002 as Ceri in the acclaimed BBC Wales drama Belonging but it now best know as the feisty former policewoman-turned-alien-hunter in the popular Doctor Who spin-off set in the Welsh capital.
"We (Eve and her long-term partner, the actor Bradley Freeguard) had hoped to try for a baby half-way through last series, but I soon realised how much stunt work would be involved in filming Children Of Earth and knew it was going to be impossible."
Originally filmed in summer 2008, last week's five-part, Russell T Davies-scripted slice of "event telly" drew in huge audiences of around 6m for its host channel BBC One, a huge leap in ratings since its lowly, cult beginnings on digital channel BBC Three.
"After we finished making it I decided that my main project for 2009 would be having a baby and whatever happens with regards to the job happens," shrugged Eve.
Spookily though, she suddenly found her head racing with the same thoughts her character had upon tearily discovering she was now going to have to eat for two, in addition to fending of the global threat of alien attackers in the slimy form of child-stealing nasties, the 456.
"It was quite bizarre, actually," she said. "The first thing Gwen says when she finds she's pregnant is, 'What about my job? What about Torchwood?' It was very much the same for me - my job had always been number one until now, but I knew this was what I wanted and that's that.
"The only difference being, of course, that Gwen's job is life-threatening on a daily basis and my biggest concern is getting child care," she laughed.
"It'll be great for Gwen though," she added. "Not only does she get to save the world, she's going to be a mummy too.
"I can't wait for the next series because it's going to give her a totally new dimension.
"I envisage her with a baby in one arm, holding a feeding bottle under her chin and a loaded gun in the other hand. It's going to be real fun to play."
"Fun" possibly being an inappropriate word after the chillingly bleak developments on Children Of Earth, which saw characters driven to horrific lengths to survive in the face of an other-worldly enemy, stunning a lot of critics who'd dismissed the show as light-weight and a bit cartoonish.
"One of our main aims this series was to define Torchwood as not being a kids' programme, and we certainly did that," said Eve "We had to stick to our guns and show that there's not always a happy ending, that some things can't be fixed and what's dead stays dead," she added, defending the writers' decision to include the shock death of one for the show's best loved characters in Gareth DavidLloyd's Ianto.
"In Doctor Who the Doctor would have made everything better, but Captain Jack can't do that," she said.
"We can't mollycoddle the fans, treat them like children and say everything's going to be alright.
"How boring and predictable it would be if , three series in, the viewers knew no one was ever in any real danger." And, given the huge success of the recent series, can we expect to see an Eve Myles action figure in the shops at any point, for example? "That's already been made, I gave one to each of my family," Eve smiled.
"People come up to me all the time and bring out these tiny, miniature versions of me to sign.
"It's very, very freaky," she added.
Eve, along with John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd, will be signing copies of the DVD of Torchwood: Children Of Earth at HMV on Queen Street on Friday between 5pm and 6pm. The trio will arrive in Cardiff Bay by helicopter at around 3.30pm, landing on top of the Torchwood hub itself in the Oval Basin, before dashing across the city to battle aliens, sorry, we mean meet their fans.
Eve at home (left), with partner Bradley Freegard (below), and in smash-hit series Torchwood