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TAKE TWO; Eiry Thomas faced a "huge challenge" playing scriptwriter Jane Jones in S4C's award-winning drama, Cwcw.

Q: What made playing Jane in Cwcw so special? A: From the minute I saw Delyth Jones' script (see page 54) I knew that I had to play Jane. It was always going to be a huge challenge, but it's probably the best role I've ever played. Cwcw is the most exciting production I've done and the project is very close to my heart. Q: That's quite a statement for an experienced actress who has been in series such as The Bench, Belonging and Con Passionate... A: I've been lucky enough to play some great roles over the years. I love performing on stage and screen as much as each other, but Cwcw combined the best of both worlds.

Playing the main character in a film such as Cwcw was as intense an experience as being in a stage production, but also offered the excitement and buzz of being on a film shoot. We also had a great cast and crew, I enjoyed working with Rhys Richards and Aneirin Hughes. Q: So what's Jane like? A: She is a vulnerable character in emotional turmoil. She is a sensitive scriptwriter in a destructive relationship with her dominating husband, soap actor Sam Llewelyn. Jane is looking for a way to escape all the time and so her life continually crosses between fantasy and reality. Q: Is she at all like you? A: It was refreshing to play an anti-hero, a victim, who has trouble expressing her feelings and ideas and is riddled with anxiety. Jane cuts a sad figure in some ways, but Delyth's script is also full of humour. And yes, there's a little bit of Jane in me.

People seem to think that all actors are always extrovert and eloquent, but we often hide behind our characters. I can relate to Jane because I can feel shy and withdrawn at times.

Q: Is it the most difficult role you've played? A: The most challenging, certainly, but perhaps not the most difficult. Recently, I played the character Andromache in Euripides' classic drama, Trojan Woman. It was a production by the Theatr Pe[+ or -]a theatre company of which I'm a founding member. I played Andromache who had to sacrifice her children to the gods. I felt physically sick every time I did the scene and almost pulled out of playing the role. I have two children of my own and just the thought of it made me feel awful.

Q: Don't you love playing the matriarch usually? A: Yes, I do. In my next role in an S4C period drama series, I'm playing mam Enid Lewis in an exciting drama Pen Talar by playwright Ed Thomas. It follows Enid's son, Defi, over 40 years with Welsh political life as an intriguing backdrop to his life. Q; And in real life? A: The children, Gruffudd, 10 and Branwen, six, are at a really interesting age. At 41, they are keeping me young. I love going to the local parks with them near our home in Cardiff and escaping to the country with my husband Iestyn (Jones). He plays highly corruptible businessman Ieuan Griffiths in Pobol y Cwm. His real passion is for archaeology. I find that comforting - as Agatha Christie once said: "An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her!" Cwcw is on S4C tomorrow at 9pm.

English subtitles are available FEATURE
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 6, 2010
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