MEET THE CAST OF DAN SEFTON’S ‘TRUST ME’ 102

New psychological thriller Trust Me, penned by Dan Sefton (Good Karma Hospital, Delicious) and starring Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch), premieres this August on BBC One.

Cath Hardacre is a good nurse. Caring and hard-working, she does her best for everyone in the cardiology ward she works on. However, when she raises her concerns about the standards slipping at the hospital her world takes a turn for the worse.

After being sacked for whistle-blowing, Cath turns to her best friend Dr. Ally Sutton, who is leaving her life as an A&E doctor and emigrating to New Zealand with her new husband. At a drunken party Cath finds Ally’s discarded paperwork and makes the desperate decision to take a second chance at life – by stealing her best friend’s identity.

Cath, now calling herself Ally, accepts a job at a failing emergency department in Edinburgh and embarks upon a new life with her young daughter Molly. However, with her good-for-nothing ex-partner Karl trying to spend time with them and a journalist chasing her about the issues at her former hospital, how will Ally cope with leading a double life?

Cath Hardacre/Dr Ally Sutton is played by Jodie Whittaker, Dr Andy Bennett by Emun Elliott, Dr Brigitte McAdams by Sharon Small and Karl is played by Blake Harrison.

Character biographies

Cath Hardacre/Dr. Ally Sutton (Jodie Whittaker)

Everything about Cath says that she is honest, hardworking and uncompromising. In a well intentioned meeting with the hospital board Cath loses her job – and with that the means to provide for her daughter. In a moment of desperation, Cath steals her best friend’s identity and applies for a job in Edinburgh, adopting the persona Dr. Ally Sutton. As Ally, she becomes a trusted member of the emergency department and against her better judgement falls for her colleague, Dr Andy Brenner.

Dr. Andy Brenner (Emun Elliott)

Andy is a consultant in the emergency department, a doctor whose professional and charming manner puts even the most nervous patient at ease. Tired of playing second fiddle to his career, Andy’s ex-wife ended their marriage, taking their children with her. To his surprise, Andy soon finds himself falling for Ally, who is his intellectual counterpart. She represents the light at the end of the tunnel after his painful separation and he finally feels he’s getting his life back on track after the acrimonious split from his ex-wife. But Andy doesn’t know Ally as well as he thinks he does…

Dr. Brigitte Rayne (Sharon Small)

If anyone is going to survive the sinking ship of the emergency department, it is Brigitte. She is the clinical lead in the department but she considers it a poisoned chalice of endless paperwork. Openly admitting that she is only in the profession to keep her daughters in private school, Brigitte has fallen out of love with treating patients and lacks confidence when she must take care of a serious medical case. Brigitte’s slightly bonkers approach towards medicine means that her team rally around her when they sense that she is losing her nerve.

Karl (Blake Harrison)

Karl was on the path to making something of his life, but it all came crashing down after he lost his job. With his contract severed and his debt increasing, Karl found himself in the throes of alcohol addiction. His relationship with Cath suffered as a result and they separated shortly afterwards. Since then, Karl has been in a constant cycle in and out of alcohol rehabilitation. When Cath moves to Edinburgh, it gives him the push to change his life for the better. Karl realises how much he misses his daughter Molly being present in his life and vows to do all that he can to be closer to her. But will Karl’s good behaviour be rewarded with the family reunion he longs for?


INTERVIEW WITH WRITER & CREATOR DAN SEFTON

What inspired you to write Trust Me?

I’d always been fascinated by imposters and what motivates them. Most are men, doing it for status and ego. Women tend to have different reasons. I was also interested in what would happen to someone who did a bad thing for the ‘right’ reasons. Would it slowly change them as lie followed lie? Also, what happens when you’ve managed to fool everyone and then you meet the love of your life when you are living those lies? Is it really possibly to have a ‘life’ as an imposter or are you doomed to be alone? Be careful what you wish for…

How much of your own experiences fed into the story or the characters?

As a doctor I’ve encountered imposters in real life – there was actually one in the department where I worked. Often they are well liked and competent! I’ve also met qualified doctors who are frankly dangerous. For me there’s a delicious irony in the idea that the imposter doctor is better than the real thing, both clinically and with patients.

What are some of the challenges that you faced during the writing process?

Medically the action scenes are chosen to be the things that scare or disturb me as a doctor. So they may not be the most obvious choices but they are real. I’ve experienced many disturbing moments in the last 20 years and wanted to expose the characters and audience to scenes that show them what it’s really like. It’s a very hard and difficult job for both doctors and nurses and the cost is high. Hopefully by putting that on screen, the general public will have a more nuanced understanding of what their ‘heroes’ go through and also how they act when things go wrong.

The writing has been easy as the support from both Red and the BBC – not to pull any punches – has always been there. Throughout the process we have all found the confidence to be even bolder, with both the morally ambiguous characters and the subject matter. I think it has paid off. Certainly everything I hoped for has been realised on screen, thanks also to brilliant acting, direction and design.

Tell us about the medical training given to the cast

We spent a day or two running the kind of training that real doctors get. It was important to get them used to handling the equipment so it looked totally natural. Little things, like how to wear a stethoscope around your neck like a ‘real’ doctor – and how possessive doctors are of their ’tubes’. I’m a life support instructor so I could use the real life training equipment. Everyone seemed to get into it – especially Jodie. On set, the patient transfers, equipment etc were real and the entire cast got really good at doing it all – so much so that they could probably now pass for real doctors and nurses! If you meet a doctor who looks like Jodie Whittaker then check her GMC certificate!

How realistic is this drama?

I feel it’s as realistic as it’s possible to get. Nothing in the story is fudged or faked. This is how it feels. The details are all there. The set was built from the ground up and it’s indistinguishable from a real ED (emergency department). Scenes in the medical conference in episode two are part of medical life that is rarely seen. So this is a show that really gets under the skin of doctors, how they really think, act and talk.

How different is this to Good Karma Hospital?

Very different. Almost deliberately another side of medicine. Also this is a psychological thriller in the Hitchcock tradition set in the NHS, not a ‘medical show’.

What are you hoping audiences will take away from the series?

Many things. The series pushes the audience to identify with an anti-heroine. For me this is a modern US TV drama idea that British TV has been slower to adopt. I think it’s a challenging premise and told in a way that makes you think about exactly what you need from a doctor: are you really better off with a drug-using Oxbridge graduate, or an imposter who is compassionate, smart and hardworking? Maybe we should look again at who we select for these jobs… medicine is not an intellectual subject and often the wrong people go into it for the wrong reasons.

I’d also like people to see just how tough it is for doctors, nurses, paramedics and other professions like the police and fire service to have to deal with the aftermath of accidents, illness, violence and death. It’s a tough job and it takes a heavy toll on the people who do it. Watching a child die at 2am on a Saturday night is a reality for these people, when most of us are tucked up in bed. Yet many members of the public are vindictive when it comes to punishing honest mistakes made in the heat of the moment.

Although it’s not political, people may also see why the NHS is struggling to retain staff, so much so that a bad but punctual doctor or a good imposter is never asked too many questions. It is in this kind of environment, where temporary staff make up the majority of a shift, where safety can be compromised, no matter how many positive appraisals they may have received.Above all I hope it’s an entertaining, disturbing drama series that ends in a satisfying and unexpected way___


INTERVIEW WITH JODIE WHITTAKER (CATH)

What appealed to you about this project?

I was sent the script for the first episode and it fascinated me because it went in a completely different direction to how I thought it was going to. Particularly at the beginning when she’s suspended for whistleblowing and loses her job. It could have gone so many ways, and the fact that she takes on this new identity isn’t the way that I thought it would go. I love the fact that her choices are quite morally dubious – they certainly aren’t black and white. She makes decisions that are quite challenging to justify, even though we know her reasons. I’ve never acted in anything medical before, so it felt completely new.

How does Cath’s lie come about?

Cath starts off by having a conversation with her best friend, Ally, who is a middle grade doctor in A&E and is giving it all up to emigrate to New Zealand. Ally is packing up the life that Cath would have loved to have had, leaving it all behind to go and do something completely different. Suddenly there is an opportunity for her to take on the identity of her friend and in that panic, not necessarily the clearest thinking moment in her life, she does it. Once you set off on a path of lies it’s very difficult to undo it without bringing everything crashing down.

Did you receive any training on medical procedures?

Yes! The writer, Dan, who is also medical consultant and a doctor outside of TV production, showed us a load of stuff that he used when he was training people. He brought in the CPR dummy and showed us how to do a cannula and he, very bravely, let me put a cannula in his vein. I did it right, thank God! Also, YouTube is amazing. The genius of the internet is that you can basically sit at home and Google medical procedures, and TV shows such as 24 hours in A&E, which I watched hours of.

How else did you prepare for the role?

With regards to the technical stuff, we had an on-set consultant so that there was always someone to help when we had to do the procedures. The best thing for me was that my character was also out of her depth and didn’t always know what she was doing, so it kind of covered my own personal fumbles. I’m not someone who likes to over prepare for dialogue scenes, because I think that makes me not listen to what the other person is saying as I’ve already decided how I’m going to do it. It immediately makes it interesting and new and you can’t plan for that, which is great. You can’t ‘wing’ the medical stuff so I had to do my research for that. One of my friends is a Sister in A&E and I sent her a lot of messages asking ‘how do you pronounce this?’ and ‘what does that mean?’, so basically she was my personal medical coach even though she works full time!

Is it challenging playing someone who leads a double life?

Yes, but no more challenging that playing someone who has had something happen to them that I haven’t personally experienced. What’s hard is trying to gauge how good a liar she is, or how in a panic she is. You’ve got to be careful, because you can’t make the other actors seem stupid. These are intelligent, fully formed characters that you’re working with, so it was a fine line of being able to deceive and it not being something that comes easily to her. However, it can’t be that it makes everyone around her feel a bit like an idiot for not working it out. That was tricky, but the director is there to help guide you through it.

Did the uniform help to get you into character?

Yes. It feels odd when you put it on. I did five weeks of studio filming, back to back – all the medical stuff was contained so everything started to become a bit like second nature. The first few times I had to put on an apron, the ‘take’ ended up being about 15 minutes long. Then I worked out that you shouldn’t put the gloves on before the apron! There was lots of daft stuff like that, but you then get into a rhythm. It’s good because it makes you immediately feel like you look the part and then all I had to do was make sure that I knew the lines!

What were some of the challenges that you faced during filming?

I’m not very good with learning dialogue when there are lots of medical terms! I enjoy the adrenaline of being on set because I’m quite good at choreography, I respond well to being taught something physically. That’s why I was terrible at school, because they talk you through things rather than physically show you. I enjoyed doing the different types of surgery as it was fascinating, it’s nerve-wracking but you realise that you can do it. Also, the team who created the props put in so much hard work to make sure we didn’t mess up our bits. I struggled with having massive speeches that involved these medical words. I don’t have a brain for that!

Did you enjoy working in Scotland?

I absolutely loved Glasgow! The crew were phenomenal and the city is wonderful. I could move my family up there and we had a great time as there were loads of brilliant restaurants and everyone was lovely. It was brilliant and I would snap up another job there very quickly, although it does get very dark and cold over winter!


INTERVIEW WITH EMUN ELLIOTT (DR ANDY BRENNER)

What appealed to you about this project?

I love the premise. This idea of somebody taking on someone else’s identity and trying to get away with it felt like a really dramatic idea to set a story around. I had never read anything like it. I also wanted to grab the opportunity to work with Jodie as I’ve been a fan of her work for a while now.

How would you describe your character?

He’s a consultant who’s been working in this particular hospital for the last seven years. He’s calm, experienced and knows exactly what to do in most situations, so is the opposite direction of Cath in that way. He’s recently divorced and has two young children.

In what way is your character challenging to play?

He’s a doctor, so one of the challenges was trying to make some of the medical procedures look convincing. Andy is so well trained in his field and so accustomed to working on the hospital floor, so it was important that whatever he was doing looked like second nature. Doctors are famously unflappable and controlled in some critical, life-or-death situations, so channelling that air of calm and expertise was important to me.

What drives him?

He’s driven by a genuine passion for his occupation and for humanity. He knows how important his job is and is someone who takes that responsibility seriously. People’s lives are literally in his hands everyday, so the stakes are through the roof. On another level, he’s recently divorced, so working long hours and preoccupying himself with other people’s problems takes his mind off his personal life.

Did you receive any training on medical procedure?

We did. We were lucky enough to be invited into St John’s Hospital in Livingstone where we were given a backstage tour of each department. Dan Sefton, the writer, also took us through various procedures that were in the story. Using a dummy of course!

How else did you prepare for the role?

Aside from the training and expertise advice we were given before shooting, I just tried to immerse myself in a medical environment as much as possible. I spent time in hospitals, watched a few documentaries that focused on the NHS and doctors in particular and tried to get my mouth around as much medical terminology as possible.

Do you like working in Scotland?

Of course! I was born and brought up in Edinburgh and went to drama school in Glasgow so I feel a real connection every time I come home. It was nice to see my family and friends in-between shooting days. We even shot a scene on Portobello beach in Edinburgh which is literally where I grew up!

What makes Edinburgh a good backdrop for a drama?

Edinburgh is a beautiful city that’s steeped in history. It’s about time it got some more screen time. There’s a volcano in the heart of the city, a castle, ancient architecture and rolling hills, so it really is a city that deserves to be seen on screen more.

Have you ever worked with any of the cast before?

I had worked with some of the crew before as I’ve worked in Scotland quite a bit over the years. My good friends Brian Ferguson and Ally Craig came in to do a few scenes with us which was a joy, as I hadn’t really spent time with them since we did Black Watch together ten years ago.

What are the biggest challenges that you have faced so far during filming?

It’s usually time. You could spend weeks, sometimes months as an actor preparing for a scene or a specific moment in the story then when it finally comes around to shooting it you have maybe two or three takes to get it right and put all of those ideas into the scene. It can often lead to a sense of frustration afterwards, but you just have to learn to trust in your preparation and let it go.


INTERVIEW WITH SHARON SMALL (DR BRIGITTE RAYNE)

What attracted you to this project?

I liked the character and the premise of the piece – I don’t think we’ve seen this before. And everyone is like an armchair detective, everyone is an armchair actor or doctor, so I thought that people would get off on that and think, gosh what would I do in that circumstance? The audience are the people who are privy to the truth and not us. With my character, Brigitte, I like her neediness, her sassiness – she’s fun and quick-fire talking – and quite honestly I rather fancied myself as a doctor [laughs].

How would you describe your character?

Brigitte is a good person; she’s sassy and is a really good doctor. She has got some issues, but she is trying her best to run this ward and with great intentions, which I think a lot of NHS doctors are.

How did you prepare for the role?

I grew my hair so that I could tie it up – normally I have short hair. We had a fantastic medical training day with Dan and got to do airways and cannulas and stitching and things like that, I loved that. The most important thing for me was to go around the actual A&E department (or ED department as I now know it’s called) in Edinburgh. We met this fantastic doctor – just watching him and really getting to observe what goes on in a ward, the dynamic, what people do and noticing that people are always looking at folders, everyone’s always collaborating and talking to each other. Everyone is always moving around, a lot more than you think and not that quickly. It’s less dramatic than you think.

Is your character challenging to play?

She was. Similarly in something that Jodie mentioned, I had quite a lot of medical jargon to say quite quickly, but I had less of the procedural stuff to do in terms of operational things. As the character is more and more revealed I had to make sure that I took care of how that happened, and that it was subtly done.

What makes a hospital a good arena for a drama?

It’s an ever-changing landscape, a hospital. Every new sort of event that you’re presented with means that you’re having to make life-saving decisions. People’s lives really are at stake, and honestly, my little taste of pretending that I was an ED doctor made me feel quite powerful. If I could fix people so that they survived, that would be an amazing ability.

What are the biggest challenges that you have faced so far during filming?

Saying the medical words Metronidazole – Met-ron-ida-zole, Metron-i-dazole – and trying to make scrubs look even remotely interesting, I don’t rock scrubs like Jodie does, I’m way too curvy for that!

What do you hope audiences will take away from this drama?

I hope that they’ll find themselves in that dilemma of wanting Cath/Ally to succeed, because she’s a good person and she ironically is brilliant at the job. I’m hoping that they’ll see the dilemma that she has, and as you want her to keep succeeding, it means she’s going to keep compromising people as she goes, as well as herself.


INTERVIEW WITH BLAKE HARRISON (KARL)

What appealed to you about this project?

The script hooked me immediately. The fact that it’s written by someone who has years of experience working for the NHS and is still practicing was a big plus. It gives the writing an authenticity that I think the audience will respond to.

How would you describe your character?

Karl has been dependent on alcohol for a long time. It’s destroyed his marriage and was eroding his relationship with his daughter, Molly. Thankfully we meet Karl after he’s turned a corner. He’s six months sober but still struggling to financially support Molly. His struggles still have a negative impact on the ones he loves, but he is desperate to show that he can be the father his daughter deserves. And possibly the husband that Cath deserves.

What sort of man is Karl?

Karl is a man in transition. He was selfish. He let his own desires get in the way of his ability to be a good father and husband; now he’s exorcised those demons and is trying to make amends. He has a new lease of life and is driven by the desire to be a good father. When it looks like Cath will take his daughter to Scotland he worries that he’ll lose his main motivation for staying sober.

How would you describe his relationship with Cath?

It’s very strained. There is still some love there, but after letting her down constantly, Cath is understandably sceptical of his recent transformation and frustrated by his inability to contribute financially to their daughter’s upbringing.

How else did you prepare for the role?

I did some research into sobriety. I found some heartwarming accounts of people who have battled through addiction and are now much happier. They’re better fathers, husbands, more productive. I applied what I could from those accounts. I also exercised a lot more. One thing I found was that people can overhaul themselves physically once they are sober. They feel healthier than ever before and, in some cases, things like running become a new addiction to them.

What are the biggest challenges that you have faced so far during filming?

My biggest challenge on the job was being away from my pregnant wife. I was constantly worried about getting a phone call saying she’d gone into labour and I’d have a mad rush to fly home in time to be with her. Thankfully my son was born the day after I wrapped. Impeccable timing.


INTERVIEW WITH PRODUCER EMILY FELLER

What is Trust Me about?

Trust Me is a four-part BBC one drama, which is about a nurse who is struck off for whistle-blowing. She reinvents herself in Scotland as an imposter doctor. It examines all of the many facets and layers of telling lies – not telling people who you really are and finally falling in love with the person that she was always meant to be with. But it can’t ever happen because she’s not who she says she is.

Tell us about the hospital set.

We found the old Scottish Water Board Call Centre, which has a massive floor plan, and set about building a hospital A&E ward. It was no mean feat! Our designer Monica Black did an amazing job. We were clear that we didn’t want it to be a brand new hospital, it shouldn’t look white and glass and sparkly at all, it shouldn’t be modern, it needed layers and needed aging and to look like a failing A&E ward that could potentially be shut down. It was a big empty room when we first went in and they’d created this incredible, late 80s hospital set. It was a wonderful team to work with.

Why will audiences enjoy Trust Me?

It is an incredibly grounded story based on something very real; our writer is a doctor and he is still working in A&E wards – the truth that he brings to the setting is incredibly raw and I think audiences will relate to that. Jodie Whittaker is fantastic and is bringing a real honesty to the part and the audience will understand that, and even though she’s made a terrible, terrible decision which is very ambiguous, you will go on that journey with her and engage with her.

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KAYO WASHIO OF JAPAN’S WOWOW BROADCAST NETWORK TALKS HANDLING PROJECTS & PRESSURE 51

As the head of US Operations for what has been described as Japan’s version of HBO, WOWOW, Kayo Washio is used to working under pressure and alongside some of the biggest names in the business. With five projects currently in development, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Kayo to talk about how much the broadcast industry has changed and continues to evolve, the acquisition she’s most proud of and her advice for anyone looking to follow in her footsteps.

TITL: What is it about broadcasting that encouraged you to make it a career path and how did you get started?

Kayo Washio: I have a relative who worked for the U.N. in New York City and was a licensed attorney who passed the New York State Bar. She was born and raised in Japan, like I was. Because of her, I wanted to be an international attorney, starting from the time I was in high school.  When I enrolled and attended University, I selected International Law as my major. While studying, I learned that law practice and enforcement has a lot of gray areas and I soon came to the realization that this was not the field I could spend a lifetime working in. At that time, while I was in the midst thinking of what I truly loved to do, I discovered a unique ‘unknown’ person who accomplished a remarkable feat, and thought it would make for a great interview feature for an outlet. I arranged a job interview for myself with a TV broadcaster to become a reporter/creator and to make a program for reporting on this great figure I discovered – in Japan, you don’t need to work for a company that relates to your major at your college. This experience allowed me to begin working for WOWOW right after I graduated university.

TITL: It could be argued that, like film, the broadcasting industry is dominated by men. With that in mind, how much, or little, of a struggle has it been for you to pave your way and make a name for yourself as well as you have in recent years? Are you seeing a rise in the number of women joining the business and if so, does such please you?

KW: Having worked for an established ‘old guard’ type of Japanese company for about 20 years and working in Japan for about 15 years before moving to Los Angeles, I can say I have much more freedom and flexibility here in U.S. The entertainment industry in the U.S. is much, much, much less dominated by men compared to Japan.

There are many cultural and business rules in Japan that play into gender inequality. Some of you might realize that we exchange business cards by holding our card with both hands when we meet a new person – right at the onset of the meeting before having any conversation. The order in which cards are exchanged is important, and rules dictate that you should exchange cards with the person with the highest title, which in Japan is normally the oldest man. I’ve often seen the awkward situation here in the U.S. where senior executives try to exchange a business card with an American older male first, even if a female has higher position.

I understand it’s very difficult, but eventually I would like to have a society where we do not need to talk about these gender disparity issues. Like most, I just want to work with talented people who I enjoy collaborating with – regardless of gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, etc. Life is short and we are all one human race.

TITL: For those who don’t understand the way in which broadcasting and its companies work, what are the main objectives of your job as the head of U.S. Operations?

KW: Basically, the objective of my job is to secure the best content – films, TV series, special award shows, concerts, etc. – for our service in Japan. WOWOW has established and maintained tremendous relationships with studios, networks and content rights holders for about the last 30 years, which positions us well to make great acquisitions. Growing and nurturing these relationships in the U.S. is so important for a foreign company like WOWOW. I am diligent in trying to foster even more relationships through an open and transparent exchange of information with new companies on a daily basis and explore new relationships not only from the sales side, but also on the production side through our co-production projects. This all dovetails another very important objective – building the WOWOW brand name here in the U.S.

TITL: Is there one aspect of your job you like more than any other or do you just enjoy the different every day challenges that come your way?

KW: I love waking up every day to the opportunity of working with very talented creators and artists. These kinds of opportunities have motivated me to keep aiming high and stoke my passion for the next hit project! I’m always mobile too. I’m not a type of person who can sit in an office from 9-6 every single day.

In Japan, most companies have a job rotation system whereby every 3-5 years employees are transferred to a different department within the company and assigned new job duties without any reason. Because of this system, Japanese people are used to working with various titles. But here in the U.S., more value is placed on experience, expertise and relationships and how these are built over time by working in the same field. I very much prefer the American approach on this front.

TITL: WOWOW is essentially the Japan version of HBO – how do you feel about the comparisons, and would you agree with them?

KW: While there is a difference in brand name recognition worldwide, where HBO is bigger and more widely recognized, I think HBO and WOWOW are alike in that the two companies strive to be the preeminent suppliers of premium content.

Comparing WOWOW with HBO is not an apples to apples comparison though. The base systems are different. In Japan, people don’t need to pay any fees to watch network TV and many households still do not carry cable nor satellite. WOWOW as a business is not worried about chord cutting in the same way HBO and other television channels have been, but are intelligently adapting to now. Viewers would have been able to subscribe to WOWOW directly since the launch of our service in 1991.

Systems aside, when it comes to programming, I think WOWOW has similar programming selection criteria to HBO, and that is a great thing for audiences who expect the best quality of movies, TV series and events. As a premium pay television service, we would like to show only best quality content from all over the world to our subscribers. For example, we broadcast movies that have had great box office results in Japan from all major studios and also great quality movies from all over the world such as awarded films at film festivals.

WOWOW curates the best content in each area. We have aired four major tennis tournaments, since we consider them the premiere tennis events; licensed the best American shows every year; produced top original documentaries and TV series, which were created with very talented Japanese creators and Japanese artists; and started doing co-productions five years ago to produce our original programs with international creators and artists.

TITL: Your job has allowed you to work with Martin Scorsese and executive produce his documentary “The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument.” How did you get involved with that project and how did you find working with such a highly respected individual?

KW: It was through my relationship with a sales agent whom I worked with on the documentary “Cathedrals of Culture.” She informed me that Martin Scorsese was coming to Berlin at the time I was there for the world premiere of ‘Cathedrals”, and that he would be giving a presentation about his next passion project. So naturally, I rearranged my travel to attend his presentation and began thinking about ways to structure working together. I had twice interviewed Martin before, for my program in Japan, but of course this was a totally different interaction and I was very excited about this opportunity.

Martin Scorsese is fascinating and truly brilliant. I don’t know how he handles all the things he has going on in his world. He remembers every detail of everything he has seen and done and knows how he should handle every deal and circumstance!!! His knowledge of movies is second to none. For example, I learned quickly that he has more knowledgeable of Japanese films and Japanese directors than me. I was also fascinated with the fact that he doesn’t create any walls between himself and newcomers in the business. He treats everyone equally – with respect. That says a lot about his character and composition. I really hope I can join another project of his again in the near future!

TITL: You’ve also handled negotiations for projects involving Robert Redford, Wim Wenders and others. Given the pressure you must feel in those situations, how do you stay focused and relaxed? 

KW: In these situations my feelings were more of excitement than pressure! I of course knew all about the legendary Robert Redford and Wim Wenders before I started to work on the project. I just felt that if I joined their project, I would rather enjoy the experience and be fully immersed and contribute rather than be shy and passive! One thing I’ve always kept in mind since the first day I started as a producer is that I want all people who work with me to want to work with me again, even after challenging times like a hard negotiation or having creative differences. This is my goal for everybody who has worked with me. I hope they felt that way too.

TITL: Is there any one of projects/acquisitions you’re particularly proud of? If so, which is and why?

KW: Producing a film or event is so difficult that I feel a great sense of accomplishment with all the projects I have had the privilege to be involved in, and am proud of every one! If I have to single out one project though, I would say a small mini-documentary about Baz Luhrmann was especially gratifying for me. This was a passion project of mine in 2003 and WOWOW at the time couldn’t understand why I would produce this particular documentary. But I felt it was necessary for me to introduce our subscribers to Baz Luhrmannn’s vision and his unique way of thinking, as well as the people surrounding him in his private studio. I really felt this program would inspire WOWOW viewers and encourage them to purse their dreams.

I remember telling my boss at the time that I would put my own money into producing this program, but I needed to have a slot for broadcasting it. In the end, I got a very small budget approved by WOWOW, which is still the lowest budget I’ve ever had to work with, and we made a great documentary. To this day, I watch this program whenever I have difficulties because it reminds me where I came from and encourages me to enjoy the process, even if it’s very tough, to achieve my goals.

TITL: Are there any projects or negotiations underway you can tell me about?

KW: This is a very exciting time at WOWOW as I have five projects currently in development. I can’t reveal many details just yet, other than to say they will all be narrative features. I think audiences will be excited when we make the announcements very soon!

TITL: With the rise in social media and illegal streaming sites, are you finding your job any harder to do in terms of being able to get a good deal for clients and broadcasters who fret about audience figures and the like?

KW: This is a great question. The situation stemming from evolving technologies definitely costs us more than before and forces us to spend much more time dealing with agreements and recognizing and addressing new technology related components. Generally speaking, Japan is as advanced technologically as any nation, but it seems our problems and the serious issues that arise are at a lower volume compared to other technically advanced countries.

TITL: What advice would you give to anyone looking to follow in your footsteps and aim for a career such as yours? What three things would you say they need in order to get their foot in the door?

KW: You have to be strong enough and confident enough to really be yourself and should try to enjoy every step of the journey to realizing your dreams. Everyone’s experiences and encounters will ultimately be useful. Life is like a circle! Now you might see your experiences and encounters like many dots, but in the near future these dots will be dot-line and then will be continuous line!

Three things are 1.) Really get to know yourself well – meaning know your strong points (what you are best at) and also your weak points. 2.) Don’t be afraid to take chances, but be well prepared to take chances since you don’t know when they come 3.) Building trusting relationships with people you would like to work

TITL: Finally then, where do you see the future of broadcasting going in the years to come, and what would you most like to see the industry take on board/bring to fruition for both those in the industry and TV/film fans?

KW: One thing that never changes is that “great content” has staying power. It will live on forever. The only thing that will change is how it is consumed – from a big screen to a small watch. Talented PEOPLE have, and will be, the key to the creation of great content. AI cannot create content with the warmth of people. We have to keep creating great content but consider which type of content to fit which type of media.

For more information on WOWOW, visit the website.

YOUR ULTIMATE TV GUIDE: WHO’S APPEARING ON WHAT? 34

Here is your guide to the upcoming TV appearances, from The Voice to Sounds Like Friday Night, awards show to chat shows.

SOUNDS LIKE FRIDAY NIGHT – FRIDAY 13 APRIL @ 19.30 ON BBC ONE
Greg James is joined in the studio by special guest Lily Allen. Returning with her first new album in four years, Lily performs two tracks, including her latest single Higher. Sam Smith treats Dotty to an exclusive performance when she meets him backstage at the O2 as he embarks on a world tour. Singer-songwriter James Bay also returns with new music, performing his single Wild Love live in the studio. Australian chart-toppers 5 Seconds of Summer give a special performance of Want You Back – the lead single from their highly anticipated third album.

There is also part two of Dotty’s trip to Tokyo to meet Little Mix – this week they take on Sounds Like Friday Night’s 60 Seconds of Song challenge. How many of their hits can they cram into one minute?

THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW – FRIDAY 13 APRIL @ 22.35 ON BBC ONE
Graham is joined by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Oscar-nominated star of Moonlight and James Bond Naomie Harris, starring together in monster movie Rampage, and Sherlock and The Hobbit star Martin Freeman, appearing in horror anthology Ghost Stories. Roger Daltrey performs his new single As Long as I Have You.

ZOE BALL ON SATURDAY – SATURDAY 14 APRIL @ 08.30 ON ITV
To kick start her brand new show Zoe Ball will be joined by Hollywood actor Michael Sheen, Geordie comedian Chris Ramsey and Radio 1 DJ Greg James. Plus, there’s music in the studio from award-winning US band Walk The Moon.

HARRY HILL’S ALIEN FUN CAPSULE – SATURDAY 14 APRIL @ 19.30 ON ITV
Helping Harry Hill fill the fun capsule and prevent an alien invasion this week are, comedian Micky Flanagan, political journalist Robert Peston, Coronation Street actor Sally Dynevor, and broadcasting legend Anneka Rice.

ZOE BALL ON SUNDAY – SUNDAY 15 APRIL @ 08.30 ON ITV
Zoe Ball eases us into Sunday morning, with celeb chats and music from singer-songwriter Lissie. Plus, The Saturdays’ Mollie King meets Hollywood stars Luke Evans and Dakota Fanning – find out what they make of Zoe’s ‘bag of balls’!

LOOSE WOMEN – MONDAY 16 TO FRIDAY 20 APRIL @12:30 ON ITV
On Monday, Boy George drops by to talk about the upcoming Culture Club tour. Tuesday sees Brian Conley reveal all about his new show Buy It Now. Amanda Redman drops by on Wednesday to discuss the latest series of The Good Karma Hospital, while American actress Kathleen Turner drops in on Thursday. Finally, joining the girls on Friday will be music icons Shaggy and Sting

CELEBRITY JUICE – THURSDAY 19 APRIL @ 22.00 ON ITV2
Joining the panel this week is TV presenter Scarlett Moffat, First Dates Fed Sirieix and Geordie funny man Chris Ramsey.

SOUNDS LIKE FRIDAY NIGHT – FRIDAY 20 APRIL @ 19.30 ON BBC ONE
Greg James and Dotty present and are joined by Canadian chart topper Shawn Mendes. With over four billion views online, Shawn performs two songs live in the studio. Indie rockers The Vaccines perform their new single I Can’t Quit, while Brits Critic Choice winner Jorja Smith delivers a special performance of her track Blue Light.

THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW – FRIDAY 20 APRIL @ 22.35 ON BBC ONE
Graham is joined by Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, playing Dr Strange in Avengers: Infinity War, Matt LeBlanc, playing himself in the final series of Episodes, actress Maxine Peake, playing a 70s club comedian in Funny Cow and Mary Berry and Claudia Winkleman talking about new BBC1 show Britain’s Best Cook. Plus music from Calvin Harris featuring Dua Lipa, performing new single One Kiss.

CELEBRITY JUICE – THURSDAY 26 APRIL @ 22.00 ON ITV2
Joining the panel this week are pop sensation John Newman and Celebrity Juice regular Gino ‘Sheffield’ D’Acampo.