Jemma Carlton has revealed she took inspiration from David Tennant’s role as a serial killer for her performance in the new Channel 5 drama Maxine.
The actress stars as Maxine Carr, the girlfriend of convicted murderer Ian Huntley, the man responsible for the Soham murders in 2002.
The release date comes after 20 years after the murders of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, both aged 10 at the time, took place.
Role: Jemma Carlton has revealed she took inspiration from David Tennant’s role as a serial killer for her performance in the new Channel 5 drama Maxine
Speaking to The Mirror, Jemma cited David Tennant’s performance as Dennis Nilsen in Des and Maxine Peake’s performance as child killer Myra Hindley in See No Evil as inspirations.
She said: ‘Over the years, I’ve been drawn to performances like David Tennant in Des and Maxine Peake, and so I felt Maxine was a mountain to climb as a part, but wanted to see how I can push myself in a complex real life role.’
Speaking about getting into character, Jemma added: ‘I felt Maxine was a mountain to climb as a part, but wanted to see how I can push myself in a complex real-life role.
‘I watched every documentary about Maxine that I could get my hands on, and read as much as I could.
She said: ‘Over the years, I’ve been drawn to performances like David Tennant in Des’
Character: Jemma also took inspiration from Maxine Peak who portrayed child killer Myra Hindley in See No Evil (pictured in 2005)
Real life: The actress takes on the title role in the new mini series documenting the Soham murders through the eyes of killer Ian Huntley’s girlfriend Maxine Carr
Jemma said she was always ‘so tried’ after each day of filming the role and would listen to Beyonce to held ‘de-robe’ from playing Maxine.
Maxine marks Jemma’s onscreen debut while Line of Duty and White House Farm star Scott Reid takes on the role of Ian Huntley.
Steve Edge (The Madame Blanc Mysteries), Natalie Britton (Them) and Kate O’Toole (The Dead) are also included in the cast.
Who is Maxine star Jemma Carlton?
Born in the West Midlands, Jemma is a newcomer to the screen with Maxine marking her TV acting debut.
She graduated from Rose Bruford drama school in London in 2019.
The actress performed in and wrote numerous stage productions while at college as well as short films.
She is recognisable from a string of high profile adverts for the likes of McDonalds.
The plot will look at Maxine’s tumultuous relationship with Huntley; why she lied for him and how she became ‘public enemy number one’.
Episode one sees Maxine move to Soham for a fresh start with her boyfriend Ian but following a jealous argument with Ian, Maxine visits her mother for the weekend and enjoys a night out in her hometown of Grimsby.
She awakens to the news of the girls’ disappearance, and returns to Soham to provide Ian with an alibi.
A newly released trailer opens with a scenes of the police searching in long grass as they attempt to find the two missing girls.
Played by Scott, a desperate Ian is then seen with his head in his hands, shouting: ‘I can’t go to prison,’ before Jemma, playing Maxine, reassures him that nobody will be going to jail.
She is then seen standing on the doorstep of their home, where a policeman tells Maxine: ‘Your story might jog a memory, help find them,’ to which Maxine smiles and says: ‘We want to help, don’t we.’
On-screen: The three-part series examines the police investigation into school assistant Maxine and her caretaker fiancé Ian from Carr’s perspective
Looking back: The drama tells the story of Maxine’s tumultuous relationship with Huntley; why she lied for him and how she became ‘public enemy number one’
Recreating real-life scenes which were broadcast to the nation on television news as she described the missing girls, Maxine says of Holly and Jessica: ‘They were ever so funny. They were brilliant, they were kind to everybody.’
The police are then heard speculating that Maxine be keeping a secret, with a detective pondering: ‘She used past tense because she knows they’re dead?’
In further chilling scenes, Maxine is then seen practicing looking serious in the mirror after Ian shouts at her: ‘You tell me don’t look so guilty. You don’t look so cheery!’
Search: The trailer opens with a scenes of the police searching in long grass as they attempt to find the two missing girls
Story: The disappearance of the schoolgirls, which happened after a family barbecue in August 2002, sparked Britain’s biggest-ever missing persons’ enquiry
The disappearance of the schoolgirls, which happened after a family barbecue in August 2002, sparked Britain’s biggest-ever missing persons’ enquiry – but came to a tragic end when their bodies were found dumped in a remote ditch.
School caretaker Huntley – then 28 – had lured the girls to his house and murdered them before dumping their bodies and burning their clothes.
His then-fiancée Carr who provided him with a false alibi – but was in Grimsby visiting her mother at the time of the murders – was jailed for perverting the course of justice but released in 2004 with a new identity.
Hunch: The police are then heard speculating that Maxine be keeping a secret, with a detective pondering: ‘She used past tense because she knows they’re dead?’
She was dubbed ‘The Most Hated Woman In Britain’ following the trial, which saw Huntley admit to killing the children, but claiming their deaths were accidental.
Channel 5 said in a statement about the drama: ‘Maxine will examine the investigation of school assistant Maxine Carr and her caretaker fiancé Ian Huntley, who was later imprisoned for the double murder of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, the tragic case that shocked the nation
‘The three-part drama will explore their tumultuous relationship through Maxine’s perspective; why she lied for him and how she became public enemy No.1, as well as reflect the scale of the police investigation and subsequent media frenzy around the biggest manhunt ever seen in British history.’
Final photo: Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were murdered by Ian Huntley on August 4 2002 (pictured two hours before their disappearance)
Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer UK, at Paramount, said: ‘The series marks a new venture into the true crime genre for Channel 5 drama and will give viewers an in depth examination of Maxine Carr and her role in one of the most notorious crimes in recent British history.’
Mike Benson, Managing Director at Clapperboard added: ‘Few crimes have embedded themselves in the national psyche more than the tragic events of Soham in 2002. It was a case which was unique in recent history in terms of the sheer scale of the media coverage and how this affected and nearly derailed the investigation and subsequent trial. We will explore this within the drama alongside the role played by Maxine Carr – dubbed ‘The Most Hated Woman in Britain.’
Huntley was found guilty of killing both girls at his 2004 trial and later sentenced to two life terms, with a minimum 40-year tariff at the maximum security Frankland prison in Durham.
Murderer: Huntley had lured the girls to his house and murdered them before dumping their bodies in a remote ditch. He was a caretaker at the local Soham Village College and was arrested after the girls’ bodies were discovered 13 days later
He was a caretaker at the local Soham Village College and was arrested after the girls’ bodies were discovered 13 days after their disappearance.
During a two-week appeal to find the girls, Huntley gave TV interviews and joined in searches. He was jailed for life in 2005.
During his trial, he said that he had ‘killed the girls accidentally’ but later admitted the killing in leaked tapes from prison.
In a 2018 tape he said: ‘I know the people of Soham took me into their community, they trusted me, gave me a job and a home, and I betrayed them in the worst possible way.
‘And I am sorry for what I have done, sorry for the pain I have caused to the families and friends of Holly and Jessica, for the pain I have caused my family and friends, and for the pain I have caused the community of Soham.
‘I am genuinely, genuinely sorry and it breaks my heart when it is reported I have no remorse, that I relish something. I do not.’
Tragedy: Police found the girls’ burned Manchester United shirts in a bin at Soham College where Huntley worked
He added: ‘I can’t change anything. I cannot remove that day from history, what I have done.
‘I know those girls would be 26 this year with families of their own, jobs and lives. I thought about them when they were turning 21 and when they were turning 18. I know no matter what I say that people are not going to think any better of me … but I would much rather people have the truth about how I feel. I have nothing to gain by saying these things.
‘I know I am never getting out. I have accepted that from day one.’
Huntley said he does not want to be freed from prison and insisted he will not apply for parole out of ‘consideration’ for his victims’ families.
Maxine starts on Monday 10 October at 9pm on Channel 5.
Sickening: Huntley was found guilty of killing both girls and later sentenced to two life terms, with a minimum 40-year tariff at the maximum security Frankland prison in Durham (pictured 2002)