Filming an action role has its challenges, as Michelle Keegan knows.
She is put through her paces before filming each series of Our Girl, with boot camps and military-style advisers helping her step into the role.
But the stunning actress admits that while some members of the cast also like to keep fit after each day’s filming, you’re more likely to find her elsewhere.
‘Every evening, some of the cast will be in the gym, keeping up their fitness,’ she says. ‘Our writer Tony Grounds will probably tell you I’ll be in the bar!’
The explosive BBC drama is back for a fourth series as 2 Section embark on another tour of Afghanistan – and Michelle's character, L/Cpl Georgie Lane, attempts to cope with the death of her fiancé Elvis.
Georgie has tried to move on following an explosion that changed her life, but despite throwing herself back into work with the Royal Army Medical Corps, she’s plagued by grief and horrific flashbacks keep her awake at night.
But life goes on. Her sister Marie (Linzey Cocker) marries Private Fingers (Sean Ward) back in Manchester, and Georgie is delighted to be bridesmaid.
And with a little persuasion, she decides to accompany her close friend Sgt King (Rolan Bell) back to Afghanistan to mentor the new recruits.
They include Prof (Nico Mirallegro), Mimi (Amy-Leigh Hickman), and Throbber (Kaine Zajaz) – all under the leadership of the exuberant but inexperienced Lieutenant Hurst (Will Attenborough).
Then a near-miss in their first outing in Afghanistan brings Georgie close to the edge once again. Amid the chaos of Kabul, it all proves too much.
‘With this season, it’s all about Georgie getting the closure she’s after,’ explains Michelle.
‘She threw herself back into work after Elvis died, and she still hasn’t dealt with that. There is a slight PTSD there, and she’s gone back to try to move on from the explosion in the last series.
‘There have been a few episodes that have been highly dramatic for Georgie. But the next few especially are really tough for her because they’re very emotionally charged, so it comes towards a climax in the city where she lost her fiancé.’
The drama has followed Michelle’s character since the beginning of the second series, with all the twists and turns in her career and love-life, but this will be her final tour of duty.
‘It was a really tough decision for me to leave the role,’ admits the former Coronation Street star.
‘But it seemed like the right time to move on and explore new opportunities. This show has helped me grow into who I am now. I’m very lucky that they’ve kept me for this long. I’m really going to miss Georgie, and the cast and crew.’
But Michelle has kept some momentos from her time on Our Girl… ‘I took her watch and her dog tags. I don’t think I’m supposed to! I always take the dog tags home after each series because they’re a nice reminder of the whole experience.’
– Our Girl is on Tuesdays at 9pm on BBC One
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