Judge John Deed and George Gently actor Martin Shaw is set to return to BBC One next week in role “darker” than any his fans have seen before. In Apparitions Shaw plays Father Jacob, a Roman Catholic priest drawn against his will into the world of exorcism.
What kind of character is Father Jacob?
Jacob is a priest who is just trying to do his job, which is to promote people for sainthood. He is undeniably a good man. His bosses feel that he embraces exorcism but he is actually quite wary of it. He feels so strongly that we are all susceptible to the forces of Satan, that there are times when it is the only option.
What attracted you to the role?
Well I had the original idea to play an exorcist and I’ve felt for a long time that we need something very different on television. Nowadays it’s very difficult to find producers who are willing to take a chance on something that challenges the norm but Tony Wood at Lime Pictures was prepared to take that chance and we’ve managed to create something that I think viewers will like, but will also force them to think and engage in the programme rather than view it passively.
This is quite a different role to what viewers will know you for, do you enjoy challenging yourself with different characters?
I not only enjoy it but I think it’s absolutely vital. It’s very easy to forget that acting is actually an art form and you have to train for it. You do need to explore, it’s all too easy just to stay in the same place and stay in the comfort zone
Who do you think is the most intriguing character in Apparitions?
I think all of the characters in Apparitions are very complex and multi-dimensional. Michael (Rick Warden) is particularly intriguing because when we first meet him he is so fully possessed that he doesn’t actually know who he is any more.
His actions, his words – none of it is really him and there are times when he actually wants to be saved from himself. Liam is also an interesting character as initially many people probably wouldn’t consider him to be possessed. He represents the anti-religious views of many people and he is a good father, although he is possessed by demons I feel that the audience will empathise with him in a way that just isn’t possible with Michael.
How have you found filming?
I’ve been working with a great cast, crew, producer and director so you can’t really ask for better than that. We’ve all worked incredibly hard to ensure that we do justice to this fantastic script and create something that is believable.
Which scene did you find most difficult/interesting to film?
The exorcism scenes were possibly the most difficult, particularly as in one of them I was connected to a high wire! I had to be thrown across a room and hit a wall with quite a bit of force so we needed the special effects to make it look completely real. The second exorcism was also interesting as everyone involved in the scene was so submerged in the words and the actions that their reactions were almost instinctive – it almost felt like we were doing it for real!
Does religion and spirituality play a part in your personal life?
Religion doesn’t play a part in my life but spirituality does. I follow a spiritual path which is right at the centre of my life. I believe in God and I have a huge respect and love for all religions so from that respect it plays a part in my life but not the man-made, ceremonial and controversial aspects of religion.
10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.
What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.
There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:
1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.
2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.
3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.
4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”
Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:
- 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.
- 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.
- 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.
- 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.
- 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.
- 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.
- 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.
- 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.
- 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”
- 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!
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