Halfpenny: Boyle dream to work for

This Is Local London: Jill Halfpenny says she is impressed by Danny Boyle as a director Jill Halfpenny says she is impressed by Danny Boyle as a director

Jill Halfpenny has said that Danny Boyle was a dream director to work with on his new TV sitcom, Babylon.

The former EastEnders and Byker Grove star appears as an officer in the Territorial Support Group (TSG) in the comedy about a police force, and said she had been impressed with Slumdog Millionaire director Danny's way of working.

She said: "Danny is one of the nicest directors I've ever worked with. He's so welcoming and involved, it's a pleasure."

Jill explained she had been sent to watch real TSG officers in action to research the role: "Danny said he likes to throw actors into situations where you're like, 'Oh God, what's going on?' He likes to give you a real flavour of what it's like and with that job, there's a lot of waiting around and a lot of the time, nothing's happening. Some people in the TSG are glad nothing's happening and some of them want something to happen."

She also talked about filming a scene in a cafe which left a strong impression on her about Danny's attention to detail.

"So we turn up at the cafe, which has black and white tiles, and Danny says, 'Right, everyone take your coats off'. So we're all in our stab vests and white shirts and Daniel Kaluuya, who plays the cameraman, is standing in front of the cafe with a dark jacket on with this bright orange hood. And Danny says, 'It's going to look like a black and white shot [except for] this big orange hood of Daniel's'," she said.

"It's essentially a scene which is five seconds long but visually, he made it so beautiful. I love the way he thinks so much about every single thing he does. It's inspiring."

:: Babylon airs on Channel 4 on Sunday, February 9.

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