‘The Long Call’ – What Ben Aldridge has in common with detective character

Actor identified with gay detective's struggles

Ben Aldridge of ‘The Long Call’ on Britbox

Q: What attracted you to the British crime drama “The Long Call”?

A: I had quite coincidentally been asked to read the audiobook … and in reading it, I realized that there were kind of crossovers for me and (his character) Matthew. … And I was really drawn to it I think because of the things we share and some of the experiences that he’s struggled with. I’m gay and he is gay and I grew up in an evangelical Christian home. He obviously grew up in a hardline Brethren community … .

So there were just many crossovers, things that he struggled with, things that he dealt with, and the way in which he navigates the world as a gay man who I think a lot of his energy is spent on kind of trying to fly under the radar because I think he believes that’ll make his life easier. He’s carrying around a lot of shame with him. And me in my personal life have worked to deal with those things but it’s kind of a recent living history for me, so I could really connect with that. And also, I’ve been looking to — I’ve played lots of different men over the years but mostly men who were straight, looked at as their defining feature. But I’d been looking for a project in which I could kind of connect and explore my own sexuality and this felt like a really good fit to do that.

Q: How did you like filming in your hometown of North Devon on the southwest coast of England?

A: It’s really a stunning part of the world. North Devon is a very dramatic, very atmospheric coast, which is kind of in contrast to what I think people think of Devon. I think they think of like cottages and cows and stuff but it’s got like these amazing two coasts, very ragged and a very stunning place to film.

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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