What was the appeal of playing Margaret in Beecham House?
I hadn’t even read a full script, only a few scenes from an early draft. So a lot of it was the enthusiasm and feel you get from the director and producers. And the prospect of filming in India was a big draw.
So how was that?
I absolutely loved India. I’d been once before, but that was to Goa, which was really touristy. I think people expect it to be a bit intimidating and overwhelming, very busy and hot. But I thought it was so much fun. If we had just a couple of hours off we’d go for a swim, which you could never do at the studio in London. I also bought about 70 kaftans.
How did you take to the period costumes?
I’ve done a few jobs where I’ve worn corsets so I’m quite used to them. Actually, I liked it. I suffer from a lot of back pain so the corsets were good for me as they made me stand up straight. And the heat from wearing them wasn’t bad. I think anyone who says it was unbearable and a struggle is exaggerating. Tom Bateman, who plays John Beecham, was quite funny as he invariably had a mobile phone or a script tucked into his 18th Century outfit.
You were a child actor in The Golden Compass. How was the transition to adult actor?
I don’t think anyone is necessarily aware when you’re moving from a child to an adult. When I look back on being 18, I realise I was still a child. In this business I still go for school-age roles because I look young. I turned 21 while I was playing a 13-year-old. My policewoman in Endeavour was the first time my character had a job.
Did you learn much from Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman in The Golden Compass?
I have wonderful memories of the time I spent working with them. To this day I carry lessons with me that I picked up from them.
How do spend your time away from acting?
I’m always itching for something to do. I write screenplays and have just finished writing a pilot episode for a series. It came from when I was doing Endeavour because I had so much free time on set. In the first series I read eight books in a month sitting in my trailer and I knew I had to find something to do or I’d go mad.
How would you spend your ideal day?
I love hiking so I’d start it with something outdoorsy like that and it would probably end with a lot of espresso martinis. I think it’s always good to have balance!
Dakota Blue Richards stars as Margaret Osborne in Beecham House, ITV, Sunday, 9pm