Eve Myles does double duty with ‘Keeping Faith’


The latest work for Eve Myles, the series “Keeping Faith” on the streaming service Acorn TV, gave her two opportunities to play the same character. That’s not so odd, as actors do that all the time, whether it is in a series or even a movie sequel. But what made the double duty so interesting for the Welsh actor is she filmed the mystery/drama in both English and Welsh at the same time.

“We didn’t just make eight hours of drama, but 16,” Myles says of how scenes would be shot, reset and then reshot in the two languages. “Note to self. Always do a role in a language you can speak. The Welsh language is a very complicated one.”

Myles was born in Wales, but didn’t grow up in a household that spoke Welsh. To be able to play the dual-language role, her education into the language started with learning the Welsh alphabet. The biggest help came from a producer who recorded all of Myles’ lines, and then the actor would listen to them while doing her morning exercises.

She considers the linguistics work well worth it because of how “Keeping Faith” came together. In the eight-part series that launches Monday for American audiences, Faith Howells (Myles) wakes up after a hard-drinking night out with friends to find she has a major headache and an even bigger mystery on her hands. Her husband and business partner, Evan (Bradley Freegard), leaves for work as usual, but then disappears. This forces Faith to come back from an extended maternity leave to pick up some of her husband’s workload while trying to figure out where her husband would have gone. The search leads to some very dark secrets.

“Keeping Faith” has already been a massive ratings success in Wales, both on television and with a record on BBC iPlayer of 5 million downloads, the highest number ever for a non-network show. It should be no surprise that kind of success has resulted in preliminary work on a second season being started.

That’s good news for Myles and Freegard, who is not only playing her TV husband, but the actors are also married. They haven’t worked together since being on stage 15 years ago, and Myles found the experience of performing with her spouse to be both fun and interesting. She liked that he immediately understood everything about what she was doing from the shooting schedule to the emotional moments. It wasn’t as comfortable doing a bedroom scene with a large crew standing around while she is with her husband.

“There were a couple of times on the set I had to tell him off, something I would never do if it was someone I didn’t know playing my husband,” Myles says. She adds that the biggest complaint was something Freegard could not control.

“I would come home at night and just tell him that if he would just show up the next day, it would make my life a lot simpler.”

If you need any more proof this was a unique job for Myles, consider she was thinking about taking a break from acting when “Keeping Faith” came around. What had made her consider the change was she felt like all the roles she was being offered were just repeats of projects she’d done in the past. Not only did “Keeping Faith” offer her the challenge of working with an unfamiliar language, but it gave her a complicated character to play because of her having to deal with a rainbow of emotions and mysteries while at the same time trying to function as a mom.

Myles has been working in television since she graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 2000. Her first major role was in the Welsh language drama series “Belonging,” but it was a 2005 appearance in the “Doctor Who” episode “The Unquiet Dead” that sent her career into orbit. That led to her winning a lead role in the spinoff series “Torchwood,” where she portrayed the character Gwen Cooper between 2006 and 2011. She calls the role in “Torchwood” as being “my Oscar.”

Being part of the “Torchwood” series has brought Myles a lot of attention from science fiction fans, especially through attending multiple conventions to talk about the series. Myles has noticed more people have been talking to her about “Keeping Faith,” but the main attention she gets — at least for now — is from her “Torchwood” days.

“I will be connected to that role until they put the last nail in my coffin. And that’s great. We go to these conventions and you think there might be a couple of hundred people and there ends up thousands of people in an arena who adore you. We have the most wonderful and loyal fans,” Myles says.

She reprised the role in the 2009 and 2011 series of “Torchwood” radio plays as well as in 2015 as part of the “Torchwood” (Big Finish series). While filming “Torchwood,” Myles, who was born in Ystradgynlais, Powys, Wales, and her family relocated to the Hollywood Hills and she could make a return to California but not for an acting role.

“I would get in my car and go to the drive-thru for In-N-Out Burger,” Myles says with a laugh.

Acorn TV streams world-class mysteries, dramas and comedies from Britain and other countries. As for the new offering of “Keeping Faith,” it also stars Hannah Daniel (“Hinterland”), Matthew Gravelle (“Broadchurch”), Mark Lewis Jones (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) and Aneirin Hughes (“Hinterland”).



Monday, Acorn TV