We caught up with Doctors star Andrea Gordon, unlike her screen character ‘Bren’, she is quite the glamour puss.
BBC’s popular soap Doctors has won multiple awards, having joined the cast in 2014, Andrea Gordon stars as the drug and alcohol addicted Bren Lee. As Bren, she has had a rollercoaster of storylines and caused quite a stir in the series.
Doctors in set in the fictional Midlands town of Letherbridge, the soap follows the turbulent lives of the staff and patients in a Doctor’s surgery.
Bren Lee is a single mother of four children, the oldest Ayesha who is played by Laura Rollins is a nurse at the Mill Hill Centre. Bren’s struggle with drug and alcohol addiction led to her losing her children and becoming homeless.
Along with her work in Doctors, Andrea Gordon is known for her comedic skills, as she is a familiar face on the stand-up circuit. Previously this talented actress played Sandra in Casualty, in the fan favourite EastEnders, in Lost Empires as Phyllis Robinson alongside Colin Firth and starred in feature film: Axed picked up by Lionsgate, EOne and Fangoria. Now she is about to star as Patrick Swayze’s wife Lisa Niemi, in the upcoming drama Autopsy: The Last Hours Of…
Doctors has won and been nominated for numerous awards, including for the Royal Television Society, TV Choice, National Television, BAFTA’s and Inside Soap Awards.
The show airs Monday to Friday on BBC 1 at 1:45pm.
Your character Bren has been on quite a journey, what for you were her best moments on Doctors? I’m not sure Bren had any best moments, she fell from one drunken humiliation to another, such is the nature of addiction sadly. But Bren singing: /All the Single Ladies’ whilst drunk, dancing on a park bench and trying to serenade a copper was fun, confronting Dr. Emma Reid and destroying her rug was another! Bren’s has a deep love for her children and the scenes with little Sierra and Ayesha coming up are especially moving, we’re going to see a very different Bren!
We understand you are a supporter of those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, has playing Bren given you an insight to the difficulties those suffering face? Most definitely, with addiction it’s about mental health damage first, the physical damage from the drug of choice is obvious, but the problem lies before the addiction takes place. For example, Bren’s background although we didn’t go into it in much depth, was one of abuse when she was a child. She needed an escape at 15years old and was led down the path of teenage partying, pregnancy and being thrown out of the family house. So an already damaged, a defenceless girl was forced to cope alone with a baby and a damaged self worth. In my research, over the last four years, there are countless stories in real life like Bren’s, some much worse, but I have deep compassion for people who are suffering. It’s not their fault, frustrating as it might be to watch, they are deeply suffering inside and I wish we would find better ways of helping anyone with psychological or mental health issues. Starting with understanding them, after all, we are all made of the same stuff and at any one time, circumstances could bring anyone down that path….
What attracted you to the role? The chance to play against my stereotype of a blonde, middle class professional and portray a vulnerability that is raw and open. Bren has no defences- she’s uneducated, poor and has no self presentation skills, a bit like Tess in “Tess of the Durbervilles” only Brummie! As an actress having the chance to play someone who is utterly uninhibited, throwing off the shackles of societies expectations and saying and doing what you think was great. Until the hangover of course, and I could utilise my comedy background to bring some humour to the situation, albeit dark humour.
If you can play any role, what would it be and alongside whom? I’d love to portray Kate McCann, Madeleine McCann’s mother, I keep getting told I look like her and that whole incident affected me deeply. I’d love to show their story with the compassion and sensitivity they deserve… Alongside oh, I don’t know, Colin Firth, Daniel Craig, Gary Oldman they’re quite good aren’t they?! Or anything with Anthony Hopkins, I’m a big fan!
Can you give some advice to actors just starting out? Yes, don’t. Joking. It’s a great ride and you get to do and experience so much, but it’s also Show BUSINESS. It’s a business, so learn how the business works, alongside those important voice classes and film workshops, also learn your brand and how to and market yourself. I really wish I’d known all about that when I was starting out.
What is next for you? Autopsy the last hours of Patrick Swayze where I play his real life widow: Lisa Niemi, it airs in USA first, then Channel 5 later this year. It’s a big responsibility to play someone living especially when they were married to such an icon as Patrick Swayze. But I loved playing her, she’s beautiful inside and out and they had a bond that most of us dream about when thinking of meeting our soul mate.
How do people follow you? Just started Twitter: @andiegordon …. so that’s one!
Can you tell us a secret about you? Whilst working briefly on set with him years ago, I once told Omar Sharif “to get over himself” when he said walking out in public for him was a nightmare. We tried it, he was right and I learnt to stop being arrogant!
Who inspires you? Clint Eastwood and Helen Mirren they’re still at the top of their game, both have an elegance and inner poise, but it’s also a humbleness, I guess we call it charisma, it makes them shine, like erm, stars.