Cold Feet: cast

Robert Bathurst as David Marsden

Robert Bathurst

Playing David, Robert feels it's important not to judge him but simply understand him.

He explains. "Most characters you play, in fact most people you meet, believe themselves to be all right, even if to any objective opinion they are plain horrible. If you judge a character when playing them you might end up playing that perceived view of them rather than the view they have of themselves. It doesn't allow for any complication."

Robert relishes the fact that David has evolved so much over the last and forthcoming series. "In a lot of TV writing, in drama as well as comedy, middle class affluent characters like the one I've been handed often allow only a two dimensional portrait of him—they are set up as the hate figure and you are invited to, sort of, wave a banner saying what you represent" he explains.

Robert goes on to say: "What I love about the way the writing has developed is that human complications have been allowed to intrude., making the character more rounded."

When asked whether there are any similarities between him and David, Robert shrugs and laughs: "I've no idea! I like to think not." He goes on to explain: "David is blissfully unaware of the effect he has on things going on—perhaps you couldn't be that detached from reality [to] play him."

He adds: "I don't have the same aspirations as him but there are bound to be things I draw on… I don't really analyse it, you just work out what is right for that given moment. It's all about moments—what's consistent, what might be a surprise, where you go with it… there is no overall rule. I suppose, inevitably, you draw on your own experience, but how much is drawn from me I've no idea."

Having spent so many years working with James, John, Hermione, Fay, Helen and Jacey (Salles), Robert is 'extremely fond' of the cast of Cold Feet, particularly his on-screen wife. "It's refreshing and much more enjoyable if you actually like the person you have to say 'I love you' to. It's much easier. Hermione and I have a great laugh together and get on very well."

He goes on to say: "This lot are a million miles away from the planet luvvie, which is a relief. We all work in different ways and everyone accommodates those. Some of us play to the camera more, some of us are more instinctive, some of us like to prepare more and focus before a shot… we all work around each other."

It is this on-screen chemistry between the cast that has added to Cold Feet's huge success, Robert believes. "This show was never cast 'fashionably'. This was made on a hunch. It was never sold as The Next Best Thing—which means the creative people have always been in control—it was never the creature of the marketing department. I would have thought it would be a lesson in how to make shows that succeed… they should take a punt with creative hunches more often, but some TV people are on short term contracts and can't take risks."