Josette Simon lays down the law in ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’


JOSETTE SIMON, OBE, told the Voice she loved going ‘head-to-head’ with cast members during fiery scenes in the much-anticipated Netflix series: Anatomy of a Scandal.

The six-part psychological thriller hits screens today and is based on the international best-selling thriller by Louise Vaughan.

Co-created by David E Kelly and Melissa James and featuring Sienna Miller, Rupert Friend and Michelle Dockery, Anatomy of a Scandal explores a sexual consent scandal amongst the British privileged elite and the women caught in it’s wake.

The drama is being billed as a flagship series for Netflix in 2022. Simon’s role as the defense lawyer to Rupert Friend’s character, the accused British politician James Whitehouse is absolutely pivotal.

Josette got stuck into her role as a top QC

“When the script arrived, I’d just finished filming something for the BBC, it was quite late and the script had been couriered over and I thought I’d just read episode one and read the rest the next day,” Simon explained.

She added: “Well, I got through episode one and was still sitting on my sofa in the early hours of the morning, ploughing through every single episode because it was one of those page turners.

“The writing is brilliant, the characters are so finely drawn, it’s a very hard hitting and important piece and it’s incredibly thrilling, in a good way.”

Speaking on working with Miller, Friend and Docherty et al, Simon said there was a natural synergy on set.

“They were lovely such a great cast and great people which doesn’t always happen, I have to say. The other thing about it, was that it was a very female heavy production which is quite unusual.”

Simon added: “We all got on really well. One of the things about things like this, is that when you have a subject that’s really difficult and really dark and upsetting, you often find that when you are off set, you laugh a lot.

“And it’s not that you are trivializing the subject matter, because of course you are not, but it’s almost like a release because it is so visceral and it really demands a lot of each character to place yourself in that world. So you do laugh a lot.

“But the thing about the other cast members is that we got on really well but we were also so respectful and admiring of each other’s work.

“It was great everybody was at the top of their game wanting to do justice to this piece and it was wonderful to watch each other at work.”

Later in the year, Simon will be seen in another leading role in the BBC One three-part series cross fire.

Ever busy, she is currently in the process of filming Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys, which is set to starAcademy Award and Emmy-winner Whoopi Goldberg.

Looking ahead to how Anatomy of a Scandal might be received by the audience however, Simon said: “I think the overall narrative through the story is something that will, I hope, hit an audience just because of the themes and the topics that it throws up.

“I think today, there are things that kind of touch of the Me Too movement, there are things that are very present at the moment in terms of people like Sarah Everard and it throws up things that will make people think, make people talk, make people question.

“So, it’s not so much one scene, it’s how all the scenes unfold.

“Especially the court scenes with Michelle and I, we really go head-to-head. They are difficult scenes and for my character particularly who is defending this man who comes from a very elite background.

“He’s very much a tory and very much a privileged Eton, Oxford boy. He’s had everything easy and I’m defending him.

“The thing about being a QC is that it doesn’t really matter what you personally think, your job is to win the case.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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