Warning: This article contains spoilers for Liar episodes 3 and 4
Joanne Froggatt has admitted she would have turned down Liar had the twist halfway through the six-part series been different, particularly after her experience filming a similar storyline in Downton Abbey.
The actress plays a teacher named Laura who accuses her date – a surgeon named Andrew – of drugging and raping her. The thought-provoking thriller forces viewers to consider which character is telling the truth, and whether we can trust our judgment of people – or whether we are subconsciously swayed by their background or the way they behave in certain situations.
In the third episode of the series – written by BAFTA winners Harry and Jack Williams – we discover that it is Andrew who is lying and guilty of rape, and Froggatt says she wouldn't have taken the part had it been the other way around, following her experience of playing a character who was sexually assaulted in ITV's Downton.
Froggatt also said that, had Laura been lying, it wouldn't have been representative of the vast majority of cases, telling Harper's Bazaar UK: "I personally wouldn't have taken the job if she [Laura] had been lying.
"[Both] as a woman, and mainly because of my experience of doing a storyline about rape on Downtown, and having had contact from people who had been sexually assaulted.
"They felt that they had huge support with a show like Downtown tackling that subject matter, and I learned so much from the letters I received that I felt a real connection towards these people after it had aired.
"So for me personally, I wouldn't have felt comfortable doing this having had this experience in Downton... it wouldn't have been right to for me to then play a woman who was lying."
Speaking about statistics that only 5.7% of reported rape cases end in a conviction for the perpetrator (via Rape Crisis), she continued: "People do lie but in something like 90% of cases where the assault did happen, the person isn't brought to justice, and no charge is brought because it's very hard to prove in certain circumstances.
"But I think the because of the overwhelming statistics, the outcome in Liar is a fair representation in society. Had it been the other way round, it wouldn't have felt like a fair representation."
Froggatt also said that she found herself questioning her character despite knowing the outcome, particularly as Laura had been described by some as "brilliantly unlikeable" after her date with Andrew, and because of her behaviour after the sexual assault.
"I was not afraid of people thinking that I was lying because I knew – and that's part of the show and that's the part that throws up the more interesting questions. Just because she doesn't handle herself in a way that isn't like a victim," she continued.
"So that's an interesting question – do we only believe people if they behave in a certain way, or whether we like them, or perceive to like them? Or if they behave in a way that's vulnerable, rather than strong-minded?
"Those questions are incredibly interesting – I questioned them myself."
Froggatt has delighted fans of the ITV series by saying a second series is a big possibility, adding: "This absolutely does come to a conclusion in the sixth episode.
"There are more questions that can arise from the conclusion. We could do one more. I don't think it would be any more than more than that, but there is a possibility of doing a second season."
Liar continues Monday night at 9pm on ITV.
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