'Liverpool has taken show to its heart': The Responder's Martin Freeman 'still talking Scouse' as he shares city's impact

Martin Freeman has once again wowed fans with his authentic interpretation of the Liverpool accent in The Responder.

The 52-year-old has reprised his role as troubled police officer Chris Carson in the acclaimed Liverpool-set BBC drama. The actor returned to the city this week as part of a special screening at FACT cinema in celebration of season two's return to our screens.

He spoke to the ECHO at the event on Tuesday night and explained hard work has been key to perfecting his Scouse transformation. He said: "Whatever accent you're doing, or where your character is from, you always give it your best.

READ MORE: BBC The Responder creator Tony Schumacher hit rock bottom before taxi ride changed life forever

"I was always very aware that this could go either way because if you're in this city doing that part and they don't like it, then you'll know."

The response has been overwhelming as many viewers have claimed it is the best Liverpudlian accent from someone who isn't from the city - and Martin said the support from people in the region has meant a lot. He said: "The way this city has taken the show and what I'm doing to its heart has been really lovely.

"Liverpool has been so nice to us but it generally has to me as an outsider." The actor meticulously broke down sounds and phrases to master the accent and said the positive feedback he received from Scousers during the early stages of working on the accent was key to his progress..

He said: "I found that once I found a route into [the accent] and had a starting point then your confidence goes up a bit when people like [writer] Tony [Schumacher] and other people from the city go 'that sounds good'. So then your shoulders drop a little bit and you can relax into it so you can do it without feeling as though your head is on the block."

The Responder is proudly Liverpudlian with Scouse slang and city in- jokes referenced throughout the script. Martin was joined on the red carpet by show creator, Tony, who joked there were a number of conversations when he had to explain what certain words, such as "trabs", exactly meant.

However, it was more about the rhythm of how the words were said rather than the definition as the Sherlock star added: "Yeah it was about whether you would shorten that word or lengthen that word in the string of a sentence.

"It's stuff that you don't really think about when you're just speaking." He laughed: "With Scouse the stress is on all of the words all the time. For Chris, it's stress all the time."

The Responder brilliantly taps into the stresses of the main character to create high quality drama as fans have been gripped by what comes next for the first response officer on the edge. Martin said the damaged character isn't easy to play but he wouldn't have it any other way and said filming the show in Liverpool massively helps with the tough aspects of the shoot.

He added: "The city itself made it easy here. The people have been very warm about it all. I hate stereotypes and thinking Scousers are all like this because they're not all funny. They're not all warm but a lot of them actually are.

"It was great and, considering most of it was late nights so you're knackered and drawing on very little reserves. then if you weren't enjoying it it would be hard. But I didn't have a single bad day in this job.

"It was all hard work but in the best possible way. The reviews are great but even without that I'd be proud of this show. Even if we were the only ones that rated it."

Martin is now determined to relax and enjoy the finished product now the show has arrived back on our screens to widespread acclaim. However, he laughed there was one part of Chris that has filtered back into his daily life after filming has finished.

He adopted a Scouse twang as he joked: "I have started saying 'erm' now."

The Responder season two continues on BBC One on Sunday at 9pm. All five episodes of season two are available to watch on iPlayer.

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