Renegade Nell stars talk Sally Wainwright’s “genius” and guidance

Renegade Nell stars Louisa Harland and Nick Mohammed have shared their experiences working with "genius" creator Sally Wainwright on the Disney+ show.

Speaking to Digital Spy about the historical fantasy series, the actors spoke about collaborating with the Happy Valley boss's new show, revealing that Wainwright's involvement was one of the reasons they joined the show.

"She's just a genius. Having everyone involved – how can you not be a fan of her work? I mean, she literally is a genius. She's phenomenal," Mohammed said.

"This show is quite a departure for Sally in some regards, because it's swashbuckling, and there's a fantasy element to it."

nick mohammed, the ballad of renegade nell

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He continued: "I feel that thematically it feels very Sally, and has a strong heroine at its heart. There's a strong sense of right and wrong, and social justice, and class warfare.

"She's able to comment on these very contemporary issues but hiding it within this great issue that she’s created. She's phenomenal. She's one of the reasons we said yes."

Harland — who plays the show's protagonist Nell Jackson, who's forced into becoming a highwaywoman after being framed for murder — also revealed the guidance Wainwright gave her, adding: "She gave me a lot of confidence."

"She was very involved in the casting process, and was kind of waiting for Nell to walk in through the door. For some bizarre reason, she thought it was me, and — it was me!"

louisa harland, the ballad of renegade nell

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"She gave me a lot of confidence, and trusted that I had it within me. So she gave me very little guidance, which gave me, also, even more confidence with the role. And her writing is so good. It's all there on the page."

All eight episodes of Renegade Nell are now available to stream on Disney+. Written and created by Wainwright, the series also stars Joely Richardson (One Day), Adrian Lester (Trigger Point) and Frank Dillane (Fear the Walking Dead).

Alice Kremelberg (The Sinner), Ényì Okoronkwo (The Lazarus Project) and Craig Parkinson (Doctor Who) round out the cast alongside Bo Bragason, Florence Keen, Pip Torrens and Jake Dunn.

Renegade Nell is available to stream on Disney+ from March 29.

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