Sheridan Smith relates to anxiety of 'every parent's worst nightmare' in new drama 'No Return'

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·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·2-min read
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Sheridan Smith stars in the new ITV drama 'No Return'. (ITV)
Sheridan Smith stars in the new ITV drama 'No Return'. (ITV)

Sheridan Smith has opened up on the anxiety she felt as a mum in playing a woman whose child ends up in a foreign jail for her new drama No Return.

The actor welcomed her first child, son Billy, in May 2020 and admitted that it had made her feel "totally different" about playing a mum, calling her character's storyline in the ITV series "every parent's worst nightmare".

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No Return stars Smith as Kathy, a mum-of-two on a family holiday to Turkey whose world is turned upside down when her teenage son Noah (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) is arrested after a beach party for a crime he says he didn't commit.

Sheridan Smith plays a woman whose son is arrested while on holiday. (ITV)
Sheridan Smith plays a woman whose son is arrested while on holiday. (ITV)

She told Yahoo UK and other media: "I've played mums before, but playing a mum now I've had Billy is totally different. People had said you can't understand the protectiveness and the overwhelming feeling when you have a child and Billy's not even two yet, but I feel it.

"Reading the script, I could really feel the anxiety. It is every parent's worst nightmare, so yeah, I related so much to it.

"And I love playing those protective mums, I loved this role so much."

The actor says she loves playing a protective mum. (ITV)
The actor says she loves playing a protective mum. (ITV)

The drama sees Kathy battle for her son's freedom as he languishes in jail under a legal system she doesn't understand.

It also addresses issues of consent and the fight Kathy faces to get other holidaymakers to help them as the case attracts media coverage.

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Smith, 40, added that it had been an emotional project to work on from the start, thanks to screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst's script.

Talking about the first cast read through of the script before they began filming, she said: "I've never been to a read through like the one for this. Half the cast were in the room and half were on Zoom because of COVID, but it was so powerful.

"Danny's writing is perfect as soon as you sit down and read it, so there's then a huge pressure to then bring it to life. I cried all the way through the read through."

No Return will air on ITV this February.

Watch: Sheridan Smith announces breakup with fiance Jamie Horn

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