The Outlaws is the new BBC comedy-drama series set in the city of Bristol and sees a group of convicted criminals who meet while serving community service. With the first of six episodes airing tonight, Eleanor Tomlinson, who plays Gabby, admitted to not doing any research before her stint on the show and says she was “clueless”.
On being asked whether she did research into her character, an influencer on social media such as Instagram, she admitted: “I see enough of these people on Instagram to know exactly what they’re like.
“But no, I personally don’t follow them, I mean, they couldn’t have picked a more un-tech savvy or un-Instagram savvy actress to play Gabby.
“It really is hilarious, there’s so many moments where Gabby has to record Instagram Live-type videos – and I’ve only ever done one (with a friend who did it).
“So, I’m completely clueless. I always have to ask the kind of cool members of the group: how does this work?” Eleanor revealed.
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She continued: “I think the world is saturated now with Instagrammers and bloggers, and that’s great.
“You know, it’s an amazing way to make a living if you can do that if you’ve got that type of personality.
“For me, in terms of research, it’s just an observation of different characters, people that I’ve met at various points in my career at events or what have you.
“Obviously, there are people that you come across that you just think, wow! What on earth…” she exclaimed to the BBC.
Eleanor explained that her character Gabby comes from a very broken background, with her mum committing suicide and having a complicated relationship with her father.
She has grown up to be a very broken and insecure woman because her father believes money is the solution to all their problems.
Character Gabby ended up being on the community service scheme due to being arrested for drink driving and also vandalism of her ex’s car.
Throughout, viewers will see her finding her place in the group and eventually finding her place and her true calling in life.
Eleanor explained: “Comedy comes when it’s quick, when it’s slick, and you just have to have this confidence that you’re being funny.
“I’ve done comedy over the years, but having done so much serious drama, to then work with the likes of Stephen Merchant and Jess Gunning.
“They’re just naturally so funny. It makes you aware of how high the bar is. And you just have to be on it. It’s been a challenge, but it’s been great.”
The Outlaws already made headlines before it hit the screens when the production team’s trucks fell into the river on the harbourside, ruining 20 years’ worth of costume design equipment.
The BBC series has a star-studded cast, including Hollywood legend Christopher Walken, Stephen Merchant, Nina Wadia and Dolly Wells.
Set and filmed in Bristol, Stephen Merchant said he had never worked here, despite growing up in Hanham and said he wanted to “make the city a character in the show”.
With the first episode of the first series airing tonight, the second series has already been commissioned and filmed.
The Outlaws airs Monday at 9pm on BBC One.
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