Broadchurch prime suspect says 'thanks' to NZ fans

Joe Sims says he got trolled after British viewers mistook Broadchurch for "a fly on the wall documentary about infanticide in small town England".
Joe Sims as Nigel Carter and Pauline Quirke as Susan Wright in Broadchurch.
Joe Sims as Nigel Carter and Pauline Quirke as Susan Wright in Broadchurch.

TimeOut tv reviewer Greg Dixon's review of the final Broadchurch episodes got plenty of feedback. But one stood out - a message from Joe Sims, the actor who played Nigel Carter, the troubled character who was the prime suspect in the whodunnit for much of the series.

Firstly, Sims commented: "Great article Greg! I'm really pleased that you guys are enjoying it in NZ We really enjoyed making it and it's thrilling to think that people are asking 'Who killed Danny Latimer?' as far afield as gorgeous New Zealand. After our poor showing in the rugby I'm glad we may have in some small way made up for it with this show."

We sent Sims an email - just to see it was really him - and then figured, we should ask Sims, any for a post-mortem on the show which screened in New Zealand to high ratings a year after the whodunnit gripped Britain.

Said Sims: "What impressed me most about the NZ public is how few people spoiled the surprise of whodunnit by googling it! I wasn't blessed with such iron will sadly so would've taken a sneaky peak I reckon.

"The second series is shooting as we speak and lots of the old cast and new members have been confirmed and others are yet to be announced. So as it stands we'll have to wait and see if Nige and his crossbow return but I certainly hope so as I think there's a lot of unfinished business for the character if that's an avenue Chris [Chibnall, creator-writer] chooses to explore."

It is true that the cast had no idea who the killer was during much of the filming?

"Absolutely none, I believe Jodie (Whittaker, Beth) asked for confirmation half way through that it wasn't her, which she got. The rest of us were sat in pubs together hypothesizing as to which one it was and why. This really added to it for me as if you had been guilty you would of course have hid it from your friends and this hopefully bore out in the performances, it created a very real questioning of each other as a solid, small community turned in on itself."

Was there a cast pool on who did the terrible deed? Who was the main suspect?

"Ha! We had mug shots of all of the main cast in the make up truck and all cast and crew had to put a star by the person they thought was guilty. Me, Arthur Darvill [Reverend Paul Coates and Andy Buchan [Mark Latimer] got the most but you could tell the jury was split ... I voted for Andy."

How was the killer finally revealed to the cast by Chris Chibnall?

"Ooooh, he got us all together at the end of shooting episode six to show us the UK trailer and promised the unveiling of the killer. Then (visibly nervous) he stood in front of the cast and crew and said it was working so well and creating such a sense of mistrust on screen that there would be no unveiling! We were all as big fans as the public that have watched it, so I thought he was going to get lynched!! We got episode seven and episode eight biked to our homes and I remember sweaty palms as I furiously tore open the envelope and then after reading we were all ringing each other screaming with excitement!"

Were you ever so slightly disappointed that, with Nige being a prime suspect, it turned out to be someone else?

"Am I gutted that I didn't murder my best friend's kid? Absolutely not! I thought it might give me a better chance of being in series two! Genuinely though, poor Matt [Gravelle playing Joe Miller] was on the front page of every newspaper as the country's most famous paedophile and I rang him to tell him and he said he had to do the school run with his two children that morning. I advised him to splash out on a taxi as he might get battered."

Did you get much public reaction to the scene where you threatened Susan's pooch with your crossbow?

"Blimey, I don't know about NZ but the UK public were saying some very mean things about me on twitter! (@joesims10 by the way) I think some people forgot it was a drama and thought it was a fly on the wall documentary about infanticide in small town England. It's Pauline's [Quirke as Susan Wright] dog in real life and Bailey was treated like a king!"

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