An image of Don Gilet.

British actor, Don Gilet reveals what went into the filming of crime-drama Loch Ness. From preparing for the role to what you can expect from the miniseries.

Moments after our conversation started, it's hard not to instantly connect with Don Gilet who had no complaints as he expressed his happiness to be alive and enjoy another day. Growing up in Caldmore, Walsall and attending the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Gilet is a face you may recognise from a number of series including EastEnders, 55 Degrees North and Holby City.

Joining the cast of Loch Ness Gilet portrays psychological profiler, Blake Albrighton - a character with his own deep, dark past. Loch Ness sees a small town shocked with a gruesome murder of a piano teacher who's body is found dead at the bottom of a cliff in the quiet, peaceful village of Lochnafoy, Loch Ness. The question remains, who is the killer? 

Delving into Loch Ness

Gilet explains that they're trying to steer away from the standard 'whodunnit' classic and Sherlock Holmes tropes. "There's a killer on the lose, and it's down to three individuals to find out who that is," he says. Who are the three key characters tracking down the killer? Gilet makes up one third with his character Blake Albrighton, then Siobhan Finneran a Lauren Quigley and Laura Fraser as Annie Redford. The investigation is quite grizzly Gilet continues, "it's quite shocking in its graphics in the murder scenes - not so much that you can't sleep or that you can't finish your meal. There's a nice graphic element to the style of the killings I suppose".  

Blake's backstory

Described as being more of a hindrance than helpful, we wanted to know more about Blake Albrighton and Gilet was more than happy to share as many details as he could. "He's very successful forensic psychologist: he's got books written, he's responsible for the final capture of another famous killer in the backstory of this whole thing," Gilet explains "He's the one brought on board - the best that they could find really - to try capture this killer".

Blake has his own style of doing things and he comes to this "sleepy town" Gilet explains which has its history related to the Loch Ness monster but nothing particularly sensational has happened... until now. "My character is used to doing things in a certain way, a certain speed" says Gilet as he gives us further insight on how Blake does not enjoy working slowly, so when he speeds up the investigation a few feathers are ruffled - which in all honesty, we don't mind seeing how it unfolds! Does Gilet think Blake is a hindrance? "It seems to be a hindrance, but I think he has an instinct and he follows his instinct - it may be unorthodox," he says. 

Preparing for Loch Ness

With such a dark atmosphere and gritty edge to it, it's interesting to know what preparation Gilet went into for the role. Working on a medical drama, Holby City prior to this role Gilet explains that having enough information in the writing (such as scripts) results in investigating how to portray the role staying within the written work. What if there isn't enough provided "If you find there are holes in the character that's when you sort of have to go external, outside of the script to unlock it and get back into the script" he shares. "My opinion, it was so well written that I didn't have to work with a police unit, I didn't have to interview a forensic psychologist because the writers had done enough for me," he states "that was my bible - the script is my bible".

Gilet goes on to highlight the importance of absorbing every bit of information and read between the lines to fully grasp each aspect of the character and complete the picture with what was written. He adds that he doesn't think he's ever done something as bleak before with such dark elements.

Gilet shared with us that he has no real method for getting into a role. Each director is different, each actor brings their own method and his key point goes into the attempt to be flexible to each person's style. Getting down to the bottom of it, the most important element is knowing what to say he adds. Knowing the words and how to execute it allows for time to play around with other ideas Gilet shares further about his initial thought process with each role.  "I hold on to my script as long as I possibly can," Gilet says "Not necessarily because I don't know the words but because it's a comfort - everything I need to know is between those pages and in those lines". He tries to not look at other things to not be influenced by other's style but rather attach himself to the style of the director he's working with. 

Production wise, the series took three months to complete. "It can sometimes feel like a long time but if you're involved in the filming a lot it can seem to go pretty quickly," Gilet says. By the time production ended, it didn't seem like he had spent several months on production at all, he added. 

Last words

What does Gilet hope for DStv viewers when watching Loch Ness? "I hope they enjoy it; I hope for all the people who like crime capers that it's as up there as all the other ones. I hope they enjoy the characters," with his main hope being that he wishes everyone finds the series to be a satisfying piece of storytelling at the end. With his final word being, "I hope they don't get any nightmares," he laughs "they shouldn't". 

Catch the premiere of Loch Ness S1 on Monday 25 September at 20:50 on Universal (DStv Channel 117) and streaming live on DStv Now