She impressed us in the courtroom - now Freema Agyeman is moving to the style world. The Law & Order: UK star plays magazine editor Larissa in The CW's Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries, and she joined BFTV to talk about making the transition, what's ahead in season one, and a certain unanswered question from her LOUK days.
"I went from being in Doctor Who to Torchwood to Law & Order and it took up years of my career. For the first time in five, six years pilot season was available to me," explained the actress, who also played Martha Jones opposite David Tennant's Tenth Doctor. Of the pilots available to her, "The Carrie Diaries one stuck out to me. When I read a script, I can feel when it clicks."
Agyeman eventually won the role of Larissa, the style editor at Interview magazine, who takes a young Carrie Bradshaw (played by AnnaSophia Robb) under her wing. Although the show is based on the novels by Candace Bushnell, Larissa is a character unique to the TV series. "I think the producers wanted somebody like a mentor to Carrie," she explained. Going forward this season, "We see a lot more of that relationship. There is this kind of mutual appreciation that they have."
While she couldn't say too much about specific happenings in future episodes, Agyeman did dish about how much she's enjoying her new experience in American television. "I am honestly finding playing this part so liberating," she said. "I don't know what's going to come, I don't know what to expect, I don't know what's going to be expected of me. I feel like I'm always learning."
She added that while Carrie Diaries is "essentially a period piece" on a different network, fans of Sex and the City shouldn't think that they can't enjoy it. "There are enough connections between the two to provide familiarity," she explained.
Being a prequel to the hit HBO series, The Carrie Diaries is set in 1984, and the actress shared some of her own 80's memories. "It's just the whole scene, the music, the films. My boyfriend and I are huge fans of 80's films," she confided. "I do have really fond memories. I remember it being a fun time."
It's also the third series Agyeman has worked on, following Doctor Who and Law & Order: UK, that is part of a previously established franchise. What is it like to come into a project with history attached? "I've just been extremely lucky," she said. "I was aware when I went into Doctor Who of the institution that it is. The fans are so loyal and so dedicated and nothing but encouraging. Then Law & Order, I was such a big fan of that show. To be part of something from the beginning with Law & Order: UK, it made me feel so proud. And then with The Carrie Diaries, you couldn't ask to be part of something bigger."
Agyeman also took the time to answer one of Law & Order: UK fans' most asked questions: would her LOUK character, junior lawyer Alesha Phillips, have eventually gotten together with dashing cop Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) or maybe even her boss, James Steel (Ben Daniels)? "It was never really determined," the actress explained. "It's my understanding that there's a whole clique in the fanbase as to who she would've been more suitable with." Adding with a laugh, "I actually think she'd have been great with [Steel's boss] George Castle!"
The Carrie Diaries continues its first season tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on The CW.