Jeremy Sheffield Interview on BBC Radio Essex (2003)
J.S. Anton Meyer, my boss, played by the wonderful George Irving, left after conflicts and ethical issues and went to America. I , after siding with him, he invites me to go with him, so seeing no future left at Holby, I go off to do research in America.
S.B. Alright, and you arrive back today in a helicopter, it's a great, great entrance.
J.S.( Jeremy laughs) fantastic, yeah!, so much fun to do, very James Bond.
S.B. When you read the script you must have been absolutely elated?
J.S. Yeah, I was. I was just going round to everybody, " I've come back, I've come back in a helicopter!"
S.B.Was it actually filmed in a helicopter and did you get the whole experience?
J.S.Oh yeah,buzzing round the hospital, fantastic. My brothers actually a helicopter pilot, so it's not completely unusual to me, but it was great.
S.B.Oh right!, we won't be giving away too much, but your delivering some vital organs , aren't you?
J.S.Yes, for a Dominoes transplant, which is apparently a complex procedure, where you take the heart and lungs from a donor, put the heart and lungs into your patient and that patients heart into a third patient, so it's literally dominoed down.
S.B.Ok, so are you back for a while?
J.S.I am indeed back for a while. That's kind of giving it away a little bit, as at the end of the series, they ask me if I want the job or not, but err, yeah, I am back.
S.B. Right, good. So what have you been doing I real life between the 2 series?
J.S.Yeah, it's six months off. The series was continuing, but I just took six months off. so I worked constantly on several things, one that's coming up , probably in May, which is a big two part costume drama , set in the 30's, called 'Hearts of Gold', which will be on BBC1. Not sure whether it will be May Bank Holiday.
It's one of them, err, which I play another doctor( laughs) , but in 1930's, with a different hairstyle and it's romantic, very beautiful. It's all set in Wales, love story really, across social boundaries, but it's nice. Actually, I've just seen it and it's really nice. And there's some other stuff for BBC3 , playing a Ferrari driver, though in a thing called 'Grease Monkey's', playing a Ferrari driving, bare knuckle sadist, which is great, completely different role, really nice to play.
S.B.Why did you take a break? did you feel that you had to, to keep yourself, you know , fresh?
J.S.I think that's exactly it, yes. To keep yourself fresh and also to do, just to try really, , to see what was out there actually and see if there was other work around and there happened to be a lot, so that was really nice and to be able to come back refreshed. Also, being an actor one of the great things is having lots of different things to do, different challenges. And after doing the same show for years on end, you kind of miss that a little bit, so I had the opportunity to do it, which was fantastic.
S.B.So you're back in Holby now, so what do you think it is about the programme that keeps us tuning in, week after week?
J.S.Yeah, I think it's just nice to be the same , that goes for all medical dramas in a way. The reason there so popular is that they deal with crucial fundamental issues, it's life and death stuff and it's those moments in life which are so profound and encapsulate all the biggest things in life, love, the hate and the fear, you know and it's right there in a hospital.
S.B. Now , you're an Essex boy?
S.B.Born in Coggleshall?
J.S. Yes, well no, actually born in Chelmsford Hospital.
S.B. Oh Right!
J.S.Lived for a year in Hertfordshire, then grew up in Coggleshall.
S.B.And how long were you there for?
J.S.Oh, my whole life. My mum just moved to Maddingtree, erm, 5 years ago, 6 years ago.
S.B.And what are some of your fondest memories of Essex?
J.S.I'm a big nature buff, I think I got that from, I would spend a lot of time out using a little stream in Coggleshall, called 'Robin's Brook' and I used to have this little plastic boat, were talking basic childhood memories here, but they really are very strong ones. I have a picture of me, yeah, must have been 4 or something, went fishing with a fishing rod in the stream and its those kind of memories for me which are very important and meaningful.
S.B. What about your free time when your not filming Holby and all the other work your doing. What do you do you do in your free time, what do you enjoy doing?
J.S.I think travel is the big one. I just came back from Egypt to go scuba diving, cos as I say, wildlife is my big thing, fish particularly, so erm, I go scuba diving and I'm going again , to get my advanced license. Traveling is the big one. I have friends all over the world. I was living in America for a year, I also have a place in Miami, so I go there sometimes, yeah, travels the biggest one I think.
S.B.So if you could live anywhere in the world would it be in America?
J.S.It would be. Really I would love to have the opportunity to just sort of do in someways. Less so now that I'm on a long running show, but not necessarily living in only one place, actually that's my ideal so.
S.B.And what is the sort of future plan for you after Holby. Obviously your a very career minded actor, your planning as you go along. What is the big picture, would you like to go into films you know, more films or feature films?
J.S.Yes. I have a vague idea of what I would like. But what I would like and what necessarily happens are two different things, yeah, but filming would love to do, television I would love to do. But most importantly its about doing something I deem as being of quality, quality scripts first of all and then the directors, the actors, the people involved in the project. That to me is what I'd like to do and that can be an enemy.
There are things being offered and talked about, but it's not that easy getting work given the stage I'm at. I'm not Tom Cruise, I'm not being thrown scripts left right and center, I still have to audition. I cross my fingers and do my best and hope to be offered a job, so really a lot of the powers not in my hands, it can be frustrating I think .
S.B. So is it important to be in a series like Holby, in a very high profile series to keep your face out there?
J.S.I think it helps big time, especially these days, you know , when it's money orientated a lot of it. So for the producers, its very good if they have someone coming to their show who already has an audience and a following so they know that somebody's gonna be watching. So yeah, that kind of profile helps.
S.B.Do you live in Essex?
J.S. I don't , I live in London now.
S.B.Yeah, with a home in Miami as well, very nice ( laughs)
J.S. It sounds better than it really is. It's a little one bedroom apartment, scruffy little thing in Miami, but anyway.
S.B.Well listen, it's a home in Miami, whos to know , who's to know!
Jeremy Sheffield , thank you very much!
J.S.Thank you very much , Simon.
Jeremy was interviewed by Simon Baldock of BBC Radio ESSEX ( 2003)
Transcript typed by Anita of The Jeremy Sheffield Fan Forum