Murder in Suburbia Interview (2004)
SHEFFIELD is Detective Chief Inspector Sullivan
Jeremy Sheffield faced a tough challenge playing the enigmatic and
reserved DCI Sullivan – keeping quiet.
“This is an emotionally reserved man of few words which was really hard
for me because I tend not to think much before I speak – and I speak a
lot!” laughs Jeremy.
“It was certainly a challenge. I tried to be less animated and less open
than I am naturally so it was hard work.
“I had come from playing surgeon Alex Adams in Holby City, who has an
emotionally explosive temperament, to playing someone completely in
And the mystery surrounding DCI Sullivan at Middleford CID is what draws
partners DI Kate Ashurst and DS Emma Scribbins to him.
Jeremy explains: “Sullivan is a man we know little about and this is part
of his attraction. He is their boss so there is a game being played with
both the women and a very subtle flirtation. I think he is aware they are
both attracted to him but Sullivan is a very private man and we don’t know
if he is married, has a girlfriend, even a boyfriend or indeed if he is
even interested in having a relationship at all.
“But his reserved nature is an adaptive quality and it allows Ash and
Scribbs to project onto him their own fantasies.”
He continues: “I think he has a lot of respect for them, although the way
they work is unconventional and he is a very conventional man. He may not
understand their methods but he knows they do their jobs well and deep
down I expect they are his favourites.”
Jeremy admits he had reservations at first about playing a police officer.
“I was a bit nervous about portraying someone in such a position of
authority,” he says. “Sullivan is clearly someone who enjoys authority and
being in charge of people.
“Playing a surgeon in Holby was a very different kind of experience but
less of a stretch for me personally because I am more like Adam. Also it
was nice to work at a slower pace on Murder in Suburbia. Because I am in
this show less, I was able to pay more attention to detail and concentrate
on my character more which was a luxury.”
Jeremy has two films coming up for release later this year. In Something
Borrowed, he stars alongside Debra Messing (Will & Grace) as a shallow,
egotistical cricketer who jilts his bride-to-be just before the wedding.
And in Creep, a horror movie far removed from this American rom-com,
Jeremy plays a rich, slimy character who meets a very unpleasant end.
“I meet a gruesome death which involved me being covered with live rats
and being dragged bleeding through the underground at night. It was quite
Jeremy is currently in Miami renovating his second home in South Beach and
escaping the winter weather.
“I have a new US agent so I’ll be having some meetings while I’m there. If
I get good work I could easily live in LA but I love London and it would
always be my real home.”