Jill Halfpenny admits she felt ‘exhausted’ after filming BBC’s Dark Money

Dark Money

BBC One’s new four-part series deals with some harrowing topics, leaving lead actress Jill Halfpenny in tears after each shooting day.

Dark Money follows the family of an abused child, who accept hush money from a famous filmmaker, as they’re unable to find any other kind of justice. They’re given a whopping three million pounds to stay silent.

Jill Halfpenny plays mum Sam, and revealed that the scenes referencing child abuse left her feeling ‘depleted’.

Speaking about the experience, the former EastEnders star said, “At the end of a day like that, you’re so exhausted from crying that your face is like a dried-up leaf. You just want to literally flop on the bed or the sofa.

“Your body doesn’t know that what it went through isn’t real, so your body has felt the trauma.

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“So even though you’re telling your brain, ‘I’m acting’, your body still feels like it’s been through something traumatic.”

However, despite the intense filming process, Jill has praised series writer Levi David Addai for creating flawed character such as Sam, because they’re more ‘believable’.

“I’ve been doing telly for 30 years now and people have this idea that women have to be likeable all the time on TV.

“The thing that I loved about Sam is, yeah, she makes some decisions which, when you’re watching you’re probably thinking, ‘Oh Sam, please’.

“But that’s real. That is what being a human being is.” Jill told the Linked TV podcast.

Audience reactions to the first episode of Dark Money have echoed Jill’s experience, with one viewer calling it ‘difficult' but 'well presented'.

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Many viewers made reference to one distressing scene, featuring the video of Issac’s abuse. Child actor Max Fincham plays this role in the series.

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The first episode of Dark Money aired Monday night, but it’s available via catch up now. The final episodes are coming on 15th and 16th July.

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer specialising in TV, film and lifestyle content and has written for What's On TV, GoodtoKnow and Whattowatch.com. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases. In her spare time, she writes film and television reviews for JumpCut Online and her own blog, Lucy Goes To Hollywood.