TV Quickfire: Bulletproof stars Noel Clarke and Ashley Pike on what's in store for series two
In the second series of Sky One hit Bulletproof, Detectives Bishop (Noel Clarke) and Pike (Ashley Walters) face the fall-out from last year's testing cases. We found more from the show's creators and lead stars
HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP THE NEW SERIES?
Ashley: The first episode, it's the usual Bulletproof style, we're on a stakeout looking at some guys, and it spirals into this whole journey. We end up, because of Bishop, going deep undercover, deeper than we expected, and that lasts throughout the season. We're trying to bring down a huge crime family.
HOW IS BISHOP AND PIKE'S FRIENDSHIP TESTED THIS SERIES?
Noel: My character really wants to focus on bringing the people down and, being a real lonesome person, who doesn't have anyone, relies heavily on Pike – probably more than he knows.
But of course, Pike has a family, a wife and kids. He's being pulled from pillar to post, especially after last season. The daughter was kidnapped at one stage, and his wife is still reeling from all of that. So that stress is there.
TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE EXCITING ACTION SCENES
Ashley: We've had a lot of impressive stunt driving and bike rides.
Noel: The chase through the streets of Amsterdam starts in the car, zooming around the canals and whatnot, and then we get out the car and we run after that – that's pretty impressive.
DO YOU FIND IT HARD TO SWITCH OFF AFTER THOSE HIGH-ADRENALINE DAYS ON SET?
Noel: I've had days when I've run, like, 10km. I'm tired. I just want to go to sleep to be honest. But I think that's what makes the show different, we have that level of action that a lot of other shows don't have.
Ashley: From the beginning, we've always said that this cannot be like your standard UK cop drama. We want it on the same scale as Lethal Weapon, as Bad Boys. We're not doing Miss Marple.
YOU CREATED THIS SERIES AND ARE WRITERS AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS TOO
Ashley: This was my first time writing and producing. Working with Noel, and Noel having the experience that he's had producing, has really helped. Watching him being involved creatively and behind the scenes spurred me on.
Noel: If anything, I would like more control. I think it's an important thing to be able to achieve it because like Ashley said, we came up with the show, we created it and there is a certain amount of understanding of what these characters are going through that other people will not get because we are who we are.
HOW MUCH OF YOUR BANTER IS IMPROVISED?
Noel: We don't really pay attention to the script unless we've written the episodes ourselves, because obviously we were in the story room. So, we know the story from A to B. I'll just say whatever.
Ashley: It's easy for us because we know the characters, we created them. We get the timing and we know when the other person is going to speak or when they're not. We know each other's facial expressions. So, for us, it is simple.
BULLETPROOF OFFERS A REALISTIC PORTRAYAL OF FAMILY LIFE ON SCREEN. HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT FOR YOU TO SHOW THAT?
Ashley: So important. We're both married, we're both family men. We both were pretty sick of black male representation on TV, to be fair, up until this point – especially when it comes to family and how they are with their kids and whatever. I think it's so important for us to be in this position as execs, as producers and co-creators: we need to use that voice for good. It's not all just about action and drama and entertainment. Sometimes, it's about changing perceptions in the media.
:: Bulletproof is available on Sky One and NOW TV.