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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 07:39 GMT 08:39 UK
Talking Shop: Miranda Raison
Miranda Raison
Miranda Raison was injured during filming on location
Actress Miranda Raison returns to TV in the sixth series of Spooks, which starts on Tuesday, as MI5 agent Jo Portman.

The actress, who joined the cast in 2005, dreads the thought of being killed off - but fantasises about how she would go.

Q: Can you describe your character and what the role is in the series?

A: I play Jo Portman, whose full title is the junior officer in the field office. I was recruited two years ago in the middle of series four.

She's sort of come up through the ranks gradually since joining from being a reporter.

Now she's much tougher, particularly in this series. She's much more in the thick of it, right in the action this time too.

Q: Do you like playing her?

A: I love playing her! She's a really fun character who has developed so much since I got the role.

Q: Did you have to do any research for the role?

A: I think the producers discreetly met members of MI5 and other people who were quite keen to talk to them.

We were given literature and stories and a history of honey traps. We've had weapons training too.

Q: You joined Spooks in 2005 - what was it like working on an already established show?

A: The cast were brilliant. At the time there was a girl who was playing Adam's wife Fiona and I'd been to drama school with her. That made it much easier to join.

Peter Firth
Peter Firth has played Harry from the first series

Peter Firth is a kind of a daddy. He's had such an extraordinary career. He's been nominated for an Oscar.

There are no egos around him because if anyone was going to have an ego it would be him, and he doesn't.

Everything is quite down to earth and there's lots of joking on set. We're always mucking about.

Q: Can you give us any hints or teases as to what we can expect in the new series?

A: Well as far as Jo is concerned she gets a little bit of loving this series.

There is a new character, who is played by Gemma Jones and she's absolutely brilliant. She plays Connie who's a tough ex-MI5 officer who is re-recruited by Harry. She plays it so well.

Q: Did you do your own stunts?

A: Yes - apart from one moment in episode four where there was a double used. That was more of an insurance thing than anything else.

I prefer doing fights with stunt people because they always know exactly what they're doing and they're a lot safer.

Gemma Jones
Gemma Jones joins Spooks as Connie, a retired MI5 officer

Sometimes when you're with actors they get a bit nervous and maybe overstep a mark by a couple of inches and you do get clocked occasionally.

Q: Did you get hurt?

A: I did, I had three weeks off filming because I was hurt in a sequence which was part of episode six. I tripped on a step and I hit my face on a metal door which was locked.

I had six stitches and my eye really swelled up. I had quite an impressive black eye that went from above my eyebrow to half way down my neck.

There was quite a lot of swelling afterwards so there was lots of make up and they had to film my left side quite a lot. So that was quite horrible and it was all on camera too.

Q: Main characters in Spooks always seem to meet gruesome endings after a couple of series - are you worried about what the future holds for you?

A: Always - it's not quite as bad as reading the scripts and wondering if it's you going to be you next. I've heard that you get a call from a producer saying "can I come over?"

You can pretty much guarantee that it's not going not be good news. I'll just try and stay friends with everybody and suck up.

Q: As an actress is it hard not to take that personally?

A: Very hard I think so. Of course you think it's that because you haven't had a good response from the public. You imagine the sort of conversations that have gone on.

If people leave because they're going on to do other things then of course the dynamic of the whole team has to change.

It must be quite difficult though, it is hard on the ego to be told we're not having you back.

Q: How would you like to be killed off?

A: It would have to be dramatic. Saving the world. It would be jumping in the way of some bullet that's about to clock Harry or Adam, and Jo just manages to leap in the way of it.

Then she has a brilliant dying speech which would make another director see it and go, "Wow I've got to have her in this movie".

Nobody wants to go in a boring way. I think it's a bit of an insult if you do.

There was one character that was written out and they just said "oh, she's under sedation" or something and that was it. You don't want to be that person.

Spooks airs on Tuesdays at 2100 on BBC One. Miranda Raison was talking to BBC News entertainment reporter Fiona Pryor.

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