'It was interesting to see how the writers would address Brexit' – Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy on season 3 of The Tunnel
- Henry Northmore
- 28 November 2017
British and French actors discuss their roles in the third and final season of The Tunnel
The Tunnel started as a French / Anglo remake of Nordic noir The Bridge. Then from season two it struck out on its own and headed into new territory but was still anchored by the offbeat relationship between the two lead detectives Karl (Stephen Dillane) and Elise (Clémence Poésy). He's emotional, compassionate but steady, she is awkward but logical and meticulous, together they balanced each other out and formed an unlikely bond.
Season 3: Vengeance takes inspiration from Brexit and the refugee crisis for a timely thriller with a political edge. We caught up with Dillane and Poésy to discuss the third and final season.
How does Karl start working with Elise again?
Stephen Dillane: At the beginning of the first episode there's a burnt-out boat brought into the harbour. It transpires there's been some strange event on this boat to do with people trafficking. The boat came from France and is now in England, so they get together to work out what's happened.
What's their relationship like as we start season three?
Clémence Poésy: They're very close now. Even from the beginning of season two, there was that worry of where do we take it now there's not that antagonism at the start? How do we make it work? We start from a point where they have each other's trust, so the interesting thing is to find the bumps on that road that would unbalance things enough for it to be an interesting journey towards each other again. She starts the season wanting nothing to do with Karl because she's been separating different elements in her life to try not to fuck up again. She's made decisions that she knows Karl wouldn't approve of, having decided to go back to her old job. She's kept him quite far away.
SD: Karl's a bit taken aback at first that Elise has been demoted and seems non-communicative. But having got over that, their relationship is very familiar. They accommodate each other easily, so when information is withheld, it's a surprise and slightly distressing, and means something. Elise does need a little looking after because her mental state seems a bit fragile.