Shirley Henderson had ‘no time to breathe’ on outrageous new comedy film | Films | Entertainment

Shirley Henderson opens up about her new role as Sarah in Matt Winn’s gripping black comedy, The Trouble With Jessica.

Speaking to at the film’s London premiere, the Harry Potter star revealed she was still getting to grips with the character after filming had already begun.

“We didn’t have any time,” she said. “We were just straight in there, we just began.

“I got the job a few days before we started, my main priority was just to get on top of dialogue and the feeling of Sarah very, very fast.

“We learned as we went along, mainly in this big house. We used to sit upstairs during filming in the bedroom.

“Olivia [Williams], Alan [Tudyk] and Rufus [Sewell] would sit at the bed and I would be in the bathroom trying to learn lines.

“It took about two weeks. After two weeks, we were able to sit on that bed and chat and relax and see what we were actually doing here.

“Because your body’s just in this hyper mode of, ‘We’re in this now. Let’s just find it, rattle through this’. You haven’t got time to breathe.”

The comedy kicks off when troubled writer Jessica (played by Indira Varma) unexpectedly arrives at Sarah (Henderson) and her husband Tom’s (Tudyk) dinner party, before shocking them further by taking her own life.

In a bid to save themselves from ruin, the desperate couple enlists their friends Richard (Sewell) and Beth (Williams) to move Jessica’s body across London to her flat, so their prospective buyer doesn’t catch wind of the grisly event.

“I had to physically pick up somebody, so it was very tough!” Shirley revealed.

“I did fall over on my backside a couple of times and burst out laughing. But I got strong arms by the end of it.”

Another challenging physical aspect was Sarah’s costume, which included a pair of platform heels that forced Shirley to scamper rather than sprint during the film’s most stressful moments.

“Well, I was wearing heels like this,” she said, forming a gap of a few inches with her fingers.

“So it was really hard to walk in them. There were two options for costume. I think there was a dress that was much longer, but I went for the shorter.

“I’ve not got a big, voluptuous body, so I thought, let’s hone in on her legs, give her high heels and a mini so she’s got something to flail in.

“You don’t really plan for it, it just happens.”

The Trouble With Jessica is in cinemas now.

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