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Elóise Thomas Talks ITV’s The Bay

5 min read

Series 4 of ITV's returns to our screen this week, focussing on an entirely new narrative. The drama will revolve around the shocking and suspicious death of local mum of four Beth Metcalf – with the resulting investigation uncovering secrets and lies at every turn. FILMHOUNDS Magazine sat down with its latest star Elóise Thomas to find out more about her role. 

 

How did you get involved in the show? What did that process look like for you?

Last year it started off with just a self-tape. I always have my friend Nia, who's also an actor, reading the other lines. And it's quite funny because at first we were hitting a brick wall with it and it felt like I just was not getting it. And then Nia's like, “Okay, let's just do one take where we just improv,” and you read the script but also move around it. And we did. It felt really good. We did a few more tapes sticking to the script and then when we looked back we decided to send the improv one-off. One of the things that stood out was when Nia said it had some “salt and pepper” to it. A month later, I got a recall. That was quite a long time before finding out, so I already felt like I didn't get it. I met the casting directors, producers, and the director over Zoom and basically did the scene again. Very quickly after that found that I got the role, which was really nice to hear. And then I think a month later I was up in Manchester doing the episode reads. So it went from quite an elongated process to then really quickly starting.

 

What can you tell us about your character? What can we expect from you in Season 4?

My character is Izzy Metcalf. She's the daughter of Beth Metcalf, who you find out straightaway that she dies and ultimately it's being seen as a targeted, suspicious death. My character is trying to navigate that whole situation. You see early on that she's essentially witnessed the whole thing from the get-go. Not only is she dealing with the death of her mother, she's also dealing with the trauma of how it happened. And she's trying to navigate the relationship with her father that she didn't really have before. She's quite an angsty, rebellious, punky teenager and that seems quite surface-level and very typical at first. But then you understand why she's like that as the episodes go on. You see a more sensitive side to her. She's a lot brighter than you perhaps initially think when you meet an angsty teenage girl.

 

Were you a fan of the show before you joined? Or were you bringing yourself up to speed as you were working on it?

I'd heard of it before. When I got the role, and then once I watched the series, that was when I was like, “Oh, this is a good show to be a part of.”  I was really hooked, and it's kind of a balance watching it and not trying to do what's been done before. Then also I wanted to get an idea of the style and the mechanics of it. Having that knowledge has been very important.

 

Now you've been on the other side of working on the show — we do love a over here — what do you think it is about The Bay that makes it such a fan hit in particular?

I mean, the writing is incredible. It's structured really well where it gives you a lot and then it takes it away and you're left wondering what happens next. It's very addictive. Especially in the story, I think there's so much going on, and it really throws you into different curveballs. I think what makes it really accelerate is the fact that there are just so many twists and it's not afraid to go to certain measures.

 

Was it intimidating to join an established show? 

I'm someone that really loves being out of my comfort zone. I think that's because when I was younger, I was quite nervous. I just had this switch where I felt needed to throw myself into things. So there is always an element of impostor syndrome when you come into something new. Especially with acting. We deal with a lot of rejection, so when you do get something that's very well established there is that immediate feeling of, “Oh my god, can I do this?” But then you get on set and you meet all the cast and crew who are amazing and welcoming straight away, even though you do feel slightly out of your depth, it was very comfortable to lean into and go for it.

 

We also know you for your role in Chloe. Are you drawn to projects that have a bit of a darker side to them?

 I take whatever comes in my stride, and it seems like I'm getting that which I do love. A lot of the films I really loved growing up were the independent gritty things like Fish Tank, or that Channel 4 feel. I think maybe naturally my acting style does lean towards real stories and real people going through an obstacle. Chloe was a really interesting story that's really relatable with the social media aspect. It feels a bit like puzzle-solving. I think Chloe and The Bay have elements where we're trying to get to the bottom of it rather than just what it says on paper.

 

What is next? What would you like to be in the future pipeline?

So I just came back from Iceland filming for True Detective, which is an HBO production. It was amazing, and that'll be coming out around September time. But future-wise, I think I just want to keep going out of my comfort zone. I want to try different things. Maybe try comedy, more cinema. Just keep going up the ladder. It's really exciting  I think after years of trying to get into this part of the industry, it's now coming off — and I just want to keep going. 

The Bay airs on ITV from 8th March.