Sarah Lancashire has said does not want to be “the queen of gritty drama”.
The actress has won plaudits for her performances in shows such as Happy Valley and Last Tango In Halifax, and stars as a woman whose daughter suffers life-changing injuries in new Channel 4 series The Accident.
But rather than having a grand plan, Lancashire said she simply picks the best parts that come along.
“I don’t want to be the queen of gritty drama,” she said. “I don’t.”
“Gritty though it may be, I think these are pieces – or this is a piece, certainly – that says something about the world,” she added.
“That focuses on the grey matter, that it’s not black and white and life is not black and white, and this is what Jack (Thorne, the writer) manages to conjure up so brilliantly.
“I don’t actively search out these roles, I do the best of what comes along, that’s really how I make my choices.
“My choices are made from the opportunities that come my way, so as you can gather not a lot of humour comes my way.”
The series is set in the fictional community of Glyngolau in Wales, where an explosion on the construction site of a much-needed regeneration project kills several teenagers who have broken into the building site to make mischief.
Lancashire said it took months to master her Welsh accent for the role.
“I did a lot of work on that,” she said. “A lot. It was really challenging. It was awful.
“In fact we started filming this in April and just to give you an indication of how long it took me, I had my Christmas dinner speaking in a Welsh accent. Started about November last year.”
The Accident starts on October 24.