Last Light: Joanne Froggatt talks why she was drawn to Elena

LAST LIGHT -- Episode 103 -- Pictured: (l-r) Joanne Froggatt as Elena Yeats, Taylor Fay as Sam Yeats -- (Photo by: Courtesy of MGM Television/NBCU/Peacock)
LAST LIGHT -- Episode 103 -- Pictured: (l-r) Joanne Froggatt as Elena Yeats, Taylor Fay as Sam Yeats -- (Photo by: Courtesy of MGM Television/NBCU/Peacock) /

Some actors are known for particular types of roles. That’s not the case for Joanne Froggatt, and Last Light gives her another role to play.

Whether it’s Downton Abbey or Liar, you’ll know Joanne Froggatt well. She routinely plays a different character, telling a story that could never be mixed up from one show to another. Last Light is very much the same.

In this five-part limited series, Froggatt plays Elena Yeats, the wife of Matthew Fox’s Andy Yeats. While Andy is out in the Middle East trying to fix the problem with oil, Elena is with their son in Paris, France. Their son, Sam, has a progressive eye disease and is blind, but they’re hoping he’ll get his sight back with an experimental treatment. Their daughter, Laura, is back home in London.

Of course, Elena wants her husband with her. However, as the world crashes around her, she finds herself in the middle of chaos separated from everyone. Now it’s more than just wanting her husband back, but wanting to be with her entire family.

Why Joanne Froggatt was drawn to Elena in Last Light?

During our exclusive interview, Froggatt shared that it was the fact that Elena was so different to other characters she’s played that drew her in. That’s acting, right?

"“I like to do roles that are different because that’s what keeps me interested…it’s why I became an actor, to explore different people, different situations, different relationships.”"

What about the series as a whole? Projects draw people in for different reasons, and for Froggatt it was all the elements of the story.

"“When I read the first script, I thought it was an exciting, edge of your seat story, but also a story that’s rooted in truth and a warning of where we could be, or where we pretty much are actually in the world in terms of climate change and our dependency on oil.”"

That is certainly something many of those involved in Last Light have mentioned. While it’s important to have some stories rooted in reality, this one is on the nose a lot of the time. Most apocalyptic thrillers are just enjoyable because we know they likely won’t happen, but this one feels like it could.

It’s not just about the thriller aspects, though. This story is about one family trying to get back together.

"“At the heart of our story is a family that loves each other and are trying to find their way back to each other, and that’s always the pulling thing about stories—love and the relationships.”"

One thing those who have read the book by Alex Scarrow will note is that Last Light makes some major changes. So, was that daunting for the actors? It turns out they didn’t read the source material.

"“I asked Dennie Gordon, our brilliant director, when I came on board if I should read the book and Dennie said ‘no! Don’t read the book!’ Everyone has a different view when it comes to an adaptation; it’s personal preference…for us, it was the freedom to create the characters and put our stamp on it.”"

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Last Light debuts in full on Peacock on Thursday, Sept. 8.