Traces: Vincent Regan interview

On TV, Vincent has starred in numerous productions including Poldark, The White Princess, Delicious and Atlantis, whilst, in cinema, he's perhaps best known for a trio of ancient Greece-based blockbusters - 300, Troy and Clash of the Titans.

Vincent Regan plays Phil MacAfee

Vincent Regan plays Phil MacAfee

Phil MacAfee is Daniel’s domineering father and a self-made businessman in the building trade who is fiercely protective of his son.

What attracted you to Traces?

Well, it was a chance to work with Amelia Bullmore again who I worked with on Scott and Bailey. We played husband and wife in that. Amelia started to do some writing for the show and when I saw the script, I thought it was fantastic. It was also nice to come and work for Red Production Company and Nicola Shindler. It was all a no brainer really.

Tell us about your character, Phil?

Phil is quite a dominant figure. He is quite a powerful, self-made man in the building trade. He's very protective over his son Daniel and he is very keen for him to do well in the world, but at the same time he has the tendency to bend the rules when he goes about his working life. Some people might have their doubts about him as a human being.

Can you tell us more about his relationship with Daniel?

It's a strong relationship between Daniel and Phil. Phil is quite a domineering character and I think Daniel has a lot of his mother in him making him a softer, gentler person. So, in a way, Phil pushes Daniel to make stronger decisions and look after himself first before necessarily looking after other people because that's been Phil's modus operandi and he wants to project that onto his son.

When you were sent the script for Traces, what grabbed your attention the most?

I think the whole forensic set up in Dundee, of all locations. I never knew it was such a hub and that it was a real thing that Val McDermid had brought to life in the story. Also, there is a huge amount of detail that Amelia and Val have put into the show when it comes to the work involved in forensic science. They've done an amazing job at weaving the science elements in with the human stories of relationships that took place 20 odd years ago, but they are still very much echoing in the present day for characters like Phil, Izzy etc.

When getting into character, what sort of research do you like to do?

Usually you research something that has a historical environment or when you're working on a real-life character, unless it's a skill or a job that they have that you need to do a bit of research on. I actually worked on building sites before I became an actor, so I didn't have to research being a builder.

What do you think make Traces different to other crime dramas on television?

I think the reason Traces is different to other crime dramas on television is that it is more intelligent. It's a female-led drama which empowers female characters and I really like playing second fiddle to strong leading female characters. There should be more of them on British and international television and I think that's what stands out if I'm honest.

Can you describe Traces in one sentence?

You can run, but you can't hide.