Why Women Kill - Jack Davenport interview

Jack Davenport plays Karl Grove, Simone's third husband with a secret life.

Jack Davenport interview

Why should audiences tune into Why Women Kill?

First of all, you get three shows for the price of one. That's fantastic in my eyes. Also, I think this central premise is very simple but effective. It really makes you think about how we relate to each other in our most intimate and domestic ways, and it makes you think about how much has changed in a really short space of time. Why Women Kill is really funny, too. For all those reasons, I think people should take a look at the show.

What attracted you to the project?

I was sent the script and I immediately loved it. I think the show is such a good idea in terms of looking at life for these couples in these different eras. It's also interesting in terms of exploring how people were trapped by the mores of their time. In some ways, that's definitely true of my character. If my character's story was set today, nobody would give a damn [about the fact that he is gay]. I think it's astonishing and a bit depressing that it was only 30 years ago that people felt the need to hide themselves in that way. Above and beyond that, I was also very interested in the Marc Cherry of it all. Marc Cherry understands the deepest workings of the female heart in a way that not a lot of people writing for television do. He likes to put that in a context, which isn't grim. It's heightened. I wanted to mess around within that heightened world. Like all good ideas, I think Why Women Kill is simple but effective.

What do you think of the 1980s era in which your character lives?

It's incredible. We would walk on set every day looking like refugees from Alexis Carrington's walk-in closet, complete with trailing clouds of Aqua Net hairspray. When we first started the costume fittings, I was like, "Come on, man... This is ridiculous!" But our legendary costume designer, Janie Bryant, said, "No, trust me." In a funny way, the costumes really help because one of the things that's really enjoyable about the two characters that Lucy Liu and I play is the fact that they are unabashed in their enjoyment of the shiny things in life. They don't give a damn about people, but they love the shiny stuff. It's quite interesting, because today it's quite obvious how any version of over-consumption is quite rightly frowned upon - but we didn't know better in those days. I think it's interesting to look at people who are so unapologetic about it and then have their world turned slightly upside-down.

Your character is the life and soul of the parties he attends. How much do you relate to that aspect of Karl Grove?

Me? I'm not like that at all. I am relatively introverted. Yes, I know how to stand in a room full of strangers and not look like I'm panicking. But no, it's not really my jam. Funnily enough, there's a scene in the show where I'm sitting in the middle of a semi-circle of extras and everyone has to laugh at one of Karl's jokes. I sat there telling this terrible, tired old joke and they were roaring with laughter, but I was mortified. I'm not that person at all.