Battle lines

A charismatic leader and brilliant officer, Captain James, played by Ben Alridge, is an army man to the core and well respected by the men who fight alongside him.

Published: 03rd October 2019 08:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd October 2019 08:40 AM   |  A+A-

Ben Alridge

Ben Alridge

By Express News Service

Our Girl follows the fearless adventures of the tight-knit unit of soldiers in Two Section as they fight for survival on the most dangerous missions of their lives.

A charismatic leader and brilliant officer, Captain James, played by Ben Alridge (also the longest-serving cast member) is an army man to the core and well respected by the men who fight alongside him.

However, behind closed doors, Captain James battles many demons. Excerpts from a chat with the 33-year-old actor:

Who is Captain James?

He’s an interesting mix of authority and fun. He has quite a laissez-faire (let people do as they please) attitude towards leadership at times.

He’s equally happy in the presence of his lads and having a laugh but then, when it calls for it, snapping into his role as the man in charge. It’s a role he takes very seriously.

Captain James has a hard job of keeping a colourful bunch of characters in line — did you enjoy playing him?

Yes, I’ve not played such an authoritative part before in a modern piece and it was an interesting challenge to be the person in charge.

The scenes with Two Section are my favourite scenes to be part of, messing about with them. It’s a brilliant part and I really enjoyed playing it.

He’s quite tough on Molly (the protagonist) at first. How do his views towards her change over the series?

I think he really doubts her and gives her a hard time as he wants her to prove herself. To have someone new come into the group after six months training together is quite a scary prospect for him.

Her inexperience is worrying for him and he misinterprets her cockiness and relaxed attitude when she’s just trying to fit in.

James is very close to Smurf who also has feelings for Molly. How does this affect their relationship?

It’s a real moment of conflict for him because he’s fighting against his desires and what he wants. He’s fighting against that and wanting to be a true professional which means he wouldn’t get involved with her whatsoever or act beyond the thought of being with her. I think it clouds his judgement, which is exactly what he’s afraid of.

How was filming in South Africa?

South Africa is an amazing country. It’s beautiful as a place. We were in some stunning locations, with mountains, lagoons and lakes. It was action-packed but brilliant. I really enjoyed it.

Airs as part of BBC First on Zee Café, weeknights at 10 pm.

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