TV & Movies

Leila Farzad’s Next Role Is Nothing Like I Hate Suzie

The actor will star opposite Andrew Buchan in BBC’s new thriller Better.

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Leila Farzad made quite the impact on our screens when she starred in hit comedy series I Hate Suzie, created by Billie Piper and playwright Lucy Prebble, as Suzie's best friend and manager Naomi Jones. She even received a BAFTA nomination last year for her portrayal of Naomi. But now the actor has a new starring role. Alongside Broadchurch’s Andrew Buchan, the actor will be playing a top detective in the new BBC five-part series, Better. Her character is set on redemption after struggling with her path to success, but who exactly is Leila Farzad?

Farzad is an Iranian actor who you'll recognise from her roles in ITV's Innocent and BBC's Twenty Twelve. The star also frequents the stage, undertaking roles in the likes of Richard II at Shakespeare's Globe and Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre, as Women In Film & Television UK notes.

As Farzad explained to the Express, I Hate Suzie had been her biggest role yet. "I've done tiny bits of TV where I've played non-descript roles that only my mum and auntie would ever tune in for," she explained. "But this? This is big. I'd get to set and walk into my own trailer, totally incapable of comprehending how lucky I felt."

Performing has been a passion for Farzad from an early age, despite being steered away from it to pursue something more academic. "My poor mum did everything she could to steer me away from [acting]," Farzad told the newspaper. "We made a deal. She said the only way she'd consider letting me go to drama school was if I got a degree from Oxford or Cambridge first."

So she did. The actor graduated from Oxford with a degree in French and Italian literature and went on to study at The Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Despite having a tough time at uni — she spent most of it "running away from reality with [her] university boyfriend and pretending deadlines didn't exist," she said — she used the experience to her advantage in auditions.

Farzad will be playing detective Lou Slack in the new five-part thriller. The actor told the BBC that “Better is a brilliant fresh take on the morality tale. I am excited to have the opportunity to play Lou Slack, the vehicle through which we explore the multivalent layers of good and bad. A complex, flawed yet utterly human character. I feel very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful show with an incredibly talented team attached to it.”

Filming for Better has begun in Leeds, with a release date yet to be announced.

This article was originally published on Aug. 26, 2020

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