Van Der Valk Interviews: Maimie McCoy

Van Der Valk Season 3 Magic In Amsterdam

Van Der Valk Interviews: Maimie McCoy

The third season of Van Der Valk is currently airing Sunday nights on ITV 1, Maimie McCoy plays Van Der Valk’s right hand Detective Lucienne Hassell and here she tells us about the season and why Amsterdam is now feeling like a second home.

The Interview

Maimie McCoy is Lucienne Hassell Where do we find Lucienne in this series?
She was pretty shaken up by the end of season two, with the return of her ex-girlfriend, but she’s back to her best self and really excelling at work. We really see her come into her own, very much alongside Van Der Valk, and then having that new injection of energy from the two new characters as well, so she’s stepping into more of a position of authority, as they’re relatively inexperienced underneath her. So she’s in a place in her work life where she’s proving herself constantly, but also settling into a more senior role. So that’s a great place to see her. We never see too much of her personal life, but she’s in a happier place. And that confidence that comes with being in a good work and personal situation. And there’s a lot of fun being had in her personal life, which we get little glimpses of. And we introduce my motorbike in episode three as well, so that is something I’m excited about learning as well.”

And how does the dynamic within the team change with the two new cast members?
We’ve got two new cast members. With Van der Valk, he’s almost got like a slightly younger version of himself there in this young rookie who’s very keen, and he’s very eager, and Lucienne really relishes that. Azan [Ahmed], who’s playing Eddie, brings an energy which brings fuel to the team. I think that’s really important. And Citra is a really interesting one. I love that there’s another woman on the team. I think that’s really important. And I didn’t want it to feel too much like a younger version of Lucienne. But she’s a challenging character and that brings a great dynamic, and she’s super smart. And certainly Lucienne likes very much what Citra observes. And she’s on it, and there’s a sharpness to that. So as we’re rounding this team out, it keeps us all on our toes as actors as well.

There is more humour this year – certainly with Marc and I, part of it is just knowing each other for a long time. And it feels much more relaxed, as anything does when it’s had time to breathe and find its feet. Scenes with Hendrik are always very enjoyable, and he brings a whole heap of character with him. The show is essentially about the bond between the team, and we feel really mindful of making that team one that you want to hang out with, and you want to play with, and you want to get to know. Also there’s little droplets of character outside of what we see in the workplace coming in. And the more that comes in, the richer it makes that team dynamic.

RELATED:   Love Island Tonight Thursday 13 June on ITV2 and ITVX

Was it good to get back to Amsterdam? Did you miss it?
Yes, I missed Amsterdam a lot. This is our third year now, so you start to see different parts of it. I’ve got friends here who are separate from the film crew as well. But also, the crews that we’ve worked with over the years, you feel really bedded in. And I had some friends over last week and getting to share it with them. And it’s not just from a tourist perspective. It’s definitely a second home. It’s always been my favourite thing about the job, being here. It’s a huge part of the show. It’s another character in the show.

Were there any favourite locations this year?
What I love about filming here is literally every day we’re somewhere totally different. So we were in a 1960s convent, and then we’re in this huge expansive barn event space the day before with the light flooding in the sides, and all these amazing wooden beams, and then the contrast of this very modernist convent building, and the cloisters – quite brutal, quite severe… I love that, I never quite know where we’re going to turn up.

The scripts always look at such distinct and interesting worlds. Can you give us a little bit of an overview of the series?
Yes, the scripts capture the city brilliantly. There are all of these layers of the city that they discover. The feel is very different in each episode, and we’ve had that every series, it’s felt very different. You never know what’s about to appear. The first episode is something which is really close to his heart, and it starts off in the world of free running. I knew absolutely nothing about free running but it looks incredible. It looks terrifying. I don’t know how they do it.

The second episode has elements of true crime – do you understand the fascination that people have with true crime stories?
Yes! I listen to loads of true crime podcasts and stuff. And it’s like the genre of this show, everybody gets obsessed with trying to solve it themselves, I think. And when something’s unknowable, when there’s an element, which is that mystery, you’re desperate to discover the truth behind it. I don’t think Lucienne would be keen. I think there’s enough of that in her day-to-day life…

Episode three features the occult in quite a different sort of investigation. What was it like to film?
It is fascinating. The world of the occult and magic is a very difficult one for Lucienne. It’s something she doesn’t understand. She’s quite sceptical about a lot of the issues that we have in this episode. And then it takes quite a personal turn also, which slightly changes her initial perspective on it. It certainly shakes her. We get a reveal of something of her past and her family background, and that’s quite unnerving for her. So it does slightly alter her view from where she starts at the beginning of the episode.

RELATED:   Katie Piper Misses Weekend Breakfast Show Due to Unexpected Medical Procedure

Do you have a highlight from this season?
The highlight of this season, I think, is my working relationship with Marc. I think that’s really blossomed this year. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s just because we’ve been doing it for so long together, but we’re having loads of fun. We’re very silly. We’re very, very silly together, so we laugh a lot. I assume that’s coming across on screen, but it’s made it really joyful.

I love watching Marc thinking of a Dutch word to say, and I know his face, it’s like he has a little twitch in his mouth. So I love watching him preparing to say it. I can see him practising it in his head, and then he stands there, and he’ll say it in front of the crew. And usually, they have no idea what he’s talking about because his accent is terrible. And then he has to say it about six times, and then they all start laughing, and then he loves it. And then he says it more for the laughter. Yes, that’s very funny.

How’s your Dutch progressing? Do you feel that you’re becoming an Amsterdammer in other ways?
I’m very ashamed to say my Dutch is probably regressing. I know some filthy words that I can’t say here, but I feel more like I’m part of the city. That’s lovely. I started river swimming last summer, so I swim in the Amstel a lot. I feel like that connects me to the place. I feel like I’m really embedded in here.

Have you planned your perfect holiday route in the Netherlands? Or is this a work in progress? Are there places you’d love to go?
I would love to go to the islands at the top. There’s a little island called Terschelling. There’s no time to do that right now, but it was always my plan to get the boat across there and go and see it. Because we film outside of Amsterdam a little bit, but there’s so much of the country that I would love to explore. I went to Bakkum last year, camping. So that was just a little bit up the coast from here. I mean, it’s like being in England when you go outside of London and you get a whole different flavour.

Van Der Valk airs Sundays at 8.00pm on ITV 1.

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.