How Ashley Jensen found her ‘Raisin’ in the sun

How Ashley Jensen found her ‘Raisin’ in the sun

Ashley Jensen, so good in ABC’s “Ugly Betty” and HBO’s “Extras,” is once more in “Agatha Raisin,” a comically whimsical British detective assortment streaming on Acorn TV.

Primarily based totally on MC Beaton’s bestselling information assortment, it follows Agatha (Jensen), a high-powered London celeb publicist who, burned out, chucks all of it and pursues her dream — transferring to the bucolic Cotswolds, the place she spent idyllic summers as a youthful lady.

Mark BourdillonShortly after landing throughout the scenic village of Carsely, the headstrong Agatha strikes proper right into a quaint stone residence (she locations her initials “A” and “R” on two stone planters in entrance) and morphs into an newbie sleuth — fixing a novel murder each week a la Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) in “Murder, She Wrote.”

“She’s not solely innocent nonetheless I really feel there’s a sort of whimsical innocence about this technique,” says the Scottish-born Jensen, 49. “There’s such a plethora of really darkish TV in the mean time — packages with darkish, harrowing matters in an Edward Hopper painting kind of strategy. In ‘Agatha Raisin’ everyone knows what we’re in for — it’s arch, it’s a bit camp, slightly little bit of froth, a bit silly, a bit ‘Scooby-Doo.’

“It’s similar to the board recreation Cluedo come to life with this little hodgepodge of characters who come collectively in these ludicrous circumstances,” she says. “The attraction of it is not solely the engaging countryside, nonetheless the reality that it has little pockets of seriousness in it. It’s pretty good to have that daftness working by means of it, and unexpectedly we go, ‘Oooh.’ There are moments when individuals are talking about precise feelings for each other or one factor that’s occurred to them.”

Jensen is not any stranger to American TV audiences. She carried out Scottish seamstress Christine McKinney reverse America Ferrera in “Ugly Betty” (2006-2010); Maggie Jacobs, Andy Millman’s (Ricky Gervais) struggling actor-pal, in “Extras” (2005-2007); Sharon’s (Sharon Horgan) frenemy Fran in Amazon’s “Catastrophe”; and Olivia throughout the CBS sitcom “By chance on Purpose” (2009) reverse Jenna Elfman.

Season 1 of “Agatha Raisin” aired on Sky One throughout the UK and is in the marketplace on Acorn TV, which financed Season 2’s three “Agatha Raisin” movement photos: “The Wizard of Evesham” (premiered Nov. 19); “The Fairies of Fryfam” (Dec. 24) and “The Curious Curate” (Jan. 28).

“I don’t truly seem just like the character throughout the information, on account of she’s described as fast and dumpy with brown hair,” Jensen says. “It’s additional regarding the essence of the character — the facility, barely than the bodily traits. We found that Agatha’s costume grew to develop into very quite a bit a vital operate — she always wears high-heel stiletto footwear, irrespective of whether or not or not she’s strolling all through a topic or down a country lane or is on a bicycle — and he or she always wears make-up when she’s out of the house.

“It’s nearly like her go nicely with of armor … what she wears when she goes to battle exterior her entrance door.”

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