Identity is the new ITV1 drama series starring Keeley Hawes, Aidan Gillen and Shaun Parkes. You can find out more about the series over at MemorableTV.com and here we talk to Shaun Parkes about the show.
Shaun had a very different background to his on-screen character in the new series of IDENTITY.
“I think Anthony Wareing’s parents had very definite ideas about what they wanted him to become. They wanted to try and shape his future whereas my parents were just happy for me to be myself. They let me become who I wanted to be,” explains Shaun.
“I think his parents are good people and very Christian. But they’re of the mind, ‘we’re spending money on you, we put you in a good school, you’d better not mess around’. I think Anthony is one of these guys who, when he was younger, might have been pushed to do well for all kinds of reasons. I guessed that as a kid he probably suffered a bit of racism and so when he got older he thought, ‘right I’m going to prove to everyone that I can be the best and I’m going to make something of myself’. He’s most likely been inspired by various people along the way who shaped his ideals. And he has decided to put all his energies into becoming a bit of a spokesman. I think he sees himself in a few years being the guy who people go to get advice on things.”
Talking about his character as part of the Identity Unit Shaun says: “People’s strengths come with confidence and understanding; knowledge of themselves and having a good sense of right and wrong while never compromising those beliefs. I think the point is, strength in leadership, leadership qualities, come with that and while Anthony is loyal to his boss DSI Martha Lawson (played by Keeley Hawes) he doesn’t agree with the leniency she shows towards Bloom.
“He doesn’t trust Bloom and he doesn’t trust his fair-weather way of dealing with things; coming in late, not keeping in touch with his team, and getting away with it. Strength in leadership is what Anthony aspires to.”
In 2009 Shaun played another high profile cop in the BBC’s Moses Jones.
He says: “They are two very different men who have totally different policing methods. I think Moses Jones works a lot with his instincts and his heart and had a sense of right and wrong but also saw the grey areas between the lines. He has a more emotional approach although personally Moses Jones is a loner. Whereas Anthony is married, he’s got kids, and I think he wants to be part of the team. He wants to be able to trust the people around him because he knows he can’t do it by himself and I don’t think he’s particularly gunning for anyone but certainly if anyone in the unit isn’t pulling their weight he’s definitely going to say something. He doesn’t believe in letting things slide.”
Shaun admits he took the role in IDENTITY because it struck him as a fresh take on the police genre.
He says: “I said I’m not doing any more police or hospital dramas, I’d had enough and promptly did Harley Street, Moses Jones and now Identity! But I’m really happy to have been a part of those dramas. Moses Jones obviously but equally Harley Street because again they were trying to do something different and that’s what I like. I like the innovation, I like people who do something that goes against the grain, that’s never been done before. And that was the appeal of Identity.”
But although Shaun says he would never have joined the police force, he claims: “In a different life I probably would have joined the army…I didn’t have any discipline in my life once I reached a certain age and I wanted to know how to fight. I knew I needed discipline because I had absolutely nothing to do and was hanging around with a gang of people who all thought ‘this is the life, this is what we do and its great’ and they had a lot of fun but essentially I always knew there was something more for me out there. Luckily my acting teachers at school pointed me in the right direction, got application forms for drama school and helped me audition for the college I went to…”
So has Shaun been the victim of identity crime?
“I keep everything for years and years in endless files so they’d have to be very patient criminals!”