What We Did On Our Holiday: David Tennant & Rosamund Pike On Their Characters

David Tennant and Rosamund Pike have spoken a little about their characters Doug and Abi in the new BBC Films feature What We Did On Our Holiday. The bittersweet comedy movie has been written and directed by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, the creators of the award winning BBC sitcom Outnumbered and stars a wealth of UK talent, including Billy Connolly, Ben Miller, Celia Imrie and Amelia Bullmore. The cast also includes some rising talent in the form of Harriet Turnbull, Bobby Smalldridge and Emilia Jones as the McLeod children.

David Tennant plays Doug McLeod, a Scotsman now living in London, whose marriage is on the rocks. Nonetheless he finds himself on a trip back home for his father’s 75th birthday with his argumentative wife and their three children in tow. The couple’s attempts to conceal their personal difficulties from their extended family over the course of the holiday are inadvertently, and often hilariously, thwarted by the children, in spite of their best efforts to ‘help’.
David says that Doug was a rewarding character to play. “Now that they are apart, Abi, being the more together of the two, has gone off and got herself a new life and a new boss while Doug is coping less well. He is wallowing a bit in his misery.”
 He adds, “[They] have a stab at unity for the sake of Doug’s father, who is very fond of Abi, and wants to see her more than most of the people who are invited to his 75th birthday party. Because he is unwell, they decide to keep their separation a secret and that puts a bit of a strain on things, to say the least.”

Rosamund Pike says that What We Did On Our Holiday is “...a movie where there is a lot of childish behaviour going on — and not all of it from the children. The adults are behaving in a very immature fashion for much of it.” She says that Doug and Abi’s rows are furious and very funny. “It is like a dumb-show at times. There are various shots that Andy and Guy composed, one of us in the rain and you can’t really hear what we are saying but just watching the jabbing fists and the gesticulation shows you how absurd we are.”

She adds that there is a ferocious side to Abi, especially where her children are concerned, that particularly comes out when social worker Agnes Chisholm shows up.
“When this woman, played by Celia Imrie, arrives on the scene and wilfully seems to look for a dark meaning beneath quite innocent facts, Abi finds her incredibly threatening,” she says, “and she is pretty rude to her. Her animal side comes up and a tigress comes out.”

However, Abi is still able to recognise that, in spite of their difficulties, she and Doug still have a profound relationship. “They are not getting back together but he is the father of her children, whatever their personal differences, and she has the grace to eventually admit that he is a very good and loving father.”

Already being hailed by film critics as one of the must-see UK films of 2014, What We Did On Our Holiday will be released in cinemas on Friday 26th September. 

What We Did On Our Holiday is produced by BBC Films and Origin Pictures with backing from Creative Scotland.

For more information about the film please visit our website.