The star of the hit TV series has died in Italy, aged 51.
Dame Eileen sleeps in Scapegoat
Dame Eileen Atkins stars in The Scapegoat
Dame Eileen Atkins nodded off while filming a bed scene for new TV drama The Scapegoat, it has been revealed.
The 78-year-old actress plays a bed-bound matriarch in the ITV adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's story, about a teacher who finds himself forced to take the place of his wealthy doppelganger.
Producer Sarah Beardsall said at a BFI showcase for the film: "She actually fell asleep in the scene when she was lying in bed!"
Director and screenwriter Charles Sturridge added in the actress's defence: "She played her entire part in bed!"
The director also confessed that part of the decision to set his adaptation of the story in 1952 against the backdrop of the Queen's coronation was because it made it easier to hide modern streets when filming on location, by hanging strings of bunting everywhere.
Charles said: "I wanted something to hook it on, and it didn't take a genius to work out that this is the Jubilee year, and that's the first thing I thought of. And in a practical sense it allowed us, relatively inexpensively, to deal with some of the locations by putting loads of flags up and stuff and so diverting Snappy Snaps signs and so on. But I felt it contextualised it."
Sherlock star Andrew Scott stars in the film as the downtrodden brother of the family. He admitted he was drawn to the role as it was so different to that of Sherlock's nemesis, the evil Moriarty.
He said: "I've tried to steer clear of psychopaths for the past couple of jobs."
:: The Scapegoat is on ITV1 on Sunday, September 9.
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