Is Amanda Abbington from “Mr. Selfridge” married to Martin Freeman from “Sherlock”?
–Sara Covington, Lexington, Kentucky
Not only is Amanda Abbington, 40, married to Martin Freeman, 42, but she played his wife Mary Morstan in this past season of “Sherlock.” The two met by chance in the makeup room of the TV movie “Men Only” in 2000, and she says it was like a “thunderbolt.”
“We met. We went out for a drink the next day, and then about two months later, we moved in together. And that was it,” says the North London, England-born actress, who has two children with Freeman. “I know it’s quite sickly, but I do love him, and I love him as an actor. I think he’s a brilliant actor. I think he’s one of our best, so getting to do some really nice, big scenes with him was just a joy.”
Not only was Abbington thrilled to get the opportunity to work with her hubby on “Sherlock,” but she was also happy to work with Jeremy Piven again for the second season of “Mr. Selfridge.” The only problem was the two projects overlapped and she found herself racing between the two — even being written out of one episode season of “Mr. Selfridge” to fit it all in.
“I’d be a couple of days in North London filming ‘Mr. Selfridge’ with corsets and wigs, and then, after that, get on a train up to Cardiff in Wales to film a bit of ‘Sherlock,'” she recalls. “That happened for about two months. August was quite brutal because I was literally one day in North London, another day in Cardiff, then back down. It was like a military operation. It kept me on my toes.”
If you failed to recognize Abbington as Mary in “Sherlock,” it isn’t surprising. Mary is described as very fair-haired in the original book by Arthur Conan Doyle, so Abbington went blonde for the part. Which meant, that for “Mr. Selfridge,” she had to wear a brown wig to match her look from the first season.
Despite all the travel involved, Abbington is definitely planning a return to “Sherlock” for its fourth season, although when that will happen is up in the air, and it still remains to be seen if “Mr. Selfridge” will get picked up for a third season.
“Basically, it’s getting Benedict [Cumberbatch] and Martin in the same room because they’re both busy with doing other stuff, so it’s firming down dates for this year,” she says. “I think we’re all aiming to do something fairly soon, sooner rather than later.”