Hidden series 2: Siân Reese-Williams previews Cadi’s return

Sian Reese-Williams as DCI Cadi John in Hidden series 2. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Acorn TV.)
Sian Reese-Williams as DCI Cadi John in Hidden series 2. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Acorn TV.) /

Siân Reese-Williams discusses Hidden series 2 on Acorn TV.

Hidden is about to come out of hiding. On Monday, Hidden series 2 will begin streaming on Acorn TV, making the new season available to U.S. viewers. But a lot has changed since TV crime drama fans last checked in with DCI Cadi John.

In the new series, Cadi and her partner DS Owen Vaughan (played by Siôn Alun Davies) search for the killer of a retired teacher. Once again, their investigation involves teenagers—but this time are they victims, or murderers, or both? And as if that’s not enough, Cadi’s life has changed, too.

Precinct TV spoke with Siân Reese-Williams to find out just how different things are for Cadi, how she felt stepping back into the role for Hidden series 2, and if filming this series influenced her in her role on Line of Duty. Learn more ahead of the Hidden series 2 premiere on June 15.

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Precinct TV: In the nine months between series 1 and series 2, Cadi has been through a few things. How different is she when the audience meets up with her again?

Siân Reese-Williams: I don’t think it’s a drastic change, because the overriding thing about her personality is that she tries to push through and keep going. And work is not only the most important thing in her life, but it’s also absolutely her anchor, and it’s how she functions in life. So on the surface, I don’t think changes have happened drastically, because she’s pushing them down and that’s what we see with her.

It’s the trying to push down of loss, and grief, and trying to juggle that with continuing with her job, which she takes very seriously and it means everything to her. That personal and professional push and pull. There’s drastic change in that she’s lost her father, and that’s huge, but what she tries to do is keep going. And she fails occasionally, and that’s the interesting thing, is that seeing her try to stay the same but not quite being able to.

PTV: From an acting perspective, what was it like getting to step back into Cadi’s skin in Hidden series 2 and continue to navigate her through those changes?

SRW: I played a character on a British soap opera, Emmerdale, for five years. That was long, but that was sustained and non-stop. I think this is the first time I’ve come back to a series to play [a character] again. It was great. I loved it because I love the character, and I love the show, and I love working with the team, hugely, and I was really proud of it. I was really proud of how well it had done everywhere.

It was brilliant to come back and pick her up nine months later, and see what has happened in her life, and how she’s dealing with it. I’ve played a character day in, day out for five years [and] it’s very different, because you don’t really stop. The evolution just happens and you don’t feel it. But with this, I had to sit and look at where she was at the end of series 1 and pick her up.

PTV: Thematically, this series of Hidden once again focuses on teenagers. Can you talk about what that angle brings to the show—Cadi dealing with younger characters as opposed to the usual adult suspects we see in most TV crime dramas?

SRW: I think that’s what I quite like about it. There’s something a bit more cerebral about the way that we approach the idea of crime drama. She learns from it, I think, and it parallels within her life, especially in the second series, in a lot of ways. She’s got this relationship with her niece, that you see occasionally, that’s a privileged teenager who’s from a loving middle-class home. And then she’s dealing with these teens who have had a troubled upbringing and find themselves in this situation.

Because the themes are slightly not quite as brash as you might get in a lot of crime dramas, it means that we can look at what [Cadi] thinks about things, as opposed to what she does about them. And I think that’s nice.

And teenagers committing crimes isn’t really something that we see and explore all that often on TV, so I was really excited when they said that that was going to be the story, because it happens, and you have to ask yourself why it happens, and how the system has helped that happen. I think seeing it on TV is something quite rare and I was really excited to do it.

PTV: Was that one of the things that originally pulled you to Hidden and to Cadi John in the first place?

SRW: A few things, really. The first thing was that I felt really, clearly, immediately that I had an affinity with the character. I recognized who she was from reading, and who I would want to make her and what I could bring to her. Most of the time you get a script and you go, I can probably give them something that they might like, hopefully, fingers crossed type of thing. Every now and again, you get a script that you go, right. I have to convince them that I am absolutely the right person for this job, and I felt that way about that character really strongly.

And also the format of it is so different, in that we know immediately who’s responsible for the crimes, and that’s a really interesting stance on the cop drama that you don’t get to see all that often. It just gives you something new and fresh to work with and explore.

PTV: Between series, we also got to enjoy you in Line of Duty series 5. Did your experience on Hidden help you when you were playing Jane Cafferty?

SRW: I was at the other side of spectrum [in Line of Duty], because I played a bent cop who then got interrogated. The interrogation scene was very interesting, because Line of Duty do these really long interrogation scenes, and we also have quite long interrogation scenes. They’re very different, but they’re pretty long. And so to be on the other side of it was really interesting.

You’re playing tactics all the time when you’re the person who’s asking the questions and driving the interview, but this time I have to re-act it, really. In one way it’s similar because I’m playing a police officer but a very, very different one who has done bad things as opposed to the good guy. I want to play more bad people, really. I don’t tend to get to play that many bad people, but I’d like to.

PTV: What’s one thing about Hidden that you want audiences to know going into Hidden series 2?

SRW: The fact that it’s a bilingual show. The fact that the Welsh language is getting an international platform at the minute is really exciting for us, particularly over here. It’s something that’s long overdue. We’ve been making really quality stuff for quite a few years now, on really minimal budgets, and getting it together just through blood, sweat, and tears a lot of the time.

I know lots of people who didn’t even know that that language even existed really, and it’s really brilliant, and we’re all really proud of the fact that people are watching shows all over the world that are showcasing our language. It’s a real essence of our show, really, that we’ve got these two languages side by side, which is how we speak here. A lot of people don’t know that and so I think that’s a really important element of the show.

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Hidden series 2 premieres Monday, June 15 exclusively on Acorn TV.