'I made babies cry': Call the Midwife star Jessica Raine admits she blew in infants' faces
00:14 GMT, 10 April 2012
A Call the Midwife star has revealed that she blew in the faces of babies so they would cry during filming and appear to be newborns.
Jessica Raine, who plays nurse Jenny Lee in the hit BBC1 drama, said she felt ‘evil’ after she was forced to keep the babies awake during birth scenes.
The 26-year-old Welsh actress described the actions as her worst screen moment.
'I feel guilty': Jessica Raine cradles a baby while playing nurse Jenny Lee in BBC Drama Call The Midwife
‘I feel very guilty about the way we treated some of the babies on the Midwife set.
‘They were always sleepy and in the scenes where they had just been born we needed them to cry so I had to blow on their face – I felt evil,’ she told Radio Times.
Strict rules mean that babies can only be filmed for 20 minutes at a time before having a break of at least 30 minutes.
Call the Midwife used 5,000 state-of- the-art lifelike dolls to rehearse the birth scenes.
Hit series: Jessica Raine on screen with Call the Midwife co-stars Bryony Hannah (who plays Cynthia) and Helen George (as Trixie Foster)
However, 20 real babies were used, with their mothers looking on, when the scenes were shot. The Sunday night hit, filmed in Mill Hill, North London, turned to a number of local model agencies to find babies, including some as young as a week old.
Forced: The 26-year-old said she felt 'evil' after keeping the babies awake
The BBC has commissioned a second series of the programme after it grew its audience from 9.8million to 11.4million watching the sixth and final episode.
Set in a fictional nursing convent, the series follows Miss Raine’s character Jenny as she works as a newly-qualified midwife in a deprived part of East London in the 1950s.
It also stars comedian Miranda Hart as hapless toff Chummy and Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne.
A second series of the drama – based
on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, who died last year having sold more
than a million copies of her book – begins filming in June.
Miss Raine said: ‘The BBC want me to sign to do eight more episodes, but it’s not all done and dusted yet.
‘I might, but it’s very much up in the air at the moment.’
spokesman for the BBC said: ‘Throughout filming there was a consultant
midwife on set to ensure medical accuracy and good care was taken, plus
all the babies involved had their mothers on set at all times.’