Vera star Brenda Blethyn on change to ‘iconic’ character ‘Looked like a Yeti’

Brenda Blethyn recalls 'losing her Vera hat' on set

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The iconic ITV drama made its long-awaited return to screens last month after a halt to filming due to the Coivd-19 pandemic. DCI Vera Stanhope (played by Brenda Blethyn) went into full action investigating a mysterious murder, however, the actress revealed why filming the show made her look like a Yeti.

Alongside her trusted partner Aidan Healy (Kenny Doughty), the two were tasked with resolving the investigation of a man who was beaten to death.

The premiere opened up with the discovery of Jim Tullman’s (Gavin Kitchen) body, which had been beaten to death on the steps of Tynemouth’s Collingwood Monument.

Vera and her crew went straight into action, to uncover why a seemingly popular man met his death in a brutal way.

It was later revealed, he was due to testify in court against promising footballer Marcus Hynde (Lewis Cope) as a key witness in a violent assault.

However, before the cast and crew for Vera could even begin filming season 11, they were faced with an unprecedented halt to production.

Just like the entire film and TV industry, Vera’s showrunners were forced to halt filming for 12 weeks due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Production for season 11 was supposed to begin in March 2020 so the unprecedented delay brought many difficulties and changes to the cast.

In particular, one of the many differences actress Brenda had to overcome was filming in a completely different season.

The first two episodes of season 11 were filmed in the month of December when production would’ve usually finished.

The temperature was a huge change for Brenda who said: “We finished filming the first two new episodes just before Christmas 2020.

She revealed: “It was a lot colder filming at that time of year, I had more layers on. In the second film, I had my big winter coat on because it was just too cold to wear Vera’s Mac.”

Since Vera first aired season one in 2011, the detective has had an iconic look, which has remained a staple look for the character throughout the series.

She sported a dark green mac which was often paired with a hat of the same colour and a bright scarf.

Due to the weather, Brenda disclosed the change to her outfit: “Plus jumpers under that, also a heated waistcoat,”
“I looked like a Yeti,” she added.

During Vera’s investigation into Jim’s death, she discovered a number of potential suspects after unearthing his strained relationship with estranged wife Barbara Tullman (Lorraine Ashborne) and son John Paul Tullman (Micky McGregor).

A number of other connections showed he also had difficult relationships with a number of other family friends.

Fans of the long-running series will be in for a ride as DCI Vera and her team continue to investigate Jim’s murder.

Thankfully, season 11 will contain six episodes in total with each one being a feature-length episode.

However, due to the delay in filming only the first two episodes were aired this year.

The rest of the season will resume in 2022, will be updated with any new information.

Vera season 11 continues on ITV in 2022.

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