Joanne Froggatt read Mel B's book to prepare for role as domestic abuse victim

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·3 min read
Joanne Froggatt plays a victim of domestic abuse in new six-part drama series 'Angela Black'. (ITV)
Joanne Froggatt plays a victim of domestic abuse in new six-part drama series 'Angela Black'. (ITV)

Joanne Froggatt has revealed she took inspiration from Mel B when preparing for her performance as a domestic abuse victim in new series Angela Black.

Froggatt plays the title character in the six-part drama, who suffers brutal abuse at the hands of her husband and is approached by a private investigator with secrets about her partner.

Read more: Mel B says career was her "safe place"

The 41-year-old star told the Mirror she read the Spice Girls singer's book Brutally Honest, as well as Katie Piper's account of the acid attack she suffered on the orders of her ex-boyfriend.

Froggatt said she "feels a responsibility" to get the performance right, considering the importance of the subject matter.

Watch: Mel B discusses work with domestic violence charity Women's Aid

"I did a lot of research and Women’s Aid were incredible, supporting us and pointing me in the right direction," she added.

“They suggested I read a book by Mandy Thomas called You Can’t Run. It is one of the most harrowing accounts of domestic violence and incredibly moving. 

"I read Katie Piper’s book Beautiful about the [acid] attack on her after a short relationship. I read Melanie B’s book Brutally Honest.

“All these women told their story really courageously ... I was blown away by their honesty."

Mel B's memoir 'Brutally Honest' helped Joanne Froggatt prepare for her 'challenging' new role in 'Angela Black'. (Mark Milan/Getty Images)
Mel B's memoir 'Brutally Honest' helped Joanne Froggatt prepare for her 'challenging' new role in 'Angela Black'. (Mark Milan/Getty Images)

Melanie Brown has alleged she was physically and emotionally abused by her ex-husband Stephen Belafonte, from whom she divorced in 2017.

The following year, she became a patron of Women's Aid and, earlier this year, starred in a harrowing short film made by the charity.

Read more: Geri Horner proud of Mel B's film for Women's Aid

Belafonte has denied all of the allegations made against him, with his legal team stating that Brown's claims were "outrageous and unfounded" and that she aimed to create a "false depiction of her marriage".

Brown has openly discussed how she underwent treatment for PTSD after separating from Belafonte.

Joanne Froggatt said she is drawn to complex roles that challenge her as an actor. 
(Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Joanne Froggatt said she is drawn to complex roles that challenge her as an actor. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Angela Black is due to air on ITV in October and sees Froggatt co-star with Game of Thrones actor Michiel Huisman as her husband and Samuel Adewunmi as the mysterious private investigator.

Froggatt said she is "drawn" to complex characters with "incredibly challenging" stories to tell.

Read more: Mel B reveals horrible nightmares about ex-husband

She added that, with characters like this, you need to "have a break" rather than push straight on into another difficult role.

Froggatt won a Golden Globe for her work as Anna Bates in Downton Abbey and recently received acclaim for her performance in the ITV drama Liar.

Watch: Joanne Froggatt says Liar ending took her by surprise

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