Annes Elwy On Playing Lucia In Wolf, BBC One – Interview

By Olivia Emily

10 months ago

The first episode of Wolf airs on Monday 31 July at 9pm on BBC One

A new six-part thriller is about to launch on BBC One: Wolf, which follows DI Jack Caffery (Ukweli Roach), a young man tormented by the idea that his neighbour killed his 10-year-old brother in the ‘90s. Also starring in the twisty show is Annes Elwy, who is best known for her roles in Welsh productions as well as BBC’s 2017 adaptation of Little Women, but who plays a pivotal role in Wolf, which she describes as a ‘dual-strand detective story with imaginative and playful psychopaths’. We caught up with Annes to chat all things Wolf.

Interview: Annes Elwy On Playing Lucia In BBC’s Wolf

Hi Annes, how’s life going at the moment?

I’m sitting in a bed and breakfast in Ynys Mon, on day three of a new job, drinking one of those hotel room hot chocolate sachets. I’m having a lovely time.

You can currently be seen in Wolf – can you give us an elevator pitch for the show?

Peculiar dual-strand detective story with imaginative and playful psychopaths who have a penchant for torture, but don’t miss an opportunity to dance and sing.

You play Lucia Anchor Ferres – can you describe her?
She’s creative, clever, impatient and observant. She’s had extensive privilege in her life, as well as unenviable trauma. Those factors have combined and, in her case, resulted in Lucia living as a perpetual teenager. She takes her parents completely for granted. But as the family become hostages and the pawns in a psychopath’s game, everything changes and we see the true extent of her frailty, as well as her stoicism.

What was it like playing her?

I had the best time. I’d actually say it was my favourite role so far – she’s a really complex character, and happens to have Juliet Stevenson and Owen Teale as parents, so there was never a dull moment.

Matilda Anchor-Ferrers (Juliet Stevenson), Oliver Anchor-Ferrers (Owen Teale) & Lucia Anchor-Ferrers (Annes Elwy) in Wolf

Matilda Anchor-Ferrers (Juliet Stevenson), Oliver Anchor-Ferrers (Owen Teale) & Lucia Anchor-Ferrers (Annes Elwy) in Wolf. © BBC/Hartswood Films Ltd/Simon Ridgway

How did you get into character/prepare for the role?

I ordered the novel even before I did the self-tape audition because, at that point, we were only sent two scenes, not the full scripts. I could tell from the scenes that this was a job I really, really, really wanted – but I wanted more context, so I ordered the novel, and as soon as I read it, I just felt like I knew who this girl was and I knew instinctively how I wanted to play her. I kept the book on me throughout filming, and I personally found reading the corresponding scenes in the book very helpful. Because they’re just elongated versions of the scenes in the series, it answered all the questions that we usually have to imagine for ourselves (‘what’s my character doing right before this moment?’, ‘What is my character thinking?’).

Any funny stories from rehearsals or filming?

Owen Teale has an endless rolodex of funny crazy stories, but I’ve got a shockingly bad memory and all I know is that I laughed for the whole duration of filming. I’ve got one funny set incident, but there’s no way to tell it without including far too big a spoiler.

What is the cast dynamic? Who was your fave person to work with?

It was quite a funny dynamic. There was a lot of adoration. Iwan [Rheon] was obsessed with Owen, and I was obsessed with Juliet. I’ve known Iwan for years, so I felt like he was my brother. I could relax with him and debrief, and having him there was very comforting because he’s always been so supportive of me, even when we barely knew each other. Sacha was much cooler than Iwan and I, and wasn’t particularly obsessed with anyone, but he was always lovely and we were very lucky to have the unit of five that we did.

Are you still in touch with any of your co-stars?

Yes, but like on all jobs, super strong relationships form over a few months in these bubbles, and then, despite all best intentions and all the texts trying to arrange dates for diaries, we all go off to different places and enter into new roles with new bubbles, and those old job relationships go on the back burner. But they’re still there and they’re like school friends – you don’t have to chat often to know that you will have the best time ever next time you see them.

What has been your favourite project to date?

This one!

Annes in Wolf

© BBC/Hartswood Films Ltd/Simon Ridgway

Any roles in the pipeline that you’re excited about? (If you’re allowed to tell us!)

I’m currently in rehearsals for a bi-lingual six part drama, and it’s the most challenging part I’ve ever been asked to play. I genuinely still haven’t really got a clue how I’m going to pull it off, and filming starts in three days, so I’ll have to figure it out fast!

Who has been your favourite actor to work with in the past?

It’s very hard to pick. Little Women was full of favourites: Maya Hawke, Jonah Hauer-King… Also crazily experienced people I would never have expected to work with like Michael Gambon and Angela Lansbury. Wolf was also littered with favourites as you can probably tell. From earlier on in my career, Jake Davies, Alex Austin, Steffan Cennydd, and Sion Eifion. Most of my favourite people in life have been met through acting and if I saw their name on any cast list in future alongside mine I’d be so, so, so excited.

Which co-star did you learn the most from?

I think I learnt a lot in relation to my personal life from Maya, Kathryn and Willa – my sisters in Little Women. We spent a lot of time talking about our ‘bosom enemies’, as it’s called in the book. In terms of acting, I found Juliet Stevenson’s way inspirational, but I can’t say I’ve learnt how to emulate that yet – but it’s a goal.

What’s your dream role?

My dream is just to keep playing roles.

Do you get to spend much time at home?

Tonnes! There’s a lot of travelling all over the place, but I’m an out of work actor very frequently, and I get to spend all that time at home with family and friends. It’s a big fat silver lining to the unfortunate downside of being an actor! 

Do you live in the town or the country? Which do you prefer?

I live in Cardiff, but spend a lot of time in the countryside. I think, though it’s hard to be sure sometimes, that in principle I prefer the country, but the company of friends and family is, in the end, more important, and so Cardiff is the place that makes sense for me right now. 

What’s your interior design style?

I’m buying my first house, and I should get the keys in around four weeks time – I cannot wait to decorate. When I was renting, my style was colourful but calm, very happy, but definitely busier than I think my new house will be. With this new house, the main priority is that it’s homely, calming, and characterful. Bright and airy, but with mainly antique or inherited furniture. My late grandmother made the dining table and dining benches, and it’s been the family dining table ever since I was born, and now it’s coming with me!

What’s your relationship with social media like?

I know most people have moved on, but I still find Instagram very relaxing. I love seeing people’s homes, and saving pictures of potential good paint colours. I love seeing what my friends are doing. I find it very useful that I can see what meals at restaurants look like in advance so I don’t get disappointed at the table. And I love having the documentation of my own life with my friends over so many years. I also hear about plays more often on Twitter than I do anywhere else, so it’s useful… But I hate how quickly and disastrously misinformation spreads on social media, and how difficult it is to undo the damage. I do wish Twitter didn’t exist.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Before anything else, I wanted to be a cleaner – which is ironic if you know how very very messy I am. I asked for a J-cloth every year for Christmas, and never got one! After that, I wanted to be a singer-songwriter, until my brother caught me practising in the mirror and ridiculed me for my very embarrassing lyrics and I realised he was right – it wasn’t for me. Then at a more serious age, it was between becoming a dietician and an actress. I’m happy with my choice, but will always be interested in nutrition.

If you could give advice to your 15-year-old self, what would it be?

At 15, you are about to have a grown up realisation and tell yourself that from now on you’re going to trust your gut. Unfortunately, you are also about to mistake what this cliched phrase actually means in practice. You translate it into the easier option of ‘Do what will make you feel comfortable’. It’s not that. Listen to your gut and don’t prioritise short term comfort.

How can we all live a little bit better?

I listened to a podcast during Covid about the happiness course at Yale university. You can somehow study happiness, and it was really interesting. There are key things that are proven to make people happier – things we can all easily do. But even when we know what they are, it’s hard to break comfortable habits, even though we know the awkward stuff would make us feel better. It also said ‘Happiness is a leaky tire – you’ve got to keep inflating it’. I hate quotes like that, but it serves its purpose.

Anything fun in the pipeline – professionally or personally?

Buying the house!

Quick Fire

I’m tuning into… I thought this said turning, and I didn’t know, so I asked my boyfriend and he said I’m turning into a kayaker and a bird watcher.

What I’m reading… Behind These Doors by Alex South

The last thing I watched was… The Sixth Commandment on the BBC

What I’m most looking forward to seeing… Well, I’m going to see Barbie on Saturday…

Band/singer I always have on repeat… Laura Marling

My ultimate cultural recommendation… Llangollen International Eisteddfod, different to National Eisteddfodau (which I also love, but they’re different things). I went for the first time this year and I highly recommend it. Seeing dance groups from Trinidad and Tobago compete against Indonesia and Ireland, and then an American gospel choir compete with a choir from Manila in the Philippines. It was really really cool.

Cultural guilty pleasure… It’s not at all cultural, it’s Below Deck

What’s next for me is… Bed! It’s taken me so long to write this.

The first episode of Wolf airs on Monday 31 July at 9pm on BBC One. Catch up at