Interview: Michelle Greenidge On Doctor Who & Queenie

By Olivia Emily

4 weeks ago

The inside scoop on Doctor Who, plus what to expect from Queenie

Michelle Greenidge made a splash on screens on Christmas Day, making her debut appearance as part of the Doctor Who cast as Carla Sunday, Ruby Sunday’s adopted mother. ‘We need to see more of these families on our screens – they play such an important part in our society,’ Michelle tells C&TH on the vital representation of diverse families. With Channel 4’s Queenie also fast approaching, we sat down with Michelle to hear all about her current projects.

Interview: Michelle Greenidge


© David Reiss

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

Hello, lovely to meet you! Life is good, thank you – I have no complaints. I’m in good health and have peace and contentment.

You recently joined the cast of Doctor Who as Carla Sunday, Ruby’s adopted mother – how does it feel?

I’m ecstatic to have joined the phenomenal iconic Doctor Who cast as Carla Sunday. I’m still pinching myself! It’s an absolute gem of a role. I adore Carla and I’m so blessed and honoured to have had the opportunity to showcase positive representation of fostering and adoptive families and their bonds and relationships. But it’s all down to the genius that is Russell T Davies for penning this story so incredibly well. The storyline has been written with such heart, much consideration, with care and so much love. We need to see more of these families on our screens – they play such an important part in our society.

It’s obviously such an iconic show. What was your reaction when you got the call to confirm your role?

I was blown away to receive such wonderful news. Believe it or not, it still hasn’t quite sunk in all this time later. It will always be an absolute moment in my life. One that I’ll never forget.

I knew it was an iconic show, but I really couldn’t have prepared for what was to come. But it all became very clear on my first day of filming. The fans came out onto the streets of Bristol in droves and it was only then that I realised, just how much love there is for this incredible series.

What was it like getting stuck into the Christmas special episodes?

I really loved the script and our introduction to Doctor Who as the Sunday Family, so I was really excited to bring Carla to life. To walk in her shoes and bond & connect with my onscreen family and Ncuti. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. These were big shoes to fill, carrying the responsibility of depicting such an important role as a Foster Mum.

It was so important to me for Carla Sunday to be relatable and resonate with the team and our audience with truth, realism and heart. We were all comfortable with each other and fully appreciated the incredible platform we stood on. We had great chemistry and that was a huge help because all there was left for us to do, was just bring it!

The feedback I’ve seen and heard has been so positive about this episode. I am hugely grateful and humbled by such kind support.

Did you tune in on Christmas day? How did it feel to watch it back?

Did I tune in on Christmas Day? It was a Doctor Who Christmas in my house! I saved the Specials and watched those first and then tuned in later for ‘The Church on Ruby Road’. It was surreal watching it and like a lot of actors I’m sure, I have imposter syndrome. I was nervous watching because I knew millions of others would be too. I prayed for the work I put in to land well. I was excited to be in one of the most loved shows around the world and to be part of it showing on our screens on Christmas Day!

Whenever I watch my work, it’s an opportunity for me to see and understand what works, what doesn’t work as well, what could I do differently or better? It’s standard procedures for me to critique my work, it’s how I grow. It’s feels weird but it’s an important part of my process as an actor. But most importantly Doctor Who Christmas 2023 was an awesome day for me.

How would you describe Carla in three words?

Protective. Loving. Caring

What was it like playing her?

It was an absolute Joy playing Carla Sunday. She keeps it real. There’s no airs and graces. What you see of her is what you get. She’s pretty fierce!

What can you tell us about the upcoming series?

Not much as I’m sure you can imagine. Of course, I wouldn’t want to give any spoilers, but what I will say is the scripts are awesome, the storyline and story arcs are gripping and enthralling, the casts are phenomenally talented, the new series is levels. And finally, boy are you in for a treat!

Without giving anything away, is there an upcoming episode that really stands out for you?

I haven’t seen all the episodes and I can’t possibly choose from what I have seen because those have all been superb. My guess is because Russell is at the helm, you’ll be hard pushed to have a favourite because he only makes magic!

Any standout moments from rehearsals or filming?

One of my standout moments was when I shot the scene with Ncuti in ‘The Church On Ruby Road’, after Ruby has disappeared. It’s such a moving scene and I really got to see up close what an incredibly talented and truthful actor Ncuti truly is.

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

The cast dynamic was always great. Kudos to the brilliant Andy Pryor and his gorgeous team once again for absolutely nailing the cast. It can’t be an easy job to cast the best for the role but he always smashes it out the park. And as people, every cast member was lovely, kind and warm. It’s impossible to choose a favourite because every actor I had the pleasure of working with was a joy!

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2023

Carla (Michelle Greenidge). © BBC Studios 2023/James Pardon

You’ve also got Queenie coming up in June, based on Candice Carty-Williams’ book. Can you give us an elevator pitch for the show?

Queenie is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in south London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. After a messy breakup with her long-term boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places.

Did you read the book? What did you think?

Yes, I read the book cover to cover in two days. I couldn’t put it down. I loved the book. It’s definitely one of my favourite reads so I’m blown away to be lead cast on the series.

You play Aunt Maggie – how would you describe her?

Aunt Maggie is a South Londoner with Jamaican parents. She is vibrant, bold and a God-fearing aunt of Queenie. If she has an opinion, people are going to hear about it.

What was filming like?

Queenie was a lot of fun to work on. A lot of things really resonated with me as a black woman of Jamaican heritage. There were so many familiarities and LOL moments. I think I can say many of us on the show shared that opinion. I’m a south Londoner so it was such a welcomed changed to film in and around familiar territory.

Candice is an incredible show runner. She had time for all the cast always. She was hugely supportive, a calming influence, incredibly talented a so very kind. She is a force!

Any standout memories from Queenie?

Again, I’m not able to reveal any spoilers but one thing that really did stand out was the read through before filming commenced. It was awesome. The characters were really brought to life and the images I had in my head from reading the book were so closely matched.

I knew then, in that moment, that the cast, their talent and the overall production would be epic.

What do you hope audiences will take away from it?

I hope audiences have a closer insight to homes, families and the culture of families like mine. My hope is for all to laugh out loud and enjoy and connect with the journey Queenie takes. It’s a journey that makes you see how hard times can impact your mental health. Sex, drama and friendships are the staples that hold this drama together.

You’ve also starred in the likes of Mandy, Kaos, After Life… But what has been your favourite project to date?

I can honestly say that I have been blessed and very fortunate to have been part of some phenomenal productions and that being the case it is meant that I don’t hold one as a particular favorite because they’ve all given me joyous moments for different reasons.

What I can say is that I am really keen to work with good people, kind people, supportive people, top talent with productions who share those same criteria and that look after their cast and crews very well. It’s really important for me to be relaxed and at peace at work and also have the people around me feel the same.

I do adore the shows you have mentioned alongside many others like I May Destroy You, Small Axe, Venom and Grantchester among so many others – too many to mention. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked on them.

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

There are roles in the pipeline I’m excited about but unable to discuss at this time. Watch this space, as they say.

Who has been your favourite actor to work with in the past? Which co-star did you learn the most from?

If I think about it, I don’t think it would be fair for me to single out one person, when I have been blessed to work with so many incredibly lovely and talented people.

What’s your dream role?

To play the lead in an intense, emotional drama, or to play a hardcore villain! But, to be fair, sometimes I don’t even know what I want until I see it.

What’s a genre you’ve never done that you’d love to try?

I think it would be great fun to do a horror film, hero or villain depending on the script.

Do you get to spend much time at home?

Yes and no. It depends on what I’m working on and where it is being shot.

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

I live in London town, which I prefer, as there’s more to do. I’m definitely a city girl rather than a country girl.

What’s your interior design style?

Definitely modern contemporary.

How do you find balance in your personal and work lives?

With great difficulty, because a phone call about work could change everything. And although I love my work, I really value and enjoy my down time as well.

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

An actor!

How can we all live a little bit better?

Be kind, be patient, be helpful and considerate of others, respect one another, always aim to do better.

Anything fun in the pipeline – professionally or personally?

I’m long overdue a holiday, so I hope to get some sunshine at some point.


© David Reiss

Michelle Greenidge Recommends…

I’m currently watching… Kin. It’s absolutely incredible. Something I’d love to be cast in. It’s excellent TV.

What I’m reading… Not reading anything at the moment as I’m trying to catch up with things I’ve missed on TV. My next book will be People Person by Candice Carty Williams.

The last thing I watched (and loved) was… Happy Valley 

What I’m most looking forward to seeing… Series 3 of Kin

Favourite film of all time… Imitation of Life 

Favourite song of all time… ‘Anytime’ by Brian Mckinght

Band/singer I always have on repeat… Cleo Soul

My ultimate cultural recommendation… Shades of Barbados in St James, Barbados. This has been my favourite holiday destination and is the best place from which to immerse yourself in the exceptional hospitality and the island’s culture.

Cultural guilty pleasure… A banging sound system and playing dominoes with my domino crew with a glass of Baileys with Wray & Nephew white rum and a rather large plate of Jerk chicken, plantain, rice and coleslaw.


Michelle Greenidge stars in Doctor Who, airing Fridays on BBC One. Catch up on iPlayer.

Queenie kicks off on 7 June on Channel 4.