“I love it,” says Abbington of this punishing schedule. “And because I was out of work for such a long time… when I met Martin I was out of work for about 18 months… any work I get now I relish.”
“Martin” is of course her partner of 15 years, Hobbit-to-Sherlock star Martin Freeman, and it was Freeman’s availability for childcare that freed up Abbington to work these long hours.
“Martin has been off since March,” she says. “He’s been doing bits and pieces of stuff, but mostly turning things down. He’s really brilliant at that, morally if it’s not right for him, he won’t do it.”
Morally? “Well, he’s not chasing money and he’s not chasing that A-list. He’s very good at saying ‘no’, that’s not right for me… I don’t want to leave my family for that long’.”
“So he’s been at home and it’s been really good for him because he’s been a dad for six months, which they’ve all needed…. everybody’s needed that… he’s been taking care of the kids while I’ve been doing this stuff. But now he’s going 'I’m really bored… I really want to go and do something’, which I can understand because that’s what actors need – they need to work. Come January he’s got some nice bits and pieces which he’s very excited about. And then we do the full series of Sherlock, in about March or April…”