Playing evil Hindley reduced me to tears

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Welsh actress Gemma Lawman told Kelly Williams how she found it distressing to play Myra Hindley for a new three-part documentary

A Welsh mum has undergone a dramatic transformation to play the part of notorious child killer, Myra Hindley.

Gemma Lawman from Prestatyn has been cast for the harrowing role by Channel Five.

The 33-year-old started filming in Manchester for the three-part, three-hour documentary, on Friday.

The programme, which has not yet been given a title, follows the Moors murderer’s childhood years up to when she developed her sick relationship with partner in crime, Ian Brady and went on to kill five children between 1963 and 1965 dumping their bodies on Saddleworth Moor.

Former Prestatyn High School pupil, Gemma had to chop off inches of her long locks and dye her hair to sport the renowned blonde Hindley bob, and admitted she had to go to a “dark place” to become the evil character.

Speaking about how she prepared for the role, the mum-of-one said: “I’ve watched so many documentaries to the point where my head was frazzled.

"I’ve read up a lot on the internet too. I just have to go into a really dark place when I get into the role but can’t begin to imagine what was inside her head because obviously is no resemblance at all between her personality and mine.

"She was a very evil and vile woman.

“Because I’m a mum, I’ve balled my eyes out over a lot of it, but I’m blocking the thought out of my mind by being a character and not thinking about it as real.

"I know she was real but it’s the only way I can walk away at the end of a scene without it all messing with my head.

“Plus my daughter laughs at my hair which makes light of the situation when I’m home.”

About her new sinister look, Gemma said: “I have been growing my hair for two years because I’m getting married next Valentine’s Day, but I had to have it all cut off to take on the role.

“All my friends hate the look but they are so supportive.

“My husband prefers my long hair, but he said he will still marry me.”

She added: “I auditioned for the part of Myra Hindley in Manchester and during the first audition, I had to beat up my character’s father. Some of the filming I’m sure will be pretty grim but I feel amazed that I got the part.

“A lot of younger people I know don’t even know who she is so If I can educate them, then I have done my job well.”

Gemma, who went to theatre school in Liverpool, has done television extra work since the age of 17, in between being a cabaret singer and working two days a week at her dad’s shop in Prestatyn High Street.

“It’s taken me long enough to land myself a main role,” she said.

“I’m also playing a part in a Peter Sutcliffe reconstruction which will soon air on the CI channel.”

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