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Sheridan Smith wanted Netflix viewers to doubt her in series playing teacher accused of sleeping with student

Sheridan Smith wanted Netflix viewers to doubt her in series playing teacher accused of sleeping with student

Sheridan starred as Jenna in the drama

Sheridan Smith revealed she wanted viewers to 'doubt' her character after she played a teacher accused of sleeping with their student.

Sheridan, 42, starred in a Channel 5 drama in which she played English teacher Jenna Garvey.

The 2022 drama was later added to Netflix, where viewers have been gripped by its shocking storyline.

The series focuses on Jenna, a well-liked high school English teacher who gets on well with her students.

But in her personal life, Jenna is struggling with the loss of her mum, as well as her dependency on alcohol.

Sheridan Smith starred in The Teacher.
Channel 5

One night, her two worlds collide and she bumps into some of her students on a night out.

The next day, she is accused of having sex with 15-year-old student, Kyle (Samuel Bottomley), but has no recollection whatsoever of what might have taken place.

Following the accusation, Jenna is left grappling with the blurry fragments of what happened.

Speaking about what it was like to play such a controversial role, Sheridan explained why she wanted viewers to 'doubt' Jenna.

"I love playing people who are flawed and complex like Jenna. She's got a drink problem, she's lost her mum, she has a really strained relationship with her dad and she's just gone off the rails and lost herself a bit," she told Radio Times back in 2022.

"When she finishes work, she clocks out and has a chaotic life. I always want to make a character likeable because I want to find the heart in them, no matter how flawed someone is, but I do want the audience to doubt Jenna and to feel unsure about where they stand.

"There were scenes where I was thinking, 'this is so terrible, you'd be fired immediately', her actions didn't sit right with me — but I enjoyed playing them as well! It will make incredibly uncomfortable viewing, and you won't know if you like her or not.

"... I hope there are a lot of conversations about whether or not she is guilty, especially as all the twists and turns come out, it gets so complicated and dark."

Jenna is struggling with her dependency on alcohol.
Channel 5

The drama has been leaving viewers gripped, with many taking to social media to praise the casting and script.

One person wrote: "Watching The Teacher on Netflix and it's so good."

While another said: "This is so good. Sheridan Smith is amazing (of course/as ever!) but the tension and twists of the writing are just brilliant."

And a third added: "The Teacher on Netflix. Starring Sheridan Smith . Gripping stuff!"

You can watch The Teacher on Netflix now.

Featured Image Credit: Channel 5

Topics: TV and Film, Netflix, Channel 5