‘Call the Midwife’ interview: Natalie Quarry plays new midwife Rosalind

The thirteenth season of Call the Midwife welcomes a fresh face to the cast!

Following last month’s Christmas special, the BBC’s hit period drama about a group of nurse midwives in the East End of London is back with eight new episodes.

English actress Natalie Quarry is one of two main characters being introduced this year, playing young trainee midwife Rosalind Clifford alongside Renee Bailey as Joyce Highland.

Having previously appeared in episodes of Doctors and hit US drama Atlanta, Quarry is also amongst the cast of upcoming World War II drama Blitz.

Brand new Call the Midwife is airing in the UK at 8pm on Sunday nights on BBC One and streaming on BBC iPlayer.

Season 13 will premiere in the US this spring on PBS Masterpiece.

Here, newcomer Natalie Quarry chats about her first day of filming, learning new things about the era, riding a bike on set, and working with babies:


Rosalind Clifford is one of the new pupil midwives at Nonnatus House – how does it feel for you to join this show?

“It’s such a cliché thing to say, but it is a massive dream come true. Joining the show has been an amazing step for me, and I’ve been watching the show since I was little.

“So, you know, I couldn’t be happier with this being my first big job.”


What was your first day on the set like?

“The first scene that we shot was Rosalind’s entrance into Nonnatus House after running out of a station and trying to find where she needed to go.

“So that was kind of nice that it was chronologically the first thing I filmed and the first time people will see me. Putting on the uniform feels very special. If there is anyone I was most excited to meet it was probably Sister Julienne – Jenny Agutter.

“I love The Railway Children but because I’ve watched the show since I was a teenager, she’s always been such an iconic part of it. But everyone has been so kind and lovely. I was very excited to meet the whole cast, see Nonnatus House and everything.”


What was it like filming with the babies?

“In the first episode, I was so terrified because the baby was like nine days old and I haven’t held a newborn baby since my smallest cousin was born ten years ago.

“So they went, ‘Here you go, a baby,’ and obviously there’s a midwife on the set and so everything’s so safe. But I was really, really nervous and worried that something was going to go wrong.

“But they’re so sweet and tiny, and now I feel like I’m more confident with them. They are so sweet.”


And how was bike riding for you?

“Riding the bike for the first time was very exciting. We were able to choose which bike we wanted and test them all out and I found my bike which I’m really happy with.

“The first time we got on them, there was oil on all of the bikes and we all got oil on us. When we all got off the bikes, costume went, ‘Oh my God, what’s that?’

“And I think probably on my dress you’ll still see that there’s maybe a tiny stain somewhere very faded. I’m lucky that I’m quite a confident cyclist.

“I wasn’t asked whether I could ride a bike before I got the job. And then a couple of hours after I got the job, my agent panicked, called me, like, ‘You can ride a bike, right?’ It is very exciting being on the bike in the uniform, cycling around Chatham and Nonnatus.”


Is there anything you’ve learnt about the era whilst filming?

“Yes, I think I was surprised at how abortion was only legalised a couple of years before – I didn’t realise how late that was.

“And I also think that Rosalind wouldn’t have been able to open a bank account, which is crazy, apart from if she was married, which I really didn’t realise at all. I also didn’t know that the moon landing was in 1969.

“I should have known that, but I didn’t know that. And so that was kind of a nice big event and nice to place things in history because my dad remembers this year – it makes you realise how close it all was.”


What was it like filming the moon landing scenes?

“Oh, it was so magical. I stopped pretending because it felt that I was living it for the first time, especially having everyone together watching it.

“And I was talking to my dad about when he was a child and he remembers the moon landing and having like a kind of paper map of where everything was. And he was very excited talking about it.

“It was a really special evening having everyone together because we shot it at night.”


What will you be doing when this first episode with you goes out?

“I’m probably going to watch it with my family and friends. They want to have a party. I want to hide because I’m a little bit terrified about this.

“It is my first really big thing that’s coming out on TV. So, it’s a new experience for me, but I will hopefully be surrounded by very supportive friends and family watching at home.

“There is even talk about dressing up as if we were in the Sixties and watching it together, which is maybe a bit silly, but I don’t know. I think it might be fun.”


Call the Midwife is available on DVD on Amazon.