Death in Paradise: Who is Josephine Jobert? Meet the Sergeant Florence Cassel actress

Meet the actress who plays Sergeant Florence in the BBC hit series Death in Paradise.

French actress Josephine Jobert, 31, is back as Sergeant Florence Cassel in the new series of Death In Paradise.

Ahead of this evening's latest mystery - the death of a cricket club presidemt - she tells us why she's pleased love's not in the air, the lack of diverse roles in her native country and the worst audition she's experienced.

How would you describe the current series of Death in Paradise?

This series there is more action, more love. It's very funny. We learn a bit more about the characters' backgrounds. You have the love story between Humphrey [Kris Marshall] and Martha [Sally Bretton]. Last series, if I remember correctly, Martha left and he was heartbroken because he didn't know if he was going to see her again. She's come back on the island this season, and there's definitely a love story between the two of them. Florence is very happy about that.

Death in Paradise

Any romance for your character Florence?

No, not for her, but that's OK, I like it. As an actress, especially in France, every series you do, every movie, you always have a romance. So for me this show is great. You know she's working very hard. She's really into her job. She's helping others with their love stories, but she doesn't have any... well, for now. Maybe next year, I don't know.

Why do you think the show's so successful?

It's a family show. It's not violent. There's no blood. There are so many series that I like to watch, but sometimes I'm like, 'It's too violent'. People beating each other, saying bad words, you have blood - it's very, very dark. And with Death In Paradise, you have the British sense of humour.

What's it like working with Kris Marshall?

He's been very helpful, especially during my first year because he knows what it's like to be the new character as he took Ben Miller's place. He taught me new words in English. He's very good in French too. I've learned a lot because he's a great actor and very impressive during the denouement, which is like seven to 13 pages of dialogue. It's like a play and he's brilliant.

Death in Paradise

This was your first English langauge role, wasn't it?

Yeah, this was my first time acting in English. Three years ago, I was terrified, but very excited. The lead actress, it was Sara Martins, she left the show and I was taking her place, so I was afraid because everybody's looking at you like, 'OK, so let's see what you can do'.

Everybody's judging you in a way, but the crew is fantastic. Learning my lines in French, it's OK, I can learn pages and pages the day before, but in English you have to think about the accent. I just want people to understand what I'm saying, the rhythm, the stress on the words, you know? But now it's my third year and I'm more comfortable and more confident.

You must find it tough to leave the island of Guadeloupe when filming ends?

Yes. It [the shoot], it's a very long time, almost six months. It feels like we're a little family. We don't have the chance to go back home at night and see our family so, yeah, you get used to it. You make friends over there, so when you go back to Paris, it's very different. I like Paris, but it's a very stressful city. I prefer London.

Death in Paradise

You must know the island very well by now?

Yeah. It's a small island. There's plenty of things to do and to see, but during the weekend I just stay at home because I have a very nice villa with an amazing view. I'm not a party girl. I don't drink. So during the weekends, I just stay home, learn my lines. My villa is my favourite place - and the gym. I go to the gym four times a week just to stay in good shape because I'm wearing lots of short shorts.

Actress Eva Green is your cousin...

Death in Paradise

That's true. Her mother is my father's sister and my father is white, my mother is black so that's why we don't look the same. I don't know her very well. When we were children, we spent a lot of time together, but then I moved to Montreal when I was 12 for eight years with my mother and stepfather and when I came back to Paris, she was in London, already working a lot. I'm very proud of her.

Would you like to follow suit and play a Bond girl?

You know it's funny you say that because it's one of my goals. Everyone around me tells me, 'You'd be a good James Bond girl'. Why not? I'll tell my English agent!

There has been a lot in the press about lack of diversity in the industry. Have you encountered this?

Yeah, in France especially, it's really difficult for black women and even more for mixed race women because they're too white or too black. It's not easy. That's what I'm very proud of with Death In Paradise, that we have so many black actors. In France, it's very, very difficult and nobody talks about it. It's taboo. And lots of actors suffer because of that.

[Read more: Kris Marshall's guide to the new series of Death in Paradise]

Death In Paradise continues on Thursday nights on BBC One.

Missed an episode? Catch up on BBC iPlayer and BT TV Catch-Up.

Photo Credit: BBC Pictures/Rex/Shutterstock

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