Alex Kingston says she had concerns about signing up to ER

Alex Kingston has shared her initial concerns about signing up to the hit US medical drama ER.

The 61-year-old British actor played straight-talking medic, Dr Elizabeth Corday for 12 years, relocating to Los Angeles to take the part.

First airing in 1994, the show went on to run for 15 seasons and 331 episodes, before ending in 2009.

But although Kingston accepted the role in the end, she said she remembers “seriously debating” whether the move would be worth it.

“It was all really unexpected. I had not planned to go to Hollywood, I wasn’t interested or ambitious in that way at all,” she told The Times.

The Other Boleyn Girl star was filming Croupier directed by Flash Gordan filmmaker Mike Hodges in Germany when she received the offer.

“I remember seriously debating whether it was a good idea with [her Croupier co-star] Clive Owen. I said, ‘I’ve got to commit to five years and I’ll be associated with this soap character for the rest of my life.’”

She thought producers would change their minds and kick her off the show, but instead went on to stay for eight seasons in the classic series whose original cast also boasted George Clooney.

“I’d love to know how to get in touch with George for a catch-up,” she said as she shared the star had taught her how to play basketball.

Elsewhere in the interview, Kingston said she felt that the lack of female roles in the industry were a result of a misguided hyperfocus on “lived experience” - with writers nervous to write roles they did not have personal experience of.

The actor played Dr Elizabeth Corday for eight seasons (Channel 4/ Getty Images)
The actor played Dr Elizabeth Corday for eight seasons (Channel 4/ Getty Images)

“People are nervous to write for anything other than the sex they are,” she said.

“I’m nervous that in being sensitive to allowing as many people as possible to join the table, which is absolutely as it should be, we’re denying people a chance to write about someone or something that may be alien to them, but they want to explore.”

She alluded to her own iconic Doctor Who character River Song, who she says was also written by a man.

“Shakespeare has written some fabulous roles for women, should he not have been allowed to? Steven Moffat created one of the great Doctor Who characters with River Song, who’s strong and sassy. Thank you, Steven!”