"I'm very conscious of it, recycling and all that," says Jessica Raine, star of PBS' new series "Call the Midwife," premiering Sept. 30, about green living. An animal lover who grew up on a farm, "We have two kittens we rescued from a shelter in London," she adds.
In the series, based on the best-selling memoirs of Jennifer Worth detailing her life as a midwife in London's East End in the 1950s, Raine plays Jenny Lee, whose first job administering to the city's poor under appalling conditions poses challenges and rewards. Raine, who doesn't have children, watched the documentary "One Born Every Minute" and relied on the production's professional advisors to prepare. "It's very important to be in control, or look like you're in control even if you're not," she says, admitting to being "pretty nervous at first" being around babies. For many of the scenes, realistic prosthetic babies were used. "We got one baby with a detachable willy so it could be a boy or a girl baby," Raine reveals.
The series was a big hit when it aired in Britain, and a second season is in production. "It's surpassed all our expectations, and I'm really excited for it to come here, and I can only hope it does the same," says Raine. "We did six episodes last year, and were commissioned for another almost immediately for eight episodes and a Christmas special. We're filming until November. There's so much to explore in the second series. The relationships between the midwives and the nuns get a bit more sparky — there's a lot of women in one group and they get grumpy and tired. It's really rich, and there are a lot of places to go."