After confronting his feelings for Florence, Neville feels awkward around her, Ralf Little says (Picture: BBC)
Metro.co.uk’s recent chat with Death in Paradise star Ralf Little covered a lot of topics. From his character Neville Parker’s anxieties to that scene in Friends where Joey tells Rachel how he feels about her (don’t worry, we’ll get to that), we had a lot to ask Ralf during our zoom call, and there was one thing high on our list we needed the answer to – what’s next for Florence (Josephine Jobert) and Neville?
After series 10 ended with Neville bracing himself to tell Florence how he feels about her, the Christmas special of the crime drama saw fans discover his plan wasn’t a success.
When a mosquito landed on Neville’s face, Florence attempted to bat it away but ended up hitting him instead!
A trip to A&E with a horrific nosebleed saw the end to Neville’s attempt at turning his friendship with Florence into something more.
During the Christmas episode, there was a sense of déjà vu as Neville once again tried to ask Florence out, this time while on a video call.
While the image had frozen on the video call, the sound hadn’t – meaning Florence heard everything (Picture: BBC)
Convinced Florence hadn’t heard him admit his feelings as the call froze, Neville continued working on the murder case as though nothing had even happened.
However, what Neville didn’t know was that Florence had actually heard everything.
Last week, during the series 11 opening episode, Neville got drunk while hosting the yacht club quiz, which resulted in him accidentally confessing his feelings for Florence – this time in person.
Wanting to talk, Florence paid a visit to Neville’s, where he anxiously waited for the conversation over his feelings to begin.
Florence told Neville she cared about him deeply, but only as a friend.
Neville told Florence he could never hate her (Picture: BBC)
Heartbroken and perhaps somewhat embarrassed, Neville was left on his own.
Fairly settled into island life, Neville is getting used to stepping out of his comfort zone more and more, but as Ralf Little explained to Metro.co.uk, it’s not the rejection from Florence that causes problems for his character, the biggest issue for him now is how to get his friendship with his colleague back to where it was.
‘The progress he’s made is progress and there isn’t any regression, however, it does create tension between him and Florence. It’s not massively obvious, it’s not catastrophic, but it’s there and what it’s done is created this issue between them where the easy-going banter and communication they used to have is quite stilted.’
‘They work brilliantly together but when there isn’t something to be done work wise, they are short of things to say to each other’, Ralf adds as he reflects on the change in dynamic between Neville and Florence.
‘It’s very sad, actually, but what he then has to do is find a way to overcome that. Neville telling her how he feels wasn’t an issue, but the fallout from him telling her is a huge problem, because then he’s a bit awkward about knowing what to say.’
‘Awkward’ and ‘very English’ are the ways Ralf describes Neville when it comes to romantic feelings and relationships, a contrast from the way Americans approach the confusing world of love, something Ralf and American fiancée Lindsey Ferrentino recently had a conversation about:
‘We were talking about cultural differences between Americans and Brits. If Americans say they’ve developed feelings for someone, they either say “yeah let’s go on a date!” or they say “ah, nah you’re alright” and nobody cares, but in England…even the idea of saying it fills me with horror!’
Ralf describes Neville as ‘awkward’ and ‘very English’ (Picture: BBC)
Ralf laughs: ‘You remember in Friends, in the later series when Joey developed feelings for Rachel and they’re all like “Joey, Joey, you gotta tell her!” and everyone in America is going “yes do it!” but everyone in England just goes “that’s the worst thing!”. What you’ve got to do is bury that sh*t for 10 years, cry into your pillow and hope to vaguely be friends with her and maybe you might be drunk enough to accidentally snog and have awkward conversations after!’
Realising we’ve somewhat digressed, Ralf circles back to Neville’s feelings for Florence and his character’s relationship history:
Neville has been in previous relationships (Picture: BBC)
‘He’s been in love before, he’s had girlfriends before. We wanted to be very wary of the “2D, he’s always been single”, type assumption, it wasn’t that at all. It’s just the difficulties he’s faced in life, it’s made it difficult for people to be with him. It’s not new for him to feel the sensation of having feelings for someone but just biting the bullet and putting himself out there is definitely new. At the end of the last series, it was Catherine who said, “Neville if that’s how you feel then take the plunge!”, and I guess that’s a metaphor for how things have proceeded.’
‘If he had been an American and just gone “no harm no foul, let’s just keep working together”, Neville and Florence could’ve carried on but again, he’s very English.
‘He now needs to work out how the two of them get back to the way they used to be.’
Death in Paradise continues tonight at 9pm, BBC One.
Read part 3 of our interview with Ralf Little next week.
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