Tom Ellis says filming new drama 'The Secret Of Crickley Hall' left him with a "heavy heart".
The actor plays a father-of-three whose middle son has gone missing in the BBC One mini-series and he admits it really affected him because he has children himself.
Tom - who stars alongside Suranne Jones - said: "I was attracted to the characters in Crickley Hall. At the heart of the piece is this family going through a very tragic time, so it was something that I really fancied doing.
"But I didn't realise how much it would affect me. Because I was constantly playing out a scenario that was a real-life nightmare for any parent, I came home from filming with a really heavy heart."
The 'Miranda' star - who has daughters, Florence, four, and three-month-old Marnie, with wife Tamzin Outhwaite, as well as seven-year-old Nora from a previous relationship - also admitted it was difficult pretending they were in a haunted house alongside actors as young as five.
He told The Sun newspaper: "We were filming at this beautiful old Gothic house in the Peak District. There is one scene where I act with the girl who plays my youngest daughter, and she is five in real life.
"I had to scare her by pretending I had seen a ghost and every time I did it, she jumped and it started to freak her out.
"She cried and ran off set. I felt awful. The fatherly instinct in me took over."