For Linda the success of Bad Girls has come as no surprise, “I think it is a very good drama series as it offers a wide range of different things for a wide range of different people. I am very pleased that it’s won the Awards. It’s been very exciting.”
For her character Yvonne life this series does not sound so positive. “She’s in for a few trials and tribulations really. I mean, with finding out that her gangster husband Charlie, has been unfaithful, that knocks her back for six. He’s been the main stay of her life. Him and her daughter, Lauren. She’ll seek revenge – she comes back with a vengeance in a very big way.”
Linda sees Yvonne as “very together but also extremely vulnerable underneath. Whether she suffers in silence or it comes out when she is alone, I think Yvonne is a very vulnerable woman. This series Yvonne is left very much to her own devices which is quite interesting. She has a lot to contend with personally and is very much dealing with her own problems.”
On the inmate hierarchy: “I feel she is one of the main stays of the prison. She will always be one of those characters that is looked up to and people respect, because she respects them. She gives what she gets though. She has a cell to herself. It is a status thing. I don’t think they would put her in with anyone else. She’s a bit of a Noel Coward figure in the Italian Job!”
As a gangster’s wife her wardrobe is matchless within the prison. “She comes from this incredible background of being the gangster’s wife. She has never wanted for anything so she could have whatever she wanted and three pairs more. We’ve gone for really strong clothes: the leather, shiny, foxy look. Versace or Armani - all the big names. You wouldn’t catch her in anything from Marks! She has a very striking look and very different from the other prisoners.
“In real life I am a nothing like Yvonne. I love playing her. I think she’s great. There is a lot that I can be sympathetic with, as I have had to create her off the written page, but we lead very different lives.”
Linda has worked with inmates inside prison, on an improvised play whilst at the Royal National Theatre. “I didn’t meet anyone like Yvonne inside, but I learnt that behind those bars are normal people. Whilst I was there, it wasn’t all violence and doom and gloom - but I wasn’t there 24 hours a day. As I got to know inmates, what I hated most was that I could go home of a night and they couldn’t - especially the ones with kids.”
Linda Henry is a South East Londoner and married with a seven year old daughter, a dog and two cats. Her theatre work includes productions at the RNT and the Royal Court Upstairs. On television Linda has been seen in many series including: Trial and Retribution, Touching Evil, The Vanishing Man and Born To Run.