HOW IS YOUR CHARACTER DEVELOPING THIS SERIES?
Nearly everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie, which has got to be a bit of a joke now. That’s her reputation. I hate to think what would happen if she ever had anything really honest to say because no-one would believe her. She fabricates her whole existence, her life and what she’s done in it. She’s inventing this past for herself, experiences that she’s had, things that she claims to be expert at, places she’s been… none of it is true, but it’s partly a cover for herself. In reality she’s moved from foster home to foster home, she’s lived with her pimp, and short of getting into that on a daily basis her way of dealing with it is inventing this other world. She’s had a dreadful life and it’s going to take something really big, and a really long time, for her to get in touch with that, and be a lot more honest with herself.
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING IN BAD GIRLS?
The best thing is this character. She’s full of contradictions. That’s also one of the most difficult things. It’s quite difficult to understand her. On the first reading of a script I’ll often say ‘But why is she behaving like this?’ She’s really mixed up, she doesn’t deal with people, or herself, honestly. She’s never been able to trust anybody so honesty doesn’t mean anything to her.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER?
She’s a lot of fun to play. She does really crazy things, and it can be a bit hard because I have to know as an actor where she’s coming from. Playing the one thing, where she’s giggling in the corner and being really young, without forgetting about the other. When she’s on a high, when she’s getting a regular supply of drugs, she’s fine. As an actor it’s a really interesting part to play, because there’s so much to think about.
WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER?
The same thing! Some days I just cannot understand her at all. Having to motivate certain things can be really hard.
DO YOU LIKE THE COSTUMES THAT YOUR CHARACTER WEARS? WOULD YOU WEAR THEM OUT?
I wouldn’t wear them out. But I do like her clothes, she’s got some fairly nice designer pieces. She’s shoplifted most of them – that, and when she was being pimped, her pimp would have given her an allowance for clothes.
HOW DO PEOPLE RE-ACT TO YOU ON THE STREET?
I get recognised a lot when the series is showing, but it’s a bit quieter when it’s not airing. A lot of people, little kids especially, which I find a little bit worrying. I don’t particularly want them to identify with me! They shouldn’t be watching it, apart from anything else. But they love the character, they’ll be pulling their mum’s arms going ‘Look, look, it’s that lady off Bad Girls…’ It’s all very positive. People generally like her attitude, that she’s cheeky. The one negative thing people say is that she’s got no loyalty.
ARE YOU LIKE YOUR CHARACTER? ANY TRAITS THAT YOU SHARE?
With anything you play, you bring in a lot of yourself whether you like to admit it or not. I think perhaps I keep things in, in the same way that she does. I’m not a person who will say how I’m feeling very much. I don’t tend to scream or shout or throw things. If something’s upsetting me, I internalise, so I can identify with that totally.
WHAT SCENE HAVE YOU MOST ENJOYED OR HATED FILMING SO FAR?
I did enjoy doing the scene where it came out about her abuse and stuff, just because it was another place for the character, that she’d not been to at all, and because for me, this is my first TV job, and that was my first emotional scene, and it went well. I felt like once I’d done that, I knew her a lot better.
The worst was probably lying in that tunnel to be seen this series, with mud in my hair, mud in my eyes, mud up my nose, and mud in my mouth. I am not a dirt or outdoors kind of person…
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW EXTERIOR?
It’s really good. I think they’ve done a good job. It’s not a replica of what we had before, it’s got more little areas so there’s more scope for setting scenes in different parts of the prison.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREETIME?
Free time… what’s that? Recently all my free time has been filled with decorating my new flat. I’ve been doing that in the break between the two series in the summer. Basically the place needed everything doing. We didn’t do it all, we had to get professionals in. We had walls taken down, floors taken up… a massive job.
I like going to the cinema and the theatre, I eat out quite a lot. I used to go to pottery a lot, but not so much now, I just go when I’ve got a bit of time off, if my day off coincides with a day when they’ve got a class.
HOW WOULD YOU GET ON WITH YOUR CHARACTER IF YOU MET THEM IN REAL LIFE?
(Laughs) God! I’d probably give her quite a wide berth! It would depend what kind of day she was having, what level she was operating on. I couldn’t really deal with someone who wasn’t honest, and I can usually tell when people are being honest.