Series 6 Cast Interviews
Jennifer Ness

Jennifer Ness

Plays
Kris Yates

PLEASE TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER.

She is 29 and she owned her own mini cab company before getting banged up.  She is an extremely tough cookie.  She has no fear of authority.  But she is loyal, fair, strong minded and independent – a product of her non-secure upbringing – she is gay and is finding it hard to accept love.  Her partner is Selena Geeson, one of the prison officers.

WHAT HAS SHE BEEN BANGED UP FOR?

Pleading guilty for killing her father.  She is now serving a life sentence but she is innocent.  She is taking the wrap for her younger sister Milly who really did it - she is just 14.

DO YOU SYMPATHISE WITH YOUR CHARACTER?

Yes, she has taken this suffering on behalf of someone else.  That takes great courage.

ARE THERE ANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR CHARACTER?

A few - I’m loyal and strong minded and I can be quite hard!

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE AND DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER IF YOU WERE INTRODUCED IN REAL LIFE?

I would like her strong, independent spirit and her lack of fear as well as her strong sense of style.  I would dislike her hard exterior and insecurity and her suspicious nature.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE A KEY FACT ABOUT THE CHARACTER YOU PLAY WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I would maybe change her ‘aloofness’ and her distant nature so that she could get stuck in more and make good friends and allies in the prison.

IF YOUR CHARACTER COULD ESCAPE LARKHALL DO YOU THINK SHE WOULD BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY ON THE OUTSIDE ?  DO YOU THINK SHE WOULD HAVE LEARNT HER LESSON? 

She has no lesson to learn.  She would still look after her sister so she would do it all over again! On the outside she would be a free spirit.

WHAT’S THE WORST THING YOU’VE EVER BEEN CAUGHT FOR?

Speeding.

WHAT’S THE WORST THING YOU DID BUT DIDN’T GET CAUGHT?

A ha!!  Not telling!

IF YOU COULD INFLUENCE/INSTIGATE OTHER METHODS OF CORRECTING, PUNISHING OR PREVENTING CRIME - WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I would never, never advocate the death sentence.  All life is sacred – it is not for us to take.

DO YOU THINK YOU COULD ONE DAY FIND YOURSELF UNDER ARREST? 

I hope I would never find myself under arrest. It would have to be for something very extreme – like if we were suddenly governed by fundamentalists and couldn’t live in a democracy.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED WITH BAD GIRLS?

Being a regular character is the best thing - it gives you the opportunity to get stuck into a really long running storyline that can be varied and challenging.  The discipline it instils in me as an actor is brilliant and obviously the cast and crew are fabulous too.

ARE THERE ANY DIFFICULTIES BEING INVOLVED WITH SUCH A HIGH PROFILE SHOW?

One of the amazing things about being in Bad Girls is the loyalty of the fans.  They really do support the show and I get letters advising me how I should look after myself in prison and advice on how to cope.  I haven’t had any negative comments.

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS OR FAMILY THINK ABOUT YOU BEING IN THE SHOW?

My family are all extremely supportive and think it’s fantastic.

HAVE YOU FILMED A MEMORABLE SCENE YET? 

Yes – in this series there is a very memorable scene – I don’t want to give too much away but put it this way – I do make a horrific discovery at some point in the series.

It is very hard to recount the story properly without blowing it – for one scene they shipped in some live animals and these were of the crawling wriggly variety.  Yuck – anyway they then hatched and for a few days flew around the Bad Girls set.  Gosh that sounds confusing doesn’t it and you’ve probably guessed the whole thing! 

Oh and Jim Fenner urinating over me was a pretty awful story to film!

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?   ANY HOBBIES OR SPORTS YOU ENJOY WHEN YOU’RE ON THE OUTSIDE?

I love movies, yoga and Pilates, Jacuzzis, long walks, travelling to the Alps to visit my parents, skiing, making short films on my Apple Mac computer and reading – oh and also hypnosis.

DO YOU ENJOY LUXURY HEALTH AND BEAUTY TREATMENTS? 

Yes! I’m a member of a wonderful health club and spa.  I do saunas and steam rooms and facials – the lot!  I love massages.

IF YOU WERE BANGED AND HAD TO MAKE THE MOST OF IT, HOW WOULD YOU TRY AND SPEND YOUR TIME? 

I would read avidly and endeavour to increase my knowledge.  I would possibly try and learn another language, learn to meditate and give myself hypnosis.

IF YOU HAD TO SPEND A FEW MONTHS IN PRISON FOR REAL – WHAT APART FROM YOUR GENERAL FREEDOM, WOULD YOU MISS THE MOST?

The people I love.

HAVE YOU EVER FELT IMPRISONED –EMOTIONALLY OR PHYSICALLY?

When I was 14 I had spinal surgery for Scoliosis and had to wear a back brace for 8 months solidly. So physically – yes.

MANY FILMS/BOOKS/DRAMA HAVE BEEN BASED ON PRISON LIFE. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE?

I loved and have recently re-watched The Bangkok Hilton, but film-wise, definitely Shawshank Redemption.

PRIOR TO BAD GIRLS WHAT ROLES WERE YOU MOST WELL KNOWN FOR?

A mix of television shows – Peak Practice, A + E, Holby etc...

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST PROFESSIONAL ACTING ROLE?

A TV Film with Clive Owen called The Magician.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EVER JOB?

Counting figures for my dad’s company on a Saturday. And I fell asleep and never went back.

WHAT IS YOUR STAR SIGN?

Virgo.

AND DO YOU BELIEVE IN THINGS LIKE THIS?

I’m open to most things.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND BROUGHT UP?

Cheshire.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?

North London.