In Skins, Hannah Murray plays Cassie; A total nutter, but magic with it. A self-harming anorexic with zero self-esteem and a heart of gold.
Have you always wanted to act?
I suppose from about 11 or so it was something that I really wanted to do. But this is the first thing I’ve ever done that’s at all successful really. I’ve done sort of youth theatre at the Bristol Old Vic. I’d done some plays with that and I’d done some stuff for school and that was about it really. But I think doing Skins has made me feel certain that it is something that I really want to do and really go for it.
And how did you hear about Skins?
That was through my youth theatre that I go to. Basically we were given little bits of paper with the casting directors email address on and I got in touch with her and then she said to come down for an audition and I did, and got a call back and then another call back and then I got the part.
What is it about Skins that makes it different from other teen dramas? Why is Skins something that is going to stand out?
I think that Skins is more truthful and I think that it’s more exciting. And I also think that it looks like nothing else on TV. I think it’s a lot more artistically done really. It’s really beautifully shot and I think the characters are incredibly well crafted. I also think that the fact that we are all so young is important, because if you watch a lot of, especially American, dramas - they’re all 20-year-olds playing teenagers, but we’re all pretty much the age of the characters, which I think is a big part of it.
How closely did you work with the writers on creating the character of Cassie? Did you have some input?
Obviously she was already written. She was very clear and well-drawn. As soon as I read the script for the character she was just kind of there. All the writers were really great about talking to us about things, and if we wanted to have any suggestions or help to talk about how we felt about how our character would behave, they were really good and they were really open to ideas.
Tell me a bit about Cassie. She’s quite a complex character.
Yes, she is. Well basically the main thing about Cassie, especially in her own episode, programme two, is the fact that she’s got an eating disorder. When the series starts she’s just come out of hospital and she’s basically got a fairly horrible family life, with parents who don’t pay any attention to her and just focus on her baby brother. She’s a bit of an outsider as well. She’s not involved in the main events like the rest of the gang. But at the same time, as being very troubled she’s very clever and she’s also kind of weird and wonderful and she’s fun and magical at the same time.
Is there much of you in her?
I don’t know. I don’t think that we’re the same on a basic circumstantial level, I don’t have anorexia and I’m not suicidal or anything like that, but I think there are some things like, I think that everyone knows what it’s like to feel lonely or a bit depressed and feel like that on an emotional level. And I love how dreamy she is as well, and the things she thinks about, I really like that. I think I can relate to her emotionally but not circumstantially.
Do you feel some what kind of a responsibility playing a character who is so vulnerable in terms of the fact that there are a lot of teenage girls out there who have issues to do with eating? Do feel that there is a responsibility that goes with playing a character like that?
I don’t know if it is a responsibility. I think obviously it is a sensitive issue and I think it has been handled very well in this show, but I don’t think the aim with this is to make kind of preachy drama about how we should all behave in a certain way. Obviously this is something that does exist for teenagers today and I think it’s just a way of exploring that. I don’t feel a sort of responsibility to behave in a certain way or portray her in a certain way because I just want to play the character how the writers see it.
You’ve referred to her home life, and Neil Morrissey plays your dad. That must have been really fun?
Yeah, he was really funny. I was a bit nervous because he was the first sort of ‘big name’ I’d ever met. But he was so nice and so friendly and great to work with. He’s got a nice energy in all the scenes that I did with him. He was really, really great.
And how realistic do you think the drama is, how true to life is it? Does it reflect the reality of being a teenager today?
I think it’s obviously exaggerated and heightened and there are certain characters that exist in the show that are clearly not realistic depictions of things. So, yeah there is a lot of exaggeration, but I think on an emotional level the way the teenagers are portrayed and how they are trying to work things out and everything is very true, and the characters are very realistic.
What was the experience of filming like? Was it everything that you’d hoped?
It was more than that. It was so much more than that. I’ve had the most amazing job of my life. It was so good. It was just so wonderful to…it’s just the best job you could ever imagine and it’s so exciting and it’s challenging and it’s fun. It’s the best thing.
Did they have to fit it into the academic calendar? Was it all done during the summer?
No it was not all done during the summer holidays. When we filmed my episode I missed two weeks of school but that was after my exams so it wasn’t very serious. And then there was a month in the summer but then we were filming throughout the first term of school but some of us missed more than others.
So you better make the most of the acting because your academic record is going to be shot to pieces?
No it’s alright. I had good grades last year and I had some work to catch up.
What’s the best thing that someone could say about the drama when it comes out?
That they like it. I don’t know, that they’ve enjoyed watching it. I think that the main thing obviously about television is that somebody can sit down and have a really nice hour and it makes them laugh and it makes them feel things. I think that’s the most important thing because it’s entertainment.
It discusses quite frankly issues about sex and drugs will you be able to sit down with family members and watch it or will you be too embarrassed?
Well partly I’ll be too embarrassed for the fact that I’m in it. I mean I hate watching myself. I really hate it. I don’t feel uncomfortable watching it with these guys because they are kind of in the same boat. But, yeah it is the kind of show that I wouldn’t particularly want to watch with my mum in the room. But I think it is good that it’s not, because teenagers like to watch stuff that they wouldn’t want their parents to know they were watching.
Yeah if you could watch it with your parents then it wouldn’t be worth making…
한나머레이? 스킨스의 드라마에서 '캐시' 역으로 나오는 여자다. [와우~! 러블리~!]라는 유행어를 전파시킬정도로 캐릭터가 무척 강한 여자이고 귀엽고 보호본능을 유발시키는 배우랄까...
스킨스라는 영국드라마는 국내에서 방영하기에는 과도기적인 드라마가 아닐까한다. 상상도 못할 드라마일수도 있고 지금 우리나라는 과도기적 시대를 살고 있다고 해도 과언이 아니다. 항상 나날이 예상하지 못했던 변수들로만 접하는 국민들이기에 금기시 되는 약물, 대마초, 섹스,... 기타 등등 이런것들을 속임이나 자름이 없이 과감하게 표현하는것이 시청자들에게 좋은 호감을 얻었지 않았나 생각을 가져본다. 일부 여성팬들은 훈남들이 나와서 좋다고 하겠지만 남성팬들 역시 캐시같은 캐릭터 때문에 그렇지 않을까도 생각을...
와우 러블리~ 정말 잊혀지지 않는 그녀의 말. 와우~ 이 한마디에 감탄사인지 좌절의 답변인지를 함축적으로 보여주는게 참...
사진은 이쁘게 나왔지만 처음봤을때는 그리 예쁘게 나오지 않은거 같았는데 점점 그녀의 복잡스런 매력에 빠지기 시작하는건 나뿐만은 아닌거 같다.