Jessie Cave talks about playing Annie Maddocks in Glue in new drama series premiering on E4 on September 15th.
What is 'Glue' and what can we expect?
It’s a drama written by Jack Thorne – who is just amazing – and it’s about a murder of a boy, and how it affects his friends and the community that they live in. So it’s about this group of friends but also the countryside where they live, what they do for kicks and how they deal with the death of their friend.
How much did you know about the backstory of your character and do you think that’s important?
No nothing really. You knew very little because as it was written you were filming. It was incredibly fun as an actress because you didn’t know what was going to happen episode to episode which is quite unusual. But in terms of what it was like to be a young person living in the countryside with a group of friends, it’s more of an instinct for me. As you read each episode you found out what happened to your character, what she was thinking. You had to play it by ear and see what happened.
You’re a fan of Jack’s stuff already. How does it feel with the trail playing out, big new E4 programme?
As a fan of his, it was incredibly exciting to get the job. He writes with such heart but can also write very dark. It was so thrilling reading each script and knowing that you were reading them before other people! I know that if I was watching it I would adore 'Glue', so I can’t actually believe that I’m in it…
The countryside is a big part of the show. Would you say that it is a very different way of life?
It is a different way of life in that you have to make your own fun, you’re in a field. It’s not the same as being in the city as a teenager or young person. You think the countryside is sweeter or more idyllic than living in the city but it’s pretty dark and in our show they do some pretty dangerous things. You have to be a bit more imaginative with your recreational activities. The countryside looks beautiful, it’s shot so beautifully, and that really adds to the drama. The countryside is really like another character in it… It makes the whole thing.
Are you a city or country girl?
I grew up in London. I’ve never lived out of London so it was different to me. Speaking to friends about growing up in the country, and speaking to Jack about growing up there... I definitely had to find out more.
What was it like on set?
We were filming in the middle of nowhere so we got very close – and what’s so good about everyone cast in this is that we are all so different. But it works as a friendship. It was lovely to meet people that wouldn’t ever have really met in 'real life'. It was really fun! I was thrilled to meet Jordan [Stephens], I had absolutely no idea who he was… after a couple of days of filming I was like, ‘Who is this guy? He’s got some charisma, he’s going somewhere, he’s going to make it…’ Then realising that he’s already very successful, he’s already made it. I’m in Edinburgh now [at the fringe] and he’s visiting, and I can’t believe now that we’re friends. It’s very bizarre.
Any other crime dramas that are your favourites, or may have influenced you when you were filming?
I absolutely loved Broadchurch. 'Glue' is obviously completely different from Broadchurch but there’s quite a funny comparison that people keep making, which is ‘Skins meets Broadchurch’ which I think is actually a pretty good description. I loved Broadchurch so much because of the acting, and I think that everyone involved in 'Glue' is so… I was a fan of all the characters. I have loved their work for ages so it was just incredible to be part of.
Why should audiences tune into Glue?
It’s really complex. There are so many stories in it. You think it’s going off in one way, and then it goes off in a completely different way so even as you read it – I know that because I read it episode by episode. In the five months filming as we were all hanging around, we wrote down a list of who it could be, all of the characters, and crossed them out as we thought it couldn’t be them – and by the end of filming we were completely wrong. It’s just incredibly detailed and surprises you. Friendship is a massive thing in the show but then there’s also so many dark subjects it touches upon.
Can you tell us a secret?
I’m pregnant. That’s a secret. That’s been happening, it hasn’t affected filming at all which has been nice. A nice secret.