Heather Peace (‘Lip Service’) interview

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Currently starring in the second series of BBC Three lesbian drama Lip Service as cop Sam, Heather Peace releases her debut album next week before embarking on a nationwide tour.

> Order Heather’s album on Amazon.

CultBox caught up with Heather for chat to find out more…

How are you doing?

“It’s been a bit of a mad week at home, signing photos and CDs. I did rehearsals all last week and to be honest I’m glad I did because by Friday my voice was absolutely trashed! I keep forgetting how vocally demanding it is.

“I’ve had a total cleanout, I’ve had six nights without a glass of wine, which was a struggle, and I’ve got so much energy I’m bouncing off the walls right now.”

Are you excited about your debut album, Fairytales, coming out on Monday?

“Yeah, we stand a really slim chance of the album actually making the Top 40 which is really exciting!”

How long did the album take to write?

“Oh God, some of the piano riffs I’ve had since I was 14! But obviously the lyrics were really naïve; I think the lyrics were about falling out with friends at school! So there’s some stuff that’s been with me for a long time but lyrically it’s been written in the last two years.”

What’s your song-writing process like?

“It was just a case of needing to write. Sometimes I’d start humming stuff to myself and other times when I go for a run I’m just trying to get back really quickly because it all starts flowing and I need to write it down.”

What new music have you enjoyed lately?

“My big one’s Emeli Sandé at the moment, I just think she’s going to sweep the board this year; I like the honesty of her lyrics.”

Are you nervous about the tour next week?

“I was completely anxious about three weeks ago; I was borderline going to have an anxiety attack. Last year there was no pressure on me whereas this time I feel there’s an expectation so I’ve had to up the stakes a bit by creating a lusher sound.”

Do you hope to tour again later this year?

“Probably not, because I’m up in Glasgow filming until December. Maybe early next year!”

The second series of Lip Service concludes next Friday. What sort of reaction have you had from fans to the Tess/Lexy/Sam love triangle?

“I guess everybody wants Tess to be happy be happy but it’s blatantly obvious she won’t because then the whole drama of Tess has gone, hasn’t it!?!

“The reaction that’s been coming through to me has been more about the panic attacks and the bereavement and people have seemed really pleased with how I’ve portrayed it. I went through panic attacks myself in my final year of drama school so it was weird resisting that and trying to remember what it felt like. The first time you actually think it’s a heart attack, it’s horrible.”

There’s been a lot of crying for Sam in Series 2, how did you unwind after those scenes?

“I didn’t! It was a nightmare to film that series. I find it easy to find the emotion in a scene if you’re with another actor, but when you’ve got no dialogue I used to get very scared of it because you’re just going on thought process. To be honest I’d get back to my apartment and I’d never really get out of it. There sheer panic as an actor is that you get on set and the emotion doesn’t come.

“A lot of the scenes were getting her to the point of nearly crying and then suppressing it, so I’d get home after 12 hours of suppressing the grief feeling I would then sob my heart out for no reason! I’d never thought of myself as a method actor but that particular series I was pretty horrible to be around I think, I wasn’t much fun.”

What was your reaction when first found out that Laura Fraser and Ruta Gedmintas were leaving the show?

“I was pretty shocked. As much as I miss them both though, I think the love triangle would’ve become tiresome. We didn’t want to lose them, but for the drama of the second series I think it’s been stronger.

“For the writer, Harriet [Braun], it was the only way of integrating Sam into the main group by everyone uniting in grief. It was very complimentary for me that they wanted to keep Sam enough that they were willing to do that.”

There seems to have been a great reaction to Sadie becoming a main cast member too…

“Yeah, I think the Sadie character’s awesome! You’ll get all the irreverence and filth from Sadie that you had with Frankie.”

You’re joining the cast of Waterloo Road in the next series – can you tell us a bit about your character?

“I keep getting asked that and I’ve got absolutely no idea! I haven’t seen a script at all, I literally just know what day I start filming and that it’s in Glasgow.”

Are you looking forward to being back in Glasgow?

“Yeah, I do miss the Brighton summer, but Glasgow’s becoming a second home. I do love the city. If I do Waterloo Road and then more Lip Service that’ll be nine months up there which is completely insane! The people are very like Yorkshire people, they wear their heart on their sleeves and they don’t take any nonsense.”

How long have you been down in Brighton?

“Years, since the millennium. Short of moving over the water to Europe, this is home now. It’s a wicked place.”

> Read the second part of our exclusive interview with Heather.

Have you enjoyed Series 2 so far? Let us know below…

> Order Heather’s album on Amazon.

> Order Series 2 of Lip Service on DVD on Amazon.

Watch a clip from Series 2…