Laya Lewis (‘Skins’) interview

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This week’s episode of Skins focuses on Mini’s best friend Liv, as she hooks up with a guy called Matty and the pair spend some time escaping reality. But when Liv finally tells Mini about her affair, their friendship changes forever. CultBox caught up with actress Laya Lewis to find out more…

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How would you describe Liv?

“She’s the party girl, basically!”

Did you base your portrayal of Liv on anyone you know in real life?

“I’m 18 now and there’s such a massive gap between 16 and 18. When you’re 16, you want to be cool and just brush things off. You want to not really care and just get on with life. I wanted to be like that. I wasn’t as mad as Liv, but there’s definitely aspects of my personality and what I wanted to be!”

Episode 4 is Liv’s story and the episode focuses mostly on you and Sebastian De Souza’s character, Matty. What was it like filming the episode?

“Obviously there’s a lot to do when it’s your episode. There’s long hours so you have to sort it out and get on with it. But Seb was just amazing to work with. He really helped me a lot with carrying the episode, I’m so glad he was there, it was really good.”

Did you get odd looks from people running around Bristol in the animal costumes?

“Oh my God, yes! Actually, so many people just sussed straight away that we were filming Skins. People were like ‘oh look, it’s Skins‘. At first, I thought it’d be embarrassing, but it was just really funny.”

Jaye Griffiths is playing your mum in the episode – what was she like to work with?

“She was a-mazing! It was so unbelievable. I remember when I was doing the scene with me and her at the end of my episode and it got to my bit and I was like ‘oh crap, line, line!’, cos I was just staring at her and completely forgot. I felt very privileged to be around so many of the actors we’ve had.”

Did you enjoy working with the actress you played Liv’s younger sister?

“Yeah, she was so good, wasn’t she? She was actually really shy to start with, but she’s one of those kids that’s quite savvy and she was quite mouthy by the end, in a good way. I felt like she really was my younger sister!”

Do you think Liv’s family will return in Series 6?

“I hope so, I really hope so! It’d be amazing to carry on that storyline and elaborate on her relationship with parents and find out where her dad is.”

What sort of reaction have you had from people after Liv slept with Nick in last week’s episode?

“I’ve had really funny messages! Like, ‘we hate Liv now’ and stuff, but there hasn’t been any bad feedback. I’ve been so impressed that what I wanted to come across with it has come across, so I’m just really happy with it.”

Can you give us any hints about what the rest of Series 5 holds for Liv?

“Hmm, love triangle! I don’t know if I can say much more than that.”

Does the series end on a cliffhanger ending like Series 1 and Series 3 did?

“Well, it’s not a crazy cliffhanger. Hopefully it’ll be next year that we all go crazy, but it’s a really positive ending, so that’s good.”

Have you seen any of the new US remake of Skins?

“Yeah, I have. I’m bummed cos I keep missing it. I tried to watch it on the internet on MTV and put in my own age and it wouldn’t let me watch it! I saw Chris’s episode online though and thought it was the dog’s bollocks, he was so good. He portrays the character in such a different way, but I thought it really works.”

What’s your view on all the controversy in America about the US show’s sex, drugs and alcohol references?

“I think it’s definitely unfair. We know the position they’re in, they must have worked so hard and their acting’s so good and people have just shot the show down and that sucks. It should do really well when people get used to it.”

Are you looking forward to filming Series 6 and what would you like to see Liv get up to?

“That’ll be the summer, end of June I think, I’m so looking forward to it! What got me through Series 5 was knowing that we had another series to do. It was so much fun; it was the best summer of my life. I can’t imagine finishing the next series and realising ‘oh my God, that’s it, we’re done’.

“I definitely think that you get a really clear idea of what all the other seven characters are like and their characteristics in Series 5. But with Liv, she goes straight into all this big drama and you don’t really get to just see her funny side or her crazy side, so I’d love to see more of that.”

Have you seen the rest of the cast much since you finished filming?

“Yeah, we’ve seen each other a lot lately doing promo, but we’re all really close anyway. A lot of us made the effort to meet up. It’s like being with your best mates for almost four months and then it just stops, which is really weird. I’m the only one out of all of us that lives in Bristol, so it’s weird when they’ve all gone home and there’s this big hole in my life.”

Skins has had some amazing guest stars over the years. If you could pick anyone to share a scene with yourself in the show, who would you choose?

“Oh my God, an amazing British actor like maybe Alan Davies! I’d love that cos I love Jonathan Creek.”

Who would you like to play Liv’s dad?

“Hmm, I still want Alan Davies!”

Skins is currently airing at 10pm on Thursdays on E4.