Freya Mavor (‘Skins’) interview

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Skins returns to E4 for a fifth series in January, following a brand new set of Bristol teenagers, including Freya Mavor as Mini McGuinness.

Mini is going places. She works incredibly hard to be the centre of attention, and always gets her own way. Then Franky arrives in Mini’s life with an effortless originality that challenges Mini’s status – Mini hates people who don’t play by the rules. And Franky’s rebellious instincts are contagious.

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Tell us about your character?

“Mini is quite a feisty figure; she’s the top dog of the school… or at least she likes to think she is. She’s witty and she definitely likes people to hear her opinion. She likes to stir things up, test people and manipulate things around her to see what would happen, but I don’t think she means to do bad. She doesn’t really think about the consequences of her actions a lot of the time though.

“She goes out with Nick, which is interesting as it’s quite unconventional; it’s not your typical romance. It’s strange, and it’s forced and awkward. I don’t think either of them actually love each other. I think she needs him to uphold her world, I think he’s just a building block in the foundations of her master plan. She’s getting what she wants but not what she needs in that sense.”

What do you enjoy about playing Mini?

“She is such a different character to myself. I enjoy the fact that she’s feisty and she says things that I would never even dare to say in real life. So it’s quite a change, and it’s quite a challenge to play someone so ballsy!”

Can you see some similarities between you and your character?

“There aren’t any similarities, apart from what every girl could relate to which is vulnerability or being insecure in yourself, because she is very insecure in many ways. The whole hardening yourself, I don’t really get it. I can sympathise with her, and I understand why she does what she does but I personally would never take the same route as her. I would never bully anybody ever!”

If you could play someone else in the cast who would it be and why?

“Rich because I think he’s a really great character and he is based quite a lot on Jamie Brittain. It’s brilliant that he gets to have his connection with the writer and creator.”

Tell us something about you…

“I love movies like Bullets Over Broadway, I love Woody Allen! Hunger by Steve McQueen, and the classics like Donnie Darko. I’m a big fan of Jack Nicholson and Tilda Swinton. She’s a brilliant actress.

“Music, I like a mix of things. A lot of old acoustic things like Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake. I love Johanna Newton, Laura Marling, Crystal Castles, Phoenix, and Two Door Cinema Club. I also love a bit of Beyoncé, and a bit of Rihanna. I love the diva pop stars, the big ballsy girls and girls with attitude!”

Skins returns at 10pm on Thursday 27th January 2011 on E4.