Ruta Gedmintas

Steffan Hill

You might recognise the classically trained Ruta Gedmintas from TV favourites The Tudors and Spooks. Now she’s playing the fiesty Frankie in a drama about the lives and loves of four twenty-something lesbians living in Scotland. We caught up with Ruta and got the lowdown on this fab new series...

Can you tell us a bit about your character in Lip Service?

I play Frankie who is an impulsive and spontaneous photographer. She’s a troublemaker!

She sounds like quite a handful! Are you like your character?

She is very different from me in some ways and quite similar in other ways. We both think a lot and are both quite sensitive. But we’re different in the way we deal with people – she normally ends up hurting them. She is quite brutal in her outlook on life.

There aren’t many all-lesbian character dramas on British TV. Was it exciting to be part of Lip Service?

A lot of lesbian dramas are about the revelation of the characters being gay and coming out. The great thing about Lip Service is that it is about three women who just happen to be gay and the drama is about what else goes on in their lives.

There are few quite raunchy scenes in the show. Did you get embarrassed filming them?

I have done sex scenes in various jobs and they’re always embarrassing! It’s strange to be intimate on set with crew members watching and it is always awkward but on Lip Service it was a really nice group of people so wasn’t as bad as it could have been

You had to cut off your long locks for the role. Was that hard?

I have had my hair long my whole life and always wanted short hair. Every girl who has long hair dreams of cutting it off but never does! Drastically cutting it off would have prevented me from getting work. So it was a great excuse when they asked me to do it for the role of Frankie. It was definitely liberating and it did make me feel a bit different and helped be feel a bit more like Frankie!

In The Tudors (she played Elizabeth Blount) you had to wear period costume. And as Rachel in Spooks you looked more modern and casual. Which do you prefer?

At the moment I’m filming a period drama and the dresses really make you stand differently and are quite uncomfortable. Frankie’s clothes in Lip Service are quite close to what I normally wear, a bit rocky and relaxed.

Acting’s a precarious career. Did you have a plan B?

If I wasn’t an actor I’d live in a hut in somewhere teaching kids how to paint and to have a simple and very chilled life. Acting is a very complex life!

What’s next for you?

At the moment I’m filming another TV drama called The Borgias – it’s about a Spanish family that came to power in Italy in the 15th century. They’re very corrupt and dangerous! It’s great – I’ve been doing lots of horse riding and dancing.

You are obviously very busy. How do you relax?

I love spending time with family. I like to paint. And taking pictures – like Frankie!

Catch Lip Service on BBC 3 on October 13th at 10.30pm

By Marisa Bate