You play Bell in the upcoming SKY series Starlings, can you tell us a bit about the series?
It's a heart-warming family comedy drama where there are about eight of us all living in one house so we're sort of busting at the seams. It's based in Matlock in Derbyshire and it's just about quirky family life. It opens with my character in labour, in a birthing pool, so it's about becoming a new mum while having a problematic relationship with the baby's father. There's lots going on but it's nice and gentle and enjoyable as well.
What drew you to the series?
It's just really nice to be in something that's not cynical and I love the kind of programm that makes you laugh. I think it's just got that kind of feel to it and I think people will really enjoy it. There are some mad bits in it as well but I think it's just fun. We all got on really well so hopefully that will have come across, too.
Would you compare yourself to your character, Bell, at all?
I guess I can relate to her. She's just a normal girl really but I think we're quite different in the way that Bell is slightly repressed and she's not very good at communicating. For example, she should just say to Reuben, her boyfriend: "Listen we need to talk, what's going on?" But I think because she's a young mum she's feeling insecure and therefore is quite snappy and a bit mean. I just want to say to her: "Bell, it's alright just talk to him!" But she can't. She's very sweet though, and very likable.
You’ve worked on a number of period dramas – Wuthering Heights, Lark Rise to Candleford – what is that you enjoy about them?
I do love the dressing up! And going back into another world and trying to think about how they would have lived. Also, there's something quite nice about the fact that you can't express yourself fully. With all the modern dramas everything is out there and there's nothing you can't say or do, but there's something quite fun about feeling constrained by the period, and by the corset!
And what was it like working with Tom Hardy in Wuthering Heights?
He's amazing. It was quite weird because he was playing my stepfather who is a bit evil to me so when we were on set he'd get right in my face and was genuinely terrifying. He'd just finished filming Bronson so he was massive with these enormous shoulders! But off set he was really cool. He's a really nice guy and he's doing so well. I think he is really talented.
Are you a fan of fashion?
I love it. I think it's another side of creativity and I love watching what everyone wears and how they put it together, particularly French women because they're just so chic. I'm learning. I feel like I need to hone my style a bit really.
How would you describe your day-to-day style?
I guess quite simple, neutral colours with slim line jeans and little ankle boot. I do have a bit of a love affair with Marilyn Monroe's style but I don't really embrace it. I have worn a Vivienne Westwood dress, which was incredible. I think I'm slightly more suited to that corseted look. I didn't really know her stuff that well before, I guess I had an image of it being quite out there, but it's structurally so beautiful.
Any key style tips?
I think just be yourself. I think just work with what you've got so that you feel comfortable. But don't be afraid of trying something new as well. I think that's always fun.
And you’ve just finished filming Suspension of Disbelief, what else is in store for you?
There are a few things up in the air but nothing signed, sealed and delivered. It would be quite nice to do a play at some point, although I'm loving film and TV work so I'll go wherever the interesting characters lie.
By Sarah Smith