Where do you envision Effy has been since we last saw her?
I think she went to university and did all the things I would have liked to have done. She probably did quite well academically, but then got bored and moved down to London with Naomi. I think it’s all been a lot harder and slower than they expected it to be, so when we first find her she’s just in limbo, with nothing really happening in her life.
What are the themes in Skins Fire?
The main theme is Effy and Naomi’s friendship; how it grows, how it changes and the kind of struggles that they go through together. The story is about a lot of different things including friendship, love and redemption but ultimately it’s them finding themselves in the world. They are trying to work out what it means to grow up, how you’re supposed to know when you’ve become an adult and what you should do with your life. It’s hard to work all that out when you’re twenty-something. I certainly haven’t.
Did you ever think you’d return to Skins?
When I said goodbye to Effy three years ago, I cried my eyes out. It was really difficult for all of us to say goodbye as it was our first job. It was hard to go into the world and start auditioning as real actors. Having to pay bills was rather scary too.
I didn’t think Effy was ever going to return and I was really nervous about bringing her back. It took a lot of convincing because she’s so precious to me and such an important part of who I am. Skins is actually a part of who I am as a person, so I was really focused on making sure the scripts and the storylines were right.
In your opinion, what makes Skins so unique?
I think the fact that the episodes are written by young people is a big part of it. Even though the scripts go on many travels before it’s finished and done, they’ve always involved young people. Even if it’s Bryan writing the script, he would always ask his son and daughter what they think about it. They are always made relevant to people my age. The most important thing for me is that Skins represents the lives of young people. It doesn’t try to preach to them give or them a moral to the story. It quite simply puts the situation on the table and allows you to decide whether the characters are actually in the right or wrong. I think young people really respect that and gravitate toward it for that reason.
What is Effy’s final journey?
She’s been on so many journeys! It goes back to the moment when you want to know who you are in life, which is something that I’ve struggled with quite a lot. I found myself not knowing if I was an adult, teenager or child. There were days when I felt really mature but still I’d still cover my head and crying at night. Now she’s actually in the real world, she wants to work hard, be successful and do well.