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I TALK TO Yasmin Paige & Jessie Cave

Last week I attended the launch of Glue and caught up with Yasmin Paige and Jessie Cave to find out more about E4's newest series and their characters Ruth and Annie.

When you think of great drama, E4 may not be the obvious channel you turn to, but when Glue arrives on Monday, this is all about to change. Yes they've had Skins and My Mad Fat Diary in the past, but in my opinion, Glue is way better than either of those. Glue is aimed at a slightly older audience than Skins and My Mad Fat Diary, so when I read the description 'Skins in the country' I worry a little bit, because having seen the first episode, Glue is much more than that.

The script is brilliantly clever and if I were to make a more accurate comparison, it would have to be 'Broadchurch for a younger audience'. Glue is set in Overton, a tiny village in the English countryside, and when the body of a local teenage boy is found underneath the wheels of a tractor, the villagers in this remote community, his friends, are forced to open up their world and watch their secrets spill out. Secrets that will change their particular brand of country life forever.

The 8-part series features a largely young cast, and starring alongside Jordan Stephens from Rizzle Kicks, who makes his acting debut in Glue are the brilliant Charlotte Spencer (Angelina Ballerina),  Yasmin Paige (Pramface), Jessie Cave (Harry Potter), Callum Turner (Leaving), Billy Howle (New Worlds), Faye Marsay (Fresh Meat), Tommy McDonnell (Chasing Shadows) and Tommy Knight (Waterloo Road).

First of all, what is Glue all about?

Yasmin: Glue is about a group of young people who are living in this town in the countryside, and basically it's a murder mystery. So someone in their friendship group gets murdered very early on, and it's about how that affects the rests of the guys and how the murder unravels.

Jessie: (To Yasmin) I think you hit all the points. It's just so hard to explain... I think it's quite exciting to be in a show and to talk about a show that I would actually want to watch and not be able to describe it. I think that's a good thing. I think so many shows are so straightforward and spoon feed an audience and you can't do that.

Essentially Glue is a crime drama, how does it compare to other crime dramas on telly?

Jessie: But it's more than that, it isn't just a crime drama, it's about ambition, it's about love, relationships, family, there's a romany side to it... horses! It's about so much more than just a crime drama.

Yasmin: If you think about the countryside and their town and their lives, it's almost like a world of its own. It's a world that's unique to them and where things to people in the city might not be important, but in that town and to those people small things that happen every day are just so huge.

Jessie: Also it's character driven. Each of the characters in it has their own story and their own secret, or something to solve.

Jessie, tell me a bit about your character Annie then...

My character is lovely on the surface. She seems lovely and I was quite excited because this is my first drama, but she's actually quite funny which is annoying (laughs)... She's best mates with Tina (Charlotte Spencer) whose story is a big part of Glue as a whole.

But the reason I find Annie interesting is because she's not necessarily overly ambitious, or wanting to get out of where she is, she's happy as she is and is quite comfortable with herself. I think that's quite a nice point to make, that not everyone has to be striving to big places and conquer big things. That's not to say that she isn't hugely affected by what happens with this murder, and it shakes her completely.

Yasmin, what can you tell me about Ruth?

Yasmin: Ruth is a young police officer, she's on her probation really and basically she gets promoted because of her Romany background. She gets promoted to be a translator on this really big case because she can speak the Romany language, and because the Romany community throughout their history are know for not co-operating with the police. So she gets bumped up to improve their chance of getting some answers from the community. When something like this happens to their people they tend to shut off and try and fix it themselves.

She's very ambitious and she's young and she knows the group of friends and she was friends with them, but at the beginning they were very separate, living very separate lives for various reasons which will come out later on in the show. She's deeply affected by the murder because it's something very personal to her, but at the same time she's caught in the middle because she's trying to remain professional and trying to keep up with her new life but her old life keeps holding her back. She's very strong, but even the strongest people can break.

Glue is written by Jack Thorne, were you a fan of his beforehand? And did he spend much time on set?

Jessie: I really love Jack Thorne. He's such a lovely man as well, he's really funny and really warm and I think just a genius. He's really great at writing for actors, I mean obviously that's the goal but you feel everything he writes so much more than other scripts I read. I'm in awe of him really.

The most interesting thing about this job is that we didn't get the scripts hugely in advance, we got the scripts as we filmed. What was thrilling was that as he was on set and as we were talking to him, we were informing in a way his brain and what he was going to write next, and that was very exciting.

I know from him directly that my character Annie, was a much smaller part at the beginning than she turned out to be, she kind of grew as he went along - everyone's characters developed.

And Yasmin what about you? What attracted you to the role in the first place?

Yasmin: The scripts were lovely. For me it was quite a hard decision because I'm at university at the moment so I was very reluctant to leave university because obviously it's a big commitment, and it was during my exam period. I sort of went up for it thinking - "Oh it'll be great to get it, but I probably won't be able to do it anyway because of university."

When I did find out that I got it, it was a tough decision to make but when I met with Jack (Thorne) and spoke to him, it sounded so exciting and so different and interesting that I would make it work!

It's quite a young cast on Glue, did you all get on off-screen?

Jessie: We really get on yeah. You don't really spend that much time with people really. I've never been a regular in a series before so I've never had the chance to make an impact on anybody or for anyone to make an impact on me really. On Glue I had time... they could get to know me. I didn't need to make a really good first impression, I could just ease myself into it.

What was it like to work with Jordan Stephens from Rizzle Kicks?

Jessie: I didn't know anything about Jordan, I didn't know he was in Rizzle Kicks, I didn't know how famous he was. I met him and I remember thinking - "Who is this guy? This guy has got something. This guy is going to be successful." And then I found out and thought - "Oh damn! He's already really successful!" (Laughs). He was a dream to meet.

Yasmin: He was lovely. I know Rizzle Kicks, I love their music and I think they're great. I didn't know that he was in it and when it came to the read through and I saw Jordan immediately 'Down With The Trumpets' came into my head. I was excited because he's super talented and I really wanted to meet him and say hi!

When I did work with him and spend time with him on set, he's the sweetest... intelligent, fun, energetic, when you're feeling low he can raise you up within minutes.

He's super talented, he's got so many aspects about him and he's got a lovely mum!

You may call them lazy, but inevitably people will want to compare Glue to Skins, same writer, young people, drugs. Do you think this is a fair comparison?

Yasmin: What's that other show with that old woman who used to solve murders? (After some time thinking we remember...) Vera! It's more like that!

Jessie: My Mad Fat Diary I absolutely love, it's E4, and Glue has some of the tones to that in terms of it having a slightly darker side to it. Also, I think people only compare Glue to Skins because it's about young people doing quite reckless things. When Skins first came on it was quite shocking, and different and addictive for audience as well, not just young people. The parent characters were great too. I think that's a side of Glue that will obviously be similar because I think it is quite addictive...

Yasmin: I'm not sure if I'm correct in saying this, but Skins is a slightly different age group. I think that makes a huge difference, because we're in a bit of a different place. I think our characters are in a different place, we're a lot more mature.

Jessie: We don't have the umbrella of being a teenager.

What is it about Glue that you think will appeal to an E4 audience? 

Jessie: It looks great. Because visually it's so beautiful. Not in terms of like us! (Laughs)

Yasmin: Our cinematographers were amazing and visually it's so engaging. When I first watched the shots it was gorgeous, it really brought the country life to life.

Jessie: The story as well. It's a beautiful story, it's like a jigsaw, you want to work it out.

Do you think it'll be quite easy for viewers to work out who the murderer is?

Jessie: Well I'm an idiot, but I didn't work it out.

Yasmin: No. It's quite hard... I was shocked and I think people will be shocked. The murder mystery is at the heart of it, it makes it super tense and sort of wuite scary. There are a lot of scary moments in it, but at the same time there's such tenderness with their relationships. I hope that people connect with it and enjoy it.

Glue starts Monday 15th September at 10pm on E4


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