(Interview on 17/02/12 as appeared on The National Student)
With one successful series already under her belt, Freya is still living the dream. As a keen follower of Skins right from the early days having the opportunity to join was like “loving a band, listening to their music, then suddenly being allowed to go on tour with them!” But with such a big respect for Skins legacy, it was obviously very daunting having to step into such large shoes and yet she’s done it well, even taking the sex scenes in her stride…
Freya has a very rational approach to this, it’s simply something actors have to do! “Look at Michael Fassbender’s graphic sex scenes in Shame! Of course it’s a slight dread, but a bigger challenge is almost better. But it’s not just the sex Skins depicts teen "issues" such as parties and alcohol, but recent episodes have also featured death and physical violence…surely this isn’t common in an average teenager’s life? “Skins tries to catch on to relatable issues, but it’s a drama, so it needs drama!” says Freya, explaining that Laya (who plays Liv) has the perfect theory: “it’s all the crazy stories you hear at school apparently happening to various people, all mushed up, happening to one friendship group!”
The fact that such a wide audience (including friends and family) see her explicit scenes is part of the process to Freya.
“Once they’re out, they’re out and at the end of the day they’re there to move the story along.”
Her nerves prior to filming have also settled, “It depends completely on the scene and the awkwardness and mindset of the character…an hour in you kind of get over it!”
She describes a certain ease and confidence filming this series compared to the first series, she’s gained confidence and a certain know-how and is better at tapping into the right emotions. Yet she still admits to nerves. “I’m apprehensive in the sense that I want to give a good performance.” Hence having a whole episode focused on her is both exciting and daunting; “Acting is what I want to do, therefore it’s good to showcase my talent, but yes, the pressure’s on!”
It’s obvious she is committed to her cause. “I loved filming the scenes and it’s always a lot of hard work that goes into it. It’s great to watch it back and remember the filming process!” But it’s not all smooth sailing…Mini’s episode deals with some big and emotional issues, not always easy to take in your stride. “I’d just filmed a really intense crying scene and then went straight into a more chatting and upbeat one and I just couldn’t do it! It really affected me, to achieve raw emotion you have to invest in it; it takes it out of you, and immersion becomes more and more believable…”
Yet Freya makes it very clear that she’s different to Mini, far more “gangly and awkward” whilst Mini is a “cold fish!” She explains that she doesn’t do bitchy, she “doesn’t have the balls” to pull it off and would definitely crumble! Then again when she started playing her, she considered herself and Mini to be polar opposites, but since, she’s discovered that she’s a bit like Mini in the sense that she likes to know what’s going on! Even so, in her daily routine nothing has changed. “When I started, I though I’d have to polish up, but I’m still scruffy! It’s important to hold onto your identity.”
Since she hit our screens, Mini has developed quite a bit from a secretly insecure virgin with body issues, to a more promiscuous young lady, accused of ‘not being able to love anything.’ This is where her episode on Monday comes in: “she’s been carrying a big burden on her own and a big secret is revealed. In the past she’s been let down and deceived by men, so she’s learning to trust and prove she’s independent…she can have a man on the side!”
Maybe this is why her clothing has changed slightly? The Skins costumes, Freya explains, “emulate what the character is going through.” Her comment that “when at end of day you’re taking off your costume, you’re also taking off your character’s skin” proves that acting is something that she is clued-up and serious about, and her stint on Skins has only validated this, giving her the valuable experience of acting on a professional basis; her ideal career.
A member of The National Youth Theatre, Freya has a sound knowledge of the industry and her practical take on it is amazing. “Whilst it’s important to embody your character, you can’t isolate yourself from real life, method acting is good, but there’s a fine line between it and losing yourself…” Perhaps this is why she has stayed so down-to-earth? “It’s a hard industry, so hit-and-miss…so it’s important to keep other things going.” Clearly this isn’t a problem for her, juggling filming with finishing her A-levels. “I’m just a bit geeky in that sense, so I worked hard.”
Fair play to her, maybe it's something Mini could look into…