F - Roxanne McKee interview
Interview by Rob Carnevale
FORMER Hollyoaks star Roxanne McKee talks about appearing in new British thriller F any why it’s more than just a ‘hoodie horror’ movie.
She also discusses getting into prosthetics as well as her career to date, including the forthcoming ‘raunchy’ BBC drama Lip Service.
Q. What was the appeal of F?
Roxanne McKee: Dressing up in the prosthetics [laughs] and to be a part of something a little bit different, that’s quite far removed from what I’ve done before.
Q. The ‘hoodie horror’ theme is also quite a hot button issue…
Roxanne McKee: It is… it’s about kids getting angry at their teachers and, in turn, the teachers doing everything they can to protect themselves. So, there’s plenty of contemporary resonance.
Q. Do you think merely dismissing it as a ‘hoodie horror’, though, is doing it a disservice?
Roxanne McKee: Yes, because it’s doing a bit more besides. There’s a lot of suspense in it and it’s also about the real and emotional relationship between a father, a daughter and her mother. There’s a lot of dark humour in it, too, especially from the Finlay Robertson character, who plays the creepy janitor. So, there are a lot of other points of interest as well as, obviously, the horror elements.
Q. So, how was getting into those prosthetics?
Roxanne McKee: It was a long process! It took two hours to put them on and a few hours to take them off, and involved solvent remover. I was lying on a table while two people rubbed away the fake skin, which sounds a lot more pleasurable that it really was.
Q. What did you think when you saw yourself that way?
Roxanne McKee: I really needed a lot more make-up [laughs]! It was really freaky, but also fun and exciting to see. It is gruesome and I sent some of the photos of me like that to my agents – one of them said they nearly fell of their chair upon looking at them. I don’t think I’ll be using them as publicity shots in the future [laughs].
Q. What about friends and family? Have they seen it?
Roxanne McKee: My brother’s seen it and he thought it was horrific but brilliant and he really, really enjoyed the film. So, I’ve already managed to please a part of my family.
Q. Did you see it as part of the recent FrightFest audience? How was that experience?
Roxanne McKee: Yeah, I went along to Leicester Square with my brother and it was brilliant to see it with a hardcore horror audience. It’s the best place to see a movie like F and you couldn’t beat the response it got.
Q. Would you do horror again?
Roxanne McKee: Never say never… it was fun to do and I had a really enjoyable time making it.
Q. How much did you learn from your first experience of making a movie?
Roxanne McKee: You’re always learning as an actor… anything you do is a learning experience. It’s the same whether you’re doing film or TV, you have to do the part to the best of your ability, no matter how big or small the role. It’s as simple as that, really. But every bit of work you do is a learning experience – which is the same, I guess, for people in whatever job they do. But with acting, it’s also fun to be able to explore different characters and emotions.
Q. You have several projects coming up – EastEnders: E20, Lip Service [also for the BBC] and HBO’s Game of Thrones…
Roxanne McKee: Yeah, it’s been great. EastEnders: E20 was fun, even though it was a very brief part. But it was nice to be reunited with [executive producer] Brian Kirkwood, who used to be with me on Hollyoaks and is now very much a part of the EastEnders set up. It was really nice seeing him again. But Lip Service is a much bigger thing, which is coming out at the beginning of October, and which is the UK’s answer to The L Word. I’m really excited about that.
Q. Isn’t it raunchy?
Roxanne McKee: It is raunchy. But again it’s something a little different for me and it’s a love story between two people that is really well written. I’m looking forward to seeing how people react to it.
Q. Do you ever get nervous before a film opens or a TV show airs?
Roxanne McKee: I tend not to think about it. I just do the job to the best of my ability and then you have to move on. You have to watch things back to learn from them, but I try not to dwell or worry about what people might think. I don’t read reviews if I can help it.
F is released in cinemas on Friday, September 17, 2010.