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Kicks - Nichola Burley and Kerrie Hayes interview


Interview by Rob Carnevale

KERRIE Hayes and Nichola Burley talk about the appeal of Kicks, a film that explores WAG culture and obsession as seen through the eyes of two teenage girls who kidnap a Liverpool football player.

They also talk about some of their other forthcoming roles and how they’re coping with their own fame at the moment…

Q. Kerrie, what appealed to you about Kicks?
Kerrie Hayes: The focus on celebrity and obsession… the WAG scene and the effects that it has on the two girls in the film really made me want to do it.

Q. And Nichola?
Nichola Burley: When I first read the script you don’t really take it all in. So, at first, I thought it was about the WAG culture and my first thought that maybe it was promoting it because you get a lot of programmes on television that promote it and make them look cool… like Skins, for example. If you actually look at it, though, it’s 17-year-olds doing every drug possible and beating people up and stuff. But then I actually sat down and read it properly and spoke to Lindy [Heymann, the director] and found that it’s actually quite an important story that needed to be told.

Q. How did you go about finding your characters? Did you try and speak to any WAGs, or know any?
Nichola Burley: Well, I think it’s everywhere you look at the moment, so you don’t necessarily need to speak to those people to know what they’re like. I think if you want to be with someone just because they’re a footballer… personally, it’s narrow-minded. I think you should want to be you and achieve something yourself. Live your own dream and not someone else’s because if you take away a title, or a status, then you’re left with a person. And if you’re never with that person because of them, then you’re going to be very sorry if they ever lost what they are about. So, [in order to play someone like that] you’ve just got to forget your own mind for a bit and become this other person.

Kerrie Hayes: Fortunately, for this film we grew up with it, so that helped [laughs]. But we’re not of that mind, so it was about embracing this thing that you find pathetic. But that made it challenging and interesting. By accepting totally what they wanted, however, it made it easier to accept them. You start thinking about the logic of how they think and why they’re doing it.

Q. Did it help having a woman director? Some of the scenes could have become exploitative and seedy… but they don’t.
Nichola Burley: I think Lindy’s whole take on it was very arty. So, very early on in the process of making the film she established that was what she wanted. Everything was about the big blonde hair and the big heels. It wasn’t about the typical WAG look. She focuses a lot on Kerrie’s hands, which are really tiny details but which add a lot to the scene. So, that helped because as soon as you know what type of picture is being painted, they give you all the ingredients and you can work with them and help to create it. It was exciting more than anything.

Q. I gather Kicks was quite an exhausting shoot. You did it in 21 days. Did you go home drained each night?
Kerrie Hayes: You kind of go home some nights and feel a bit lost in your own mind. But you get over that and you understand it’s all part of the process. But it also means you have to eat, sleep that job and that means you can totally be this life [you’re playing] for a little while. Then you can go back to your own life.

Q. Given the intensity of some scenes, what was the mood like on-set? Do you work harder to keep things light in between the takes of some of the more hard-hitting scenes?
Nichola Burley: Do you remember the day we got told off?

Kerrie Hayes: Oh yeah, we got the proper giggles and we were doing quite a serious scene. But we just started laughing. Nichola was making me laugh, in particular, and we couldn’t stop. We were supposed to be upset and we just weren’t.

Nichola Burley: It can be hilarious. Sometimes, you know you’re not supposed to laugh and that you’re going to get told off for laughing, but that makes you laugh even more. Often, you don’t even know what it is that made you start laughing in the first place! You can’t look each other in the eye after a while.

Kerrie Hayes: I remember I had to do that scene looking at the top of Nichola’s head because I couldn’t look her in the eye at all.


Q. How was the kissing scene between you?
Nichola Burley: We were laughing at that as well, weren’t we?

Q. Kerrie, this is your first feature film. So, how was that for you? And as the film is about to open, are there any nerves?
Kerrie Hayes: It was weird because when we filmed it, I thought I’d be a lot more nervous than I was, especially because my role was a lot bigger than I’d done before. But I managed to get over that pretty quickly and was fine. Now that it’s dawned on me that people are now actually going to watch this thing, though, I’m a bit more nervous again [laughs]. I feel a bit exposed in a way.

Q. But it’s started to open doors for you because you’ve also just done the Brighton Rock remake? *Kerrie Hayes: Yeah, I did that last year. It really has opened a lot of doors for me. It’s put me on the film path, which is where I want to be, so I’m glad.

Q. Your role in Streetdance is completely different from this one…
Nichola Burley: Yeah, Carly [in Streetdance] is really focused in a positive way. She’s really determined, strong-minded, strong-willed.

Q. Were you a dancer beforehand?
Nichola Burley: I’ve danced since I was two but I only had six weeks to learn streetdancing! It was so nice to have a positive British film. And Streetdance was made for 3D.

Q. You previously starred in Donkey Punch, which was quite edgy in terms of subject matter… much like Kicks. Do you find you’re drawn more towards edgy material or is it purely about the scripts?
Nichola Burley: No, I just think I’m a bit twisted! [Laughs] No, it’s about the scripts that are around and things that I like. I like the edginess but there’s so much about it’s just what draws you really and what you’re interested in doing at that minute. I’m obviously hoping to do more things like Streetdance, and more commercial things. I’ve got some exciting things coming up, such as Soulboy. I’ve had three this year with Streetdance, Kicks and Soulboy. So, I hope I can keep the momentum going.

Q. What’s it like seeing yourself on screen and on posters, especially with two films out at the same time?
Nichola Burley: It’s amazing. I think you’re very critical of yourself at first. You’re always watching for things, like: “Oh no, did I really pull that face?” Or: “Did I say it that way?” So, you’re very critical of those kinds of things. But the more you watch it, the more you appreciate the film itself and you start to watch it as an audience… and that’s when you start to enjoy it. But it’s strange seeing yourself on poster. You think to yourself: “That’s me!” But it also feels like such an achievement and it makes you want to do it even more.

Read our review of Kicks