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Last Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008, 08:18 GMT
Talking Shop: Skins' April Pearson
April Pearson
Pearson was cast after producers visited her school in Bristol
E4's flagship teen drama Skins caused controversy last year with scenes of teenagers having sex and taking drugs.

The new series, which features guest appearances from Shane Ritchie and Bill Bailey, offers more of the same.

April Pearson, 19, who plays Michelle, talks about Skins parties, finding fame and her grandparents' reaction to the series.


You were born and bred in Bristol. Is that the same for many other cast members?

I think five of us are born and bred in Bristol and the rest are from elsewhere but I think the idea at the beginning was to try and get as many Bristolians as possible.

It adds another layer of reality to it because we all know where the Skins crew hang out - I think it does help.

During filming, the Bristolians stay at home and the rest of them stay in a very posh hotel. We try and hang out here as much as possible but we got told off a few times for doing that.

Are you friends with the other actors?

Of course. Now the bulk of the filming's finished we're just trying to keep in touch and I think we probably will.

When we were filming we used to hang out all the time and we'd always try to go out as a group. As the show got more popular, it was obviously a bit more difficult when we were trying to move around as a group because people kept recognising us.

The cast of Skins
The cast were all teenagers when they filmed the first series
Were there any cast parties and were they as wild as the ones on the show?

I'm not sure whether they were as wild. But we're a group of young teenagers who got together so it got pretty frisky, if you will.

What is it like filming those trademark Skins parties?

Generally party scenes, although they look fun, go on all day because there's so many angles you have to get.

In fact, they're generally quite tiresome after a while. In between each shot you just stand around and then dance again when they say action.

What was the wildest party you went to as a teenager?

Probably a house party where someone's house got completely trashed. I think every teenager's been to a party like that.

Your character Michelle split up with her boyfriend Tony (played by About A Boy star Nicholas Hoult) in the last series. Will they be getting together in series two?

I couldn't possibly divulge that information. But Michelle definitely has a few liaisons in series two and whether that's with Tony or with another member of the cast, I will leave up to you.

April Pearson
My parents have got used to it now
April Pearson on Skins' racier moments
In series one, Tony messes about with other girls but Michelle keeps going back to him. Was Michelle right to do that?

I think she was blinded by the fact that he was the coolest guy around and the hottest guy in town and she felt like she had to grab hold of him and keep hold of him.

I wouldn't have if it was me. I think I would have chucked him miles before he messed me around that much.

What can we expect from the second series?

We're all a lot better because, for most of us, Skins was our first ever job. So we know the score and we're acting a bit better - from my point of view anyway.

Can you tell us a secret from the new series?

There are two deaths. They could be main cast, they could be ancillary cast, it could be anyone. I'm not saying more than that.

How well do you think Skins tackles teenage issues?

I think that's one of the best things about it, it's definitely true and honest and faces issues that teenagers have without trying to make it a morality issue.

It's not trying to force it down your neck and saying "this is the moral of the story, you don't have to do this".

A party scene from Skins
Skins was up for best drama at the Edinburgh TV Festival awards
How has your life been changed by Skins?

I wouldn't ever say it's changed in a bad way. It's opened up so many doors and taken me on the career path I've always wanted.

I get recognised in town a bit I wouldn't say it's hindering my life in any way.

Sometimes it gets a bit annoying when you just want to go get some milk, but I haven't ever had anyone coming up to me and saying they hate me and they want me to die.

What do your parents and grandparents think of the show?

My parents have got used to it now. Right in the beginning, it was a bit of a shock but they've learnt to love it, I think. As for my grandparents, I'm not sure they're coming around to the idea right now.

I think they're looking forward to me doing something a little less controversial and hopefully that will happen.

April Pearson was talking to BBC Entertainment reporter Liam Allen. The new series of Skins starts on E4 on 11 February at 2200 GMT.

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