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Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 13:00 UK
Young actors find life after Skins

by Kev Geoghegan
Newsbeat entertainment reporter

Dev Patel, Hannah Murray and Joseph Dempsie
Dev Patel (left) has done a film with director Danny Boyle

It was a bit of a shocker when the makers of hit series Skins announced that, with the exception of just a few characters, the entire cast was being axed at the end of the second series.

And so, Chris died of a brain haemorrhage, Maxxie and Anwar boarded a bus bound for London, Sid followed Cassie to New York and Michelle and Tony headed off to university.

But as they all sailed off into their respective sunsets, what has become of the teenage actors who were plucked from obscurity to star in the show?

The cast met up at the opening night of a new play in London's West End starring one of their number, Welsh actress Aimee-Ffion Edwards - who played the ever-so-slightly deranged Sketch.

She's now playing the character of Raggedy Anne in SH*T M*X, which is a bit like a south London based episode of Skins set on the stage.

She told Newsbeat: "Since Skins it's been mental, things really changed in my life and I really wanted to do some theatre.

"I'm so glad I got the chance to do this because she's a great character and it's so different to Sketch.

"And it was good to play a Londoner so I don't get typecast as the Welsh girl.

"I'd still like to do a bit of comedy or period, just something completely different."

But what have the other actors been up to?

Dev Patel

Dev Patel played the sex-obsessed Anwar in Skins. It was his first ever acting job and turns out he caught the eye of a certain British filmmaker called Danny Boyle, director of Trainspotting and 28 Days Later.

Patel takes the central role in Slumdog Millionaire, the story of an impoverished Indian teenager becoming a contestant on the Hindi version of Who Wants to be A Millionaire?

Working somewhere like Mumbai was so chaotic, there were different challenges everyday
Dev Patel

He said: "I was filming in India for four or five months, everyone was so passionate on set. The scale of it was so different.

"Working somewhere like Mumbai was so chaotic, there were different challenges every day and working with someone like Danny Boyle really whips your butt into shape."

The film was shown at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win the Cadillac People's Choice Award, voted for by audiences

He said: "I'm very proud of doing Skins, it put us on the radar. I wish I could have done it now that I'm more experienced as an actor."

Larissa Wilson and April Pearson

Larissa Wilson
Larissa Wilson has played a part in a British horror film

Sadly, not all of the cast have been so fortunate in their film choices.

April Pearson, aka Michelle, and Larissa Wilson who played Jal, both star in a new British horror film called Tormented.

It hardly treads new ground as a bullied teenager comes back from the dead to take revenge on his classmates.

It also stars teen heart-throb Alex Pettyfer from the Stormbreaker movie.

Nicholas Hoult and Joe Dempsie

The cast were largely inexperienced when they began work on the first series of Skins, with three notable exceptions. Joe Dempsie, Daniel Kaluuya and Nicholas Hoult.

Hoult's most famous role prior to Skins was opposite Hugh Grant in About A Boy. Now he's cranking it up a dramatic notch, starring opposite Kenneth Branagh.

He said: "I've got something called Wallander starting on BBC1 in a little bit. We got to go to Sweden to film it.

Nicholas Hoult
Nicholas Hoult is to appear alongside Kenneth Branagh

"He's a really top bloke and he plays a detective but I can't say too much about my character."

Surprisingly, Hoult admits he has barely watched either of the two series of Skins.

He said: "I watched about four episodes altogether, from the two series.

"In a few years time to look back on it would be nice but when you're working on it and you know all the people, I never really enjoy watching the stuff that I'm in."

"It's a little known fact that at any time of the day, Nicholas Hoult is on four different TV channels", joked Dempsie.

He has just finished working opposite Michael Sheen in the movie, The Damned United. It's about legendary football manager Brian Clough's 44-day reign in charge of Leeds United.

But did he have to brush up on his football skills?

Dempsie said: "The guy I'm playing is called Duncan McKenzie who was a bit of a showman and technically gifted, so it's a good job I didn't have to play an awful lot.

"We did some football training, but then they saw that we were all crap that they just used archive footage anyway."

Dan Kaluuya

Dan Kaluuya is one of the few former cast members who is still active with series three of Skins but now he'll be working behind the scenes.

Kaluuya wrote one of the episodes from the second series and is writing another episode for the new characters.

It's a new generation... it should attract new fans
Dan Kaluuya

He admitted that he doesn't know if fans of the show will take to the new series

He said: "It's a new generation, the kids that were in primary school haven't seen the show and it should attract new fans.

"But the fans that loved the first two series? You just don't know how it will be received. I've seen the rushes though and they're very, very funny."

Outside of the writing, Kaluuya played the young Cass Pennant in the biopic of the former football hooligan turned author.

And taking a bit of a break from acting is Hannah Murray, known to Skins fans as the barking but sweet Cassie.

She's done an episode of Miss Marple and is heading off to Cambridge University to study English.

Series three of Skins is currently being filmed on location in Bristol.



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