Wonderland 2013

IN PROFLE: HANNAH MURRAY

Ahead of Skins: Pure debuting on E4 tonight, In Profile shot Hannah Murray aka Cassie, teen TV-dom’s most messed-up (and best) take on the manic pixie dream girl.

Once described as the Ophelia of Skins – but twice as mad – Cassie (Hannah Murray) was one of the most beloved characters off the iconic E4 show. Who can forget that scene with Sid on the trampoline? Celluloid teen magic, we tell you. To mark Cassie’s return to our screens in Skins: Pure, we caught up with actress Hannah Murray to find out what she’s been up to, and what it’s like resurrecting your best-known character.

You actually worked pretty closely with Skins creator Bryan Elsley on your episode. What was that like?
Bryan kind of knew I’d want to be involved in a creative level. We’d meet up every month or so and to start off with what was very much just general chats about the character, his ideas about the story, my experiences being 23 and living in London, and my friends’ experiences, various things we both felt it should be about and what the themes should be.

Other than being able to contribute to the script, why were you so keen to revisit Cassie?
It was that challenge to play the same person, that that much time has passed so they really aren’t the same person. Anyone from 18-23 changes massively. I felt finding the right balance between the new her and the old her was really interesting; it gave me this freedom, really. Whatever I needed those five years to be they could be them.

You’ve gone on to appear in Game of Thrones, another cult TV show – tell us about your role as Gilly.
It’s kind of about this journey, her leaving with the baby. What I love about it is that everything is so stripped down to the most basic of emotions for my character. She wants to save this baby’s life and nothing else really matters, it’s instinctive and animalistic. The world she was in was so shrunken down. When she leaves, that’s the first time she’s ever left — that’s one of the things that’s so beautiful about her journey.

You’ve also got two new projects coming up, both by firsttime directors: Lily And Kat by Michael Preysler and God Help The Girl, which is by Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch. What was it like being directed by with them?
Whereas Michael’s my age, Stuart is so well established as a creative person. They’re both very exciting people to work with. You just feel very lucky to be on someone’s first film, to be with them at the start of their career. And they’re both people who I think are really talented I’m really excited to see what they do next. When I remember my first job, there’s something special about that that you don’t quite get back and to be in someone’s first project you feel so happy. I just felt so lucky to be part of such a special experience for them both.

What kind of characters would you love to play?
I’d love to play a baddie. I just think it seems really dishonest to try and make characters likeable. When I read scripts where you can see that they’re working so hard to make you like the characters, then the characters feels to me like they’re no longer real people. I’m really fascinated by watching people do despicable things. So many people are very selfishly motivated. I think you can learn a lot more from watching people do wrong things than watching people do right things.

So, what future plans do you have?
I always read interviews when I was younger with really successful actors and they’d go from job to job to job, and I always thought that’d be amazing. I mean it’s difficult on a practical level, you don’t spend that much time at home, but I think that’s why we all want to do this, to be rushing around the place playing three different places at once. I’d like to do as many different things as I can do. Film and theatre and television, everything mixed up!

  • Interview/Words by Paul Craig
  • Published by Wonderland Magazine (2013)
  • Source: Wonderland