EXCLUSIVE: Lily Loveless and Kat Prescott talk “Skins Fire”

There is perhaps no fictional lesbian couple more universally adored than Naomi Campbell and Emily Fitch from generation two of UK’s cult hit Skins. For two seasons, Lily Loveless and Kat Prescott made us laugh and cry and swoon and break our laptops as we rewound Noamily’s story to watch it over and over and over again. They fought for each other, they fought with each other, and in the end, they both realized they’d loved each other for as long as they could remember. Starting next week, Skins will air its final season, which will consist of three mini-movies comprising two episodes each. The first, Skins Fire, is the story of Effy Stonem’s adult life, and both Naomi and Emily are a part of that life. Lily and Kat chatted with me last week about what it was like to return to Skins after growing up, about their love for their characters, and about the lasting impact of Naomily.

All photos courtesy of E4

AfterEllen: When we talk about Naomi Campbell and Emily Fitch, we are talking about two of the most iconic gay characters in the history of television. Even now, years after the Skins series four finale, they are as beloved as they ever were. Maybe even more so. Did you have any qualms about stepping back into these roles?
Lily Loveless: I didn’t have any hesitation. It was a bit surprising because we thought our time was over when series four ended. Kat and I were ready to jump right in once we found out what was happening with our characters. We said yes right away and were basically just waiting for the scripts to be written, really.

Kat Prescott: When I first heard about it, I really wondered if it was the right thing to do. You know, it’s been three years since I played Emily. But when I read the script, I really liked it. I liked that it wasn’t just a carry-on from the last series. I loved that it told the story of Naomi and Emily growing up, of them being adults. Just being able to see where Emily and Naomi are now was really nice, so I definitely wanted to do it.

AE: What was the toughest part of picking back up with Naomi and Emily?
Lily: On the first day, I really felt out of my depth. I had sort of forgotten how to play her. Bryan Elsley told us not to watch any of the old episodes, so on the first day, I found it quite hard. But by the second scene on the first day, I felt like I was riding a bike. I slipped right back into being Naomi.

Kat: What was difficult for me was seeing these characters the same way as I did when I was a 16.  I’m 21 now, so Emily and I are the same age. I think that’s part of it. But Kaya and Lily and I have grown so close now it was a bit weird seeing them as Effy and Naomi again.

AE: What was the best part?
Lily: Naomi was really my first character, and it was nice to be able to return to playing someone I cared about so much. And I got to work with Kat and Kaya, who are two of my best friends.

Kat: For me, it was the closure, I think. When we finished series four there was so much talk about a film or something to close it all up, so it was nice to be able to revisit Emily and find out where she is and what she’s been up to — she’s doing a publishing internship in New York — and leave her at a place where you can make your own assumptions about where she goes. It is open ended, but you know that Emily has found herself.

AE: When you were playing Naomi and Emily when you were teenagers, you both seemed to care about them quite a lot. Do you still have an affection for them?
Lily: Oh, yes. I love Naomi.

Kat: Yes. Yes, of course.