Great LezBritain: Interview with Heather Peace from “Lip Service”

Great LezBritian” is a fortnightly stroll through the very best of
British lesbo-centric entertainment and culture. Plus there will be
some jolly good interviews with the top ladies who are waving the flag
for gay UK.

One thing has been clear since Lip Service aired its second episode last week: You all love a bit of DS Sam Murray, a.k.a. the hot cop, a.k.a. Heather Peace. Sam’s stability and self-respect, plus her strong repertoire of sexual antics already have a lot of viewers fantasizing about hook-ups, pat downs and disorderly conducts.

We first met Heather back in January, not long after Lip Service had completed filming, in a quaint little coffee shop in the epicentre of Soho, London’s rainbow mothership. Within the first moments of meeting her, we could see that she was a wickedly funny person with a little bit of the DS’s swagger, whose passion for the show started before she had even read a script.

We spoke to Heather about playing Sam, being the only lesbian in the cast, being chosen to play the butch one, and her thoughts on a second series (season) of Lip Service. So tell us how was Lip Service for you.

Heather Peace: It was my favourite ever job. It’s about a group of gay girls but ultimately it is a love story, and although some people will tune in for titillation value, I think they will soon get over that and see that it’s about people, love and friendship. I am really proud of it.

I am hoping that Lip Service will cross the same sort of boundaries as Brokeback Mountain, in the way that you forget you are watching two guys, and it just becomes about their love. I hope people will just see Lip Service as a love story and forget about gender.

AE: Tell us a bit about the casting process.

HP: Well, we all went for the Frankie part. Almost every actress in the country went for Frankie. And then they asked me to read for Sam and I thought it was a really great role. Harriet [Braun, the show’s creator] told me she really liked me for that part.

Because there isn’t that much work around at the moment, the producers really had their pick of everyone. Where you would typically have 20 actresses going for a part, you will now get 60. I had actually just been offered Coronation Street, but I really wanted to do Lip Service, so I called Harriet to get an answer early and I ended up being the first person to be cast.

AE: How do you view the character of Sam?

HP: Well, funnily enough, at the audition, I remember saying, “I can do this part standing on my head,” but you still have to read for it and hopefully you can then nail it.

Sam is sort of estranged from the main group. You don’t really know about her friends or much else about her. The main thing is that she’s Cat’s partner and is then involved in the love triangle with Frankie.

They wanted Sam to be a bit butch, so I was the only one that didn’t get to wear any make-up on screen. I only got a tiny bit of base and no mascara – so I don’t look particular glamorous.