Great LezBritain: Interview with Natasha O’Keefe of “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.

Hands up who’s missing Lip Service? We feel your pain. You’ve most likely watched the DVD a fair few times, you’re currently stalking/going to see Heather Peace gigging around the UK, Frankie is still your computer screen-saver and every now and then you still press play on your download of Roxanne McKee saying “Turn over.” But try as you might, you can’t shake off these Tuesday Blues. Even Gillian McKeith’s pseudo fainting episode and Saturday night fixes of Minogue and Cole can’t stop you wondering: “For goodness sake, what happens next?”

Unfortunately, we can’t help you with any of that. Instead, we suggest you just pull yourself together until Series Two and maybe take up a hobby, maybe knitting or the likes? Or, alternatively, you could read this smashing interview with Natasha O’Keefe aka Sadie aka the Artful Dodgeress.

You may remember how much we loved the Dodgeress and all of her gurning, klepto, and morally bereft ways. And we were delighted by how many of you Tweeted us to say that you too had a soft or hard spot for Sadie. You said, “Why don’t you girls interview Natasha?”  And we thought, “Well alright , because it’s probably time to stop refreshing the ‘turn over’ scene and write another column.”

So here it is, and we are pleased as punch to tell you that Natasha is an absolute diamond of a girl and not at all like mad Sadie although just because we didn’t *see* her steal anything or shag a tasty blonde on the floor of the cafe, doesn’t mean she didn’t when our backs were turned. Obviously this is a joke but, Harriet Braun, if Sadie is not in Series Two, then it’s no joke that we will be most upset. We’ve asked everyone this question, so we must also ask you what your audition process was like.
Natasha O’Keefe: For the actual audition I really went for it, I dressed up in some leathers, blacked up my eyes a bit and messed up my hair. It was my first television job so I did feel quite naïve and didn’t really think too much about it again afterwards. When I got invited to go to Glasgow for the recall, I remember sitting in a room with Ruta [Gedmintas] and all the executives thinking: “This is all very scary.” After the recall I was invited to go for a cup of tea with Ruta and then later that day I was offered the part and found myself sitting in a room with around 60 people doing the read-through. So that was very much a whirlwind of a day.

AE: That sounds a brilliant day. What were your first thoughts on Sadie when you read about her?
NO: Straight away I thought this one is so full of character. I had a sense of her cocky attitude right away. Even in her second scene, when she is reluctant to speak to Frankie in the café and she doesn’t want to reveal too much, you can see that Sadie is just hardcore and I think immediately got her as someone who was dark, witty and fun.

AE: We don’t ever find out too much about Sadie outside of her relationship with Frankie. Did you create much of your own backstory for her?
NO: I didn’t have much time to develop much of a story for her, but I always saw her as someone that was very much a thrill-seeker, a drug-taker, a kleptomaniac and read up on those personality types. I also created a scrapbook of loads of words and pictures of what I thought encapsulated her and I would often refer to that.

AE: Did you and Frankie talk much before filming about how you were going to make certain scenes authentic?
NO: Because it was such a whirlwind audition process for me I didn’t really get a chance to know Ruta that well beforehand plus I didn’t join filming until episode two so we really just got to know each other as we went. We did have a few conversations in her flat over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.