An interview with Kathryn Prescott

AMC: Emily has some serious mother issues, doesn’t she?
KP: Ithink so, yeah, and she probably had dad issues as well. Because Jenna is so feisty and the way she is, her dad is quite reserved and quite passive and that probably annoys Emily because no one is sticking up for her.

AMC: She certainly acquires the ability to stand up for herself, but judging from the shooting scripts for series four, she sort of swings to the other extreme by becoming rather controlling, possessive and jealous. Do you have any thoughts about the way the editing softened Emily’s character by eliminating or toning down scenes that portrayed those aspects of her?
KP: I forget what we shoot and then when I see it, I mean when someone reminds me we that shot something else—I don’t know, I guess maybe it makes Emily easier to loveif she is not ever like, ‘What are you doing?’, possessive. But obviously people are like that. Even if you’re the most timid person in the world, if you’re like really in love with someone, you go crazy if they’re with someone, if you see them talking to someone else. I don’t know why they [the production team] axed only things like that. I definitely think it would add more to her character. Or maybe they just thought I was really bad in the scene.

AMC: Perhaps they just felt that the scenes didn’t really offer anything new or important.
KP: Yeah.

AMC: Ido wonder how our perceptions of Emily might differ if we had seen her lashing out at Jenna, Katie and Naomi in a far more aggressive way than what’s shown in the version that aired.
KP: I definitely think less people would be on her side. I think of Emily as a certain way because Iknow all this stuff that we shot, but I forget that that doesn’t go into the show. I definitely think she would have less fans. She shouldn’t have less fans because people get like that when their relationship is breaking down; it brings out the worst in everyone. But maybe they liked the contrasting thing between Emily and Katie and between Emily and Naomi, that one of them was so strong and then the other one was kind of passive and would just get upset a lot about everything that was going wrong.

AMC: What was your experience at Mountview like and do you feel like it gave you a good start as an actor?
KP: Wehad a teacher called Eddie Gower and he was the best drama teacher I’veever had. I think a lot of drama teachers that I’ve met have been a bitlike—they seem like they gave acting a shot and then they couldn’t quite do it. They became an acting teacher and they just got really bitter with everyone and weren’t very nice. Eddie Gower was amazing, a really good actor and really good comedian.

He actually gave me advice that I still use today. Little pieces of advice, like never practice your lines in a mirror because when you’re living and you’re actually saying words to someone, not lines but words that you made up, you’re not focused on what your face looks like; especially if you’re angry or upset, your face is hideous usually. Then, if you know what you look like when you are upset, you’re going to think in the scene, ‘Oh my God,I have to keep my face from contorting!’ And the way he explained Shakespeare—because I love Shakespeare but I don’t like Shakespearean actors, or a lot of how it’s done because it’s made into this really bigdramatic bit when that was just how people spoke at his time, it wasn’tmeant to be this big thing.

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