Interview with “Skins” writer Jack Thorne


Naomi’s episode is one of the few times in series three we get to see
Cook with a soul (after their failed shag). Why do you think he respects
Naomi like he does?
I don’t know. She looks at the world
quite similarly; she has that same f-ck it attitude.

AE: In
world, there’s sort of a heightened sense of uselessness and
absurdity when it comes to parents, but Naomi’s mum is brilliant. Why
did you decide to go that route with her?

JT: I never
really wrote many parents. For me, Gina who was one of the
characters I invented is important because someone needs to
give Naomi permission to change, and she does.

AE: OK, cat
flap scene. Jack, everyone I have ever watched the cat flap scene with
has cried like a baby. It is so beautiful and poignant and layered and
perfect, perfect, perfect. Where in the hell did that come from?

I didn’t want Emily to answer the door, and I had to work out
something visual. We had a cat when I was growing up. He’d spend most of
his life looking out of the clear plastic flap; he didn’t like the
outside. I think that’s true for both girls at that moment. 

When you watched the episode, after having it only in your head for so
long, what did you think? Was it how you imagined it?
Way better. Why? Performances. Locations. Direction.

What do you think Naomi loves most about Emily?
I don’t think
she knows  that’s what makes it exciting.

AE: What
do you think Emily loves most about Naomi?
Her fierceness?
Maybe? Are these things quantifiable? I think Emily
is really simple  she thinks Naomi is awesome. In fact, she
sees stuff in Naomi that Naomi doesn’t see in herself.

Well, what do you love most about about Naomi and Emily?

They fit together in an unconventional way.

AE: What did you
think of Naomi and Emily’s series four storyline?
I thought
it was awesome. Ed [Hime] is a great writer. He got BAFTA nominated, you

AE: Do you like the idea that Naomi’s been in love
with Emily since she was 12?

AE: Ed told us he
felt so much pressure writing Emily’s series four episode after the
Naomily phenomenon took off. You probably didn’t have that when you were
writing series three, but do you feel the pressure now that you’re
writing/have written the movie?

JT: Writing the film is
one of the scariest things I’ve ever done for many many reasons.

For example…

Name a good film that’s come out of a TV show. Umm…?

What can you tell me about the Skins movie?

JT: Nothing.

AE: Nothing?
JT: Yup.

AE: Not even
one tiny little thing?

JT: Yup.

AE: C’mon! You
gave The Guardian three whole paragraphs! Just give me something!

AE: Ah well, it was worth a
try. I promised to try to crack you. I’m convinced it will be brilliant,
though. Lots of people have asked me if I’m worried and I always say,
"No. Jack Thorne is writing it." It’s probably my most-Tweeted phrase. I
hope when the time is right, you’ll speak to me again!
Of course. You’ll probably get way more out of Bryan during your
. He’s nicer than me.

AE: While I have you here, asking
you one million questions, what’s one interview
question you always wish you’d been asked, but no one’s ever asked it?

JT: I haven’t had enough interviews
yet. Maybe who my favorite writer is? Not that I have an answer to that
question. Probably Ronald Harwood, if you pushed me. What a terrible
question! Superhero skill? Nope. Um, I would like to do Desert Island
Discs before I die, but that’s another matter entirely.

AE: Is there anything you’d like to say to
AfterEllen readers?

Other than "thank you"? You guys being so lovely about the episodes really made me
very happy indeed.

AE: Last question! Someone asked me the
other day, "Are you a professional writer or a Skins fangirl?"
And I said, "Why can’t I be both?" So that’s my question to you: Are you
a professional writer or a Skins fanboy? Or are you both?

I am a fanboy. Of Skins and TV generally. I watch a lot. I
write on the side.

AE: OK, well, I’ll see you at the Skins
movie premiere, Jack Thorne. I’ll buy you a pint — or ten.


For more from Jack Thorne on both generations of Skins and his other stellar writing projects, check out Rin and Sophy’s interview at

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