Sarah Solemani on Him & Her
In the audition for Him & Her I had to snog about six blokes. That's because they picked the first scene of episode 1 where Steve compliments Becky about being good at oral sex. Look, we can't all be Kate Winslet. They could have used other scenes from the episode in the audition, but they opted for the embarrassing snogging one which just shows you the kind of perverts that work in television. Russell always asks me who was the best kisser, out of all those possible Steves. I make it a rule not to kiss and tell, but I will say that he was definitely in my top four. We had a ridiculous number of auditions. I remember telling my agent that I'd only go in again if they paid me fifty quid. They agreed. So off I went the next morning, to a sweaty Soho basement to earn a quick fifty by snogging more blokes in front of strange men holding cameras, wondering why I had bothered to get a degree. Still, as I say, we can't all be Kate Winslet.
Russell is the only person I know who finds the term performing monkey a compliment. He will stop at nothing to get a laugh. Songs, voices, mime, flashing - Russell has a massive arson of funny. He uses it frequently with great success. I would say my contribution is more anecdotal than cabaret. In fact Russell once said I was the best anecdotalist he'd ever worked with. And he's worked with Alan Bennett, so.... I'd say we spend about eighty percent of our day laughing. We're all terrible. All the actors. We don't stop. We are relentless. We drive our director mad. Sometimes we have to be reminded we're making a TV show. Well I say 'we' but it's mostly me that gets in trouble and told off. I have no idea why I always get the blame, but I'll put it down to sexism. It's easier.
Neither of us want to work on a serious set, it's too enclosed to have any tension. Everyone has to be open, because we are basically all sharing one room for two months. And it works, the cast, the crew, we tell each other everything. We don't hold back. There is no room for secrets on the set of Him & Her.
Him & Her going to a second series is literally the best thing that's happened to me since the Applicator (that's what is known in the industry as a female skewed joke). We are so happy that people love our dirty, pokey, crazy love-in of a sitcom. We love making it and we all talk about what should happen next - though the writer, Stefan Golaszewski, presides over it like an all-knowing writing-God so we leave it to him to come up with the magic. I'm very lucky to play Becky. She's a top lass. She's got a bit of an edge but she loves her man and she's got her sister's back, despite her unsavoury taste in men. Who could ask for more than that? Best of all she's happy being who she is. She doesn't want to be anyone else, not even, I would hazard a guess, old Winslet-face herself.
Sarah Solemani plays Becky in Him & Her. Watch the new series every Tuesday starting tonight at 10.30pm.