The Gemma Factor: Meet Ross Adams who plays Jeff
Over the past few weeks I've brought you fame tips from Gemma and fashion fixes from her flamboyant friend Jeff. So I thought today I'd delve a bit deeper and chat to Ross Adams, the actor who plays Jeff, to find out what it's been like being involved in the show.
Ross tell us about your character Jeff...
Jeff is a very colourful, flamboyant, high-camp young guy but for all of his "couldn't care less" attitude he really does have a kind heart and thinks the world of both Gemma and his Mum, Betty. Personally, I think his outlandish behaviour is just a mask to hide the problems and heartache that he has gone through so far. Jeff looks after his Mum entirely and sorts her out when she is too drunk or incapable of looking after herself and we get the impression it has been that way for years. Underneath his make-up and crazy outfits, I think he is actually a really caring guy so it's been a great role for me to play.
You mention your crazy outfits, of which there are several. Which one for you sticks out the most?
This is a difficult one because as you say there are literally so many! I think for me, there are 2 particular outfits which spring to mind. The first is the bunch of grapes outfit in Episode 3 when we do the fun run. It was filled with loads of small balloons which kept deflating without warning. We were doing a scene where we had to scramble up the side of a very steep hill and the ground was really wet and slippery. I kept falling over and popping balloons in the process. I felt so bad for the Costume team, as they had to keep blowing up more balloons to push in the outfit!
I also had to wear purple tights as part of that outfit which was not a pleasant experience. During filming, my Dad who lives in New Zealand, came to visit me on set. We hadn't seen each other for 6 years, and when we did, I was dressed as a bunch of grapes with loads of makeup on!! What a reunion!
It sounds like you had great fun on the set...
I think the thing that has been so wonderful about this job is the way that we have all bonded so well and have developed real friendships with everyone in the cast. We did a pilot episode of The Gemma Factor in 2008. From that, a series was eventually commissioned and we all stayed in touch with one another and saw each other regularly. It's been great all staying together in the same hotel when we've been on location. We all go for a meal and a few drinks after a hard days filming and then before bed, we all help each other learn our lines for the next day's shooting schedule. Anna and I are both Geordies, not that anyone would know by our accents in the show, so I think we have a strong Geordie bond too. I feel like I've made great lifelong mates on this series.
As you've mentioned Jeff is extremely camp, as a straight guy did you find any of his scene's particularly embarrassing?
All of them! But at the end of the day I am a young actor who has been lucky enough to be given a wonderful part. I really don't care what I play, as long as I do it well. I've been told I'm very convincing and I actually based Jeff on someone I know. I'm not saying who though! Wearing such a huge amount of makeup was a very strange experience too, but my makeup lady Jess was brilliant and always helped me to take it all off after a days work. It took quite a long time!
What advice would you give to other young aspiring actors?
Never give up. It is a very hard industry, no question about that, and the competition is fierce. But if you keep working at it, you'll get there in the end. I did a degree in Performing Arts at the University of Salford in Manchester and got an agent in my graduate showcase at the end of the course. Since then, I've been up for many parts. Some I've been lucky enough to get and others I haven't. But believe in yourself and never give up. I also did some work in production first, as a runner and 3rd Assistant Director. I think this really helped me to understand the process of making television, and how to treat everyone as you'd want to be treated yourself.
Now the series is coming to an end, what next?
I really hope that people like the show. Hopefully we will go on to make a second series and see what happens next in crazy world of Gemma and friends. It would be great to think that we could all be back together soon to film Series 2 and there are a lot of loose ends left at the end of this series which would be nice to know how they are resolved. I really hope you've all enjoyed it as much I have enjoyed making it.
Ross Adams stars as Jeff in The Gemma Factor.
Don't miss the final episode of The Gemma Factor is on Tuesday at 10.30pm.
- Jeff's Fashion Fix Part 1
- Jeff's Fashion Fix Part 2
- Gemma's Five Steps To Fame
- Find out more and watch clips from The Gemma Factor