"Jean can be cruel, ugly and nasty..." Gillian Wright interview
It's been quite a year for Jean Slater. Michael and fiance Janine put Jean on an emotional rollercoaster with their dastardly ways, but through it all she still managed to be a friend to those most in need, counselling Shirley, Jay and even Michael!
Now it seems that actress Gillian Wright's hard work has paid of, as she was rewarded Best Actress at the Inside Soap Awards. We managed to grab her for an interview on the big night.
How does it feel to win Best Actress?
I'm really, really chuffed to bits. My agent said it was a thank you from everybody for my work, which is a nice way of putting it!
How does it feel that this is an award voted for by members of the public?
It means so much. The fact that what I do in my work has actually touched the hearts of the nation, enough for them to want to vote for me. I'm over the moon, I really am!
What do you think it is about Jean that the fans love so much?
Maybe her honesty? Whether she's up or down, she trys her best, even if her best can be pathetic! She can be cruel, ugly and nasty, but at the same time she can be quite funny. I hope I'm always surprising the audience. You can never really anticipate how she's going to behave.
How do you prepare yourself for playing Jean?
I work very hard on it. I don't want to sound too "actorish" or "methody" but you do get in a zone. If I have to start the day acting in a very low or terrible state then I don't exactly have the radio on and sing my heart out driving to work... you sort of mentally get yourself into a place that you need to be.
If it's busy and noisy on the set, and it's only your character that needs to do the heavy, emotional stuff, I just quietly remove myself, stick my fingers in my ears and wait for someone to tell me "Action!"
Is it easy to leave the tense scenes behind afterwards?
I have to admit, I have to drive home really, really fast.... but you go home, and you've got a heap load to do for the following morning so you're sort of on a roll. There's an agenda that you want to achieve, so it's a matter of getting home, walking the dog, cooking dinner and then getting your head down to learn lines for the next day.
What's next for Jean?
I'm currently taking a very nice back seat with Ricky Norwood in the Queen Vic. We've had a few lovely moments, and we're enjoying working together.