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18 June 2014
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Interview  |  Virginia Hey
Saying goodbye

PictureDid you like the way that Zhaan was written out of the story? Question from Roland Scaper Swede

Scaper swede. A swede, it's like a turnip, isn't it?

Yes but he might be Swedish.

Oh, I'm sorry, I just insulted your nationality by calling you a turnip.

I always hate it when people use that term, "written out." Zhaan wasn't actually written out, I requested to leave because the make-up was making me very sick.

I think David Camper wrote Zhaan's supposed death really beautifully. He's an exquisite writer and he's also extraordinarily religious, and the way he's been injecting his religious fervour into Zhaan has been an incredible experience for me. By reading the script I can feel his devoutness.

I couldn't ask for a better way. We were all in tears, truly. When I first read the last script I was howling and howling and howling, and poor Gigi was a mess. We were all crying, and nobody wanted to see Zhaan go, because Zhaan was the pivotal point.

She's was the mother figure, and all of the other characters revolved around this maternal centre. So we were all very close and it was a shame to see Zhaan go, but the make-up made me really ill.

My kidneys were suffering. I stayed in for nearly 3 years, and I started to get the kidney problems after the first three months of the first season. I don't think I would have lasted for the three years had I not done intensive healing every single day on myself, and every time I was Zhaan I was in a state of intense meditation anyway, so I was healing even when I was acting.

The last script was really beautiful and I think David Kemper did Zhaan justice. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

I had to lie to a lot of people at conventions when they said "Is Zhaan really dead, and is she coming back?" I had to say "Look, I don't know", and all the time I knew we'd arranged to have Zhaan visit anything up to six visits per season.

So Zhaan was never really intended to go permanently, it's just that I couldn't be Zhaan every day because the make-up was hurting me.

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