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17 September 2014
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Raquel Cassidy Interview

Raquel Cassidy as Jo Porter in Party Animals

Raquel plays Labour MP Jo Porter

What was it like playing Jo?
Jo is as fantastic to play as she is demanding, not fun exactly but, at times, thrilling. She is a fighter and she fights to win. I certainly had no idea what pressures politicians can repeatedly find themselves under and how suddenly and publicly their livelihoods can be on a knife edge and how dramatic the consequences of their decisions/actions/words can be for so many other people's lives. That said, I wonder how Jo Porter would fair at playing me...

Do you think she'd be one of 'Blair's Babes' or would she hate that label?
I don't think she'd care about the label. She has a sense of humour, but it's a fairly anti-feminist label, so she wouldn't think much of it. I think, like many, she feels jaded about Blair, though she began her ascent with him... but as the series goes on she just feels jaded in general, and mostly ultimately with herself.

Behind closed doors her life isn't that perfect is it?
Jo's husband isn't coping with being the main child carer and not the main breadwinner. I find it interesting, and sadly not unrealistic, that while Jo, the family provider and a woman, is being left by her husband for the younger-model nanny, James, the family provider and a man, is having his cake and eating it... In short I think she's a fantastically, flawed human.

Do you think the pressures of trying to juggle both a career and family, are all too commonplace for women these days?
I know the above circumstances will speak to a lot of women if not parents, men and women alike. It saddens me to think that we expect ourselves to execute two or three jobs at once and perfectly; be the perfect parent/partner and excel in our brilliant careers... where is the time for us to relax, reflect, enjoy and be?

Is she deeply unhappy?
I think she's deeply everything. I don't think she goes in for light emotions, which may be because I am playing her or may be why I am playing her. She does have a sense of humour and quite a thrusting forward energy, which may be perceived as masculine. She doesn't flirt, which seems odd now I come to think of it. Perhaps it doesn't occur to her or maybe it never occurred to the writers; there's quite enough flirting going on everywhere else!*

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