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Shelley Conn Interview

Shelley Conn as Ashika Chandiramani in Party Animals

Shelley plays Conservative Ashika Chandiramani


As a Conservative, Ashika describes herself as the rebel of her family, why is that?
Basically, because the rest of her family are hardcore Labour supporters. She likes the irony of being perceived as a rebel for being (C)onservative. We never find out the ins and outs of her relationship with her family and their political views, but it's a sensitive subject... it seems to have caused a bit of friction in the Chandiramani household.

What do you think encouraged her to switch from her family's Party to the Conservatives?
Ashika is an ambitious character who likes a tussle and needs a challenge, so becoming a Conservative in today's political climate would appeal to her nature. It's much more exciting to be on the attack with the rising Party rather than defending the one that's in crisis. Also, I think she really likes the idea that she'll stand out in the Party. I'm not saying she chose to be a Tory purely to be provocative, but it would've been a very obvious move to join Labour.

Despite her Party being forward thinking she's still often subjected to prejudice. How does she cope with this?
There's a fair amount of prejudice against Ashika and she's completely aware that people will assume she's only on the A-List because she's a woman and she's Asian. For the most part she just lives with this and allows it to wash over her. I think secretly she's probably happy to let those things work in her favour and ride the wave she's on. That's the sort of thing she and colleague Matt would joke about, which is great because it stops Ashika from being a victim or a puppet.

There's a lot of chemistry between her and Scott, but outside forces keep getting in the way. Do you think they'll ever get together?
All I'll say is there is a powerful chemistry which I think has been developed beautifully by the writers. When Ashika and Scott first meet it's playful and fun, but it becomes something much more, and it's something I don't think either of them are prepared for.


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