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24 September 2014
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Phoo Action
Jaime Winstone (left) and Eddie Shin in Phoo Action


Jaime Winstone plays Whitey Action


The daughter of Chief of Police Ben Benson, Whitey Action is the living personification of a generation of clubbing teenage mentalists - deathly pale, bored to tears, with a badass booty to boot.


"She's a rebel without a cause," says Jaime Winstone, who plays the feisty character. "Either that or she's an extremely bored young lady who is constantly finding herself in conflict with modern society."


Surrounded by a world of meaningless celebrity, bored and cynical Whitey spends most of her time partying with best mate Lady Elenor Rigsby (played by Talulah Riley) and rebelling against the rules and regulations of her authoritative, adoptive father Benson (played by Carl Weathers).


But deep down, Whitey dreams of something more – of action, adventure and spiritual awakening. And the arrival of Terry Phoo (played by Eddie Shin) is her catalyst for change.


"Whitey doesn't seem to take the same interest in the media celebrity culture that rules the general public in 2012, which kind of fuels her anger," says Jaime. "Not to mention her over-strict and over-sized dad [Benson] who happens to be police chief of London and also lacks a huge amount of confidence in his daughter's ability to stay out of trouble.


"Whitey is constantly protesting or fighting for some right, but when faced with Terry Phoo, even Whitey can't begin to comprehend the responsibility that comes with such power."


In a futuristic world riddled with criminal mutants, Whitey Action and Terry Phoo turn out to be the unlikely saviours of society, much to Jaime's amusement.


"They are a superhero match made in heaven. While Terry is complete with spiritual powers and highly trained martial arts, Whitey's the kickass chosen one with powers that even Terry can't understand - not to mention the hot pants!


"What more could you want? You have a Jackie Chan-obsessed spiritual fighter mixed with a confused and angry teenage anarchist running around in powerful hot pants – that to me is the perfect crime fighting duo!"


The actress adds: "If, in 2012, there are little men running around with basketball heads and huge purple gorillas pulling serious dance moves, then I feel completely confident that this twisted twosome would save the day and make a difference."


And, according to 22-year-old Jaime, in the celebrity obsessed world of 2012, Whitey is the voice of a disconnected youth.


"She's frustrated with the attention that celebrities and people in the limelight get and they seem to get away with murder just because they are a celebrity.


"Some would say that's happening in the world today to some extent. I think the way Phoo Action portrays celebrities is very honest - they are good voices but their status has changed too much – they've become too powerful."


And Whitey's rebellious outlook on life wasn't the only thing that Jaime admired – her unique sense of sexy-yet-badass style proved popular too.


"Whitey's wicked. Every morning I'd get up, put a red wig on, pull some cool hot pants on and became a superhero. I love her style, it's really quirky, it's really fun. Knee-high socks, mixed with colourful hot pants – it's all colours, colours, colours."


Being part of the unique Phoo Action experience was a dream come true for Jaime: "When I was younger I dreamed of being an action hero so landing the role of Whitey Action is all I could ask for from a role. It's not every day that you wake up and become a superhero…I was happy to be sucked into a comic strip madness!"


The drama also offered the young actress the opportunity to work alongside Jamie Hewlett, the creative mind behind Gorillaz, Tank Girl and Monkey: Journey to the East.


"I'm a huge fan," says Jaime. "He [Hewlett] creates a world with his art and I was just so happy to work with him. He's an amazing man - like an excitable child.


"Working on Phoo was really trippy actually. You're going to work and there's a man running around with a basketball for a head and another that's a seven-foot purple gorilla swinging punches at you.


"Strangely enough, you kind of get used to it! It's crazy but you kind of have to allow yourself to be silly and you can't think about it too much. You've just got to accept Phoo and take it with a pinch of salt."


Having made her name in the likes of Kidulthood, Goldplated and Daddy's Girl, 2008 looks set to be another busy year for this blossoming talent. As well as Phoo Action, Jaime's future releases include the movie Donkey Punch, which premiered at Sundance last month, and Boogie Woogie, starring alongside Heather Graham and Gemma Atkinson as a promiscuous lesbian.


But, for now, Jaime's attentions are firmly on Phoo and, for her, the uniqueness makes it utterly unmissable: "There's nothing on TV like it. It's a comic strip crazy drama and I think it's really brave for the BBC to have made it.


"They've really pushed the boat out with it which I think should be praised. If you want to watch a bit of mad TV where you shut off from the world and get sucked into this crazy comic strip adaptation then this is the show for you!"


Jaime's comic idols include Flash Gordon and Wonder Woman.


She says: "Comics take you to a different world, a different part of your imagination. I think you have to have a streak in you to like comics in a way - it's another crazy world.


"If I had superpowers, I'd like to fly. I'd like to have cute, glittery wings. Or maybe have rocket feet or something. And something with a cape. I mean if you're going to be a superhero you need to have a cape don't you? Or hot pants. Either way you're winning!"


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