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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

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Lip Service – Ruta Gedmintas plays Frankie

A spirited photographer who's emotionally off the rails, Frankie attracts trouble at every turn. She comes across as fearless and irreverent but strip away the bravado and she's the most vulnerable of the group.

Androgynous and bisexual, Frankie generally only uses men for occasional sex but falls in love with women. Intimacy is a problem for Frankie. She bailed on her relationship with Cat before giving it a chance, escaping to New York.

For Frankie, casual sex offers an opportunity to run away from herself when the rest of her life is in freefall.

Frankie's home life is difficult. Her parents died when she was a child and she was raised by her aunt, Carol, and bullish uncle, Cameron, who's always treated her like an outsider. When Carol dies, Frankie returns home but her return isn't welcomed by everyone.

Tell us about your character Frankie

On first look, Frankie appears to be a troublemaker – a party girl who relishes causing havoc and disrupting the flow. She lives moment to moment, seemingly without thought to consequence. Outwardly, she's strong and confident and sexually alert but, underneath all the bravado, she's an incredibly vulnerable little girl – too proud and too scared to change her ways.

What makes her so unique?

I think her unpredictability. She feels emotions on an incredibly deep level. Everything hits her hard, but she fights to not let it. This causes her to act quite erratically.

Why does her unexpected return to the UK cause so much upset among the friends?

Frankie left in a whirlwind – she dropped everything and everyone without telling them. She hurt Cat badly and this has made everyone a little wary as to her intentions and what her next move might be.

What is it about Frankie's relationship with Cat that drives the drama?

There is something between Cat and Frankie which a lot of viewers will relate to. Fortunately, or unfortunately, for them, they have a connection between them that is incredibly intense and neither of them quite know how to handle it.

Cat is the most important person in Frankie's life – though she'd be loathe to admit it to anyone.

How would you make a case for "Team Frankie"?

I guess Frankie and Cat will always understand each other the most. It's a rare and special thing when you find that with someone. They never really had a chance to see what that could lead to – and perhaps they should.

As Frankie, you had some interesting sex scenes to shoot – what was that like?

Sexuality is a huge part of Frankie's make-up. It was another facet of her character to explore in her specific way, so I treated them like every other scene.

I think trying to create intimacy on a set with a boom over your head can be a little embarrassing. But, luckily, I was working with great people.

What's the driving force behind Frankie?

Frankie sees life as a game. She likes to be in control all the time, knowing that she can dictate a situation. So, when something is out of her control, she will do anything and everything to be influential and to affect the outcome – often with a guilty knowledge that this will cause trouble and hurt those around her.

She's not a bad person, she's just hugely defensive. She will hurt someone before they have a chance to hurt her.

Why do you think it was important to set the drama in Glasgow rather than, say, London?

Glasgow is an incredibly creative and culturally vibrant place. It's great to be able to show off some of the city in our show. We had a few cast nights out at a couple of the gays bars around Glasgow – it was fun.

I didn't have a great deal of free time – time not filming was spent working – but we hung out together when we could.

Fiona and I were in the same hotel, so we would run lines every night – we were pretty much married for the duration of filming!

You've got such a lovely and unusual name – where's it from?

My name is Lithuanian. My father was born there and he gave me a cool name. It's the Lithuanian national flower – looks like a weed, a little bit like me! – although in Spanish it means a 'route' or 'road' and in Swedish it means 'square'. So, not quite so cool in those countries.

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