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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Lip Service – Emun Elliot plays Jay

Jay has been friends with Cat since their days at university and they now work together at a city centre architect's firm.

A key part of the group, Jay is particularly close to Frankie. A self-confessed womaniser, Jay has been faithful to his current girlfriend, Becky, for quite some time – by his standards, at least.

But, unfortunately for Becky, her love doesn't diminish his never-ending desire for affirmation through sex.

As an architect he's very artistic, loathes sport and football and prefers the company of women to men. The lesbians he is close to know that, at heart, he isn't at all misogynistic – which is why they are happy to hang out with him.

What's Jay like?

Jay is a character who is struggling to let go of his youth and embrace what comes along with being a responsible adult. He has a reputation for being a bit of a player, and is struggling to shrug off his old ways.

Part of him wants to lead a sensible, grown-up life, but his adolescent impulses do everything they can to lure him back to his old, unfaithful, spontaneous and care-free ways.

Why do you think he likes the company of these women so much?

Late-night drinking and an unrivalled appreciation of the female species is one thing that binds them together as a group.

Jay went to university with Cat, so they go way back. In a strange way their relationship works because they are so different, meaning that they can rely upon each other for advice in times of need.

Jay has always had a soft spot for Frankie. They are, in many ways, very alike in the sense that they are free spirits and enjoy the spontaneity and danger of living life on the edge.

Jay is Frankie's wingman, however, along with this lust for life, there's a strange sense of playful competition between the two of them.

Why does the group put up with Jay considering he's a bit of a womaniser?

Because, despite his faults and vices, Jay is a good man. He makes mistakes, huge mistakes, in life which have broken hearts and destroyed friendships.

But his actions are never out of malice. He's also a good laugh and there's nothing more entertaining than watching him on the pull!

Do you think Jay has the ability to be faithful?

He likes to think that he has the ability to remain faithful to his girlfriend. However, what Jay wants and what he does often collide. This is what makes him a flawed and interesting human being.

What attracted you to Lip Service?

The script - the writing is dangerous, the scenarios are real and often brutally honest. The characters make mistakes and are forced into facing their fears. It's a very contemporary and truthful story of a group of friends living in Glasgow.

What was it like filming in Scotland again?

Lovely. I went to drama school in Glasgow so it brought back lots of memories of my college days. It also meant that I was closer to my family in Edinburgh, so I would often nip through on the train when I had a day off.

Did you and the rest of the Lip Service cast spend a lot of time together off set?

Yes – we would often go out for dinner after a long day's shooting and catch up for a glass of wine or a beer in the evenings.

Our relationships on screen became more truthful and indeed more detailed as we got to know each other over the three months we spent in Glasgow together.

You've been hailed by Screen International as 'One To Watch'

It's nice to know you have support, especially when it comes from an organisation like Screen International.

However, the main thing for me is to keep my feet firmly on the ground and concentrate on being involved in good work, work I, myself, would like to watch.

What projects have you got coming up?

I recently finished playing Claudio in Michael Attenborough's production of Measure For Measure at The Almeida Theatre in London, alongside Anna Maxwell Martin, Rory Kinnear and Ben Miles.

I've also recently appeared in Christopher Smith's latest film, Black Death, starring Sean Bean, Carice Van Houten and Eddie Redmayne.

In July, I finished shooting the feature film Strawberry Fields. It's a film about two sisters and their struggle for independence. My character finds himself caught right in the middle of their troubled relationship.

I've literally just finished shooting a crime drama called Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn and Gary Lewis, which should air sometime next spring.

As the moment, I'm about halfway through filming HBO's new television series, Game Of Thrones, starring Sean Bean, Lena Headey and Brian Cox, which is being shot in Belfast. I play a medieval minstrel called Marillion.

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