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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Lip Service – Heather Peace plays Sam

A detective sergeant with the police, Sam is Cat's first girlfriend since her break-up with Frankie.

Sam is stable, funny, cynical and insightful. She rarely hides her feelings, preferring things out in the open – Sam can be disarmingly honest and expects the same level of honesty back. She doesn't like to play games in her relationships.

Although she can be very understanding she has a lot of self-respect and won't be messed around. And although Sam cares deeply for Cat she's not so keen on Frankie, whom she views as a constant distraction.

Tell us about your character Sam

Sam is a detective sergeant who's reliable, cool, steady and funny. She is very much her own person and doesn't need the reassurance of anyone else. This makes it more interesting as she falls for Cat and the inevitable insecurities set in.

What do you think the attraction is between Sam and Cat?

I think until Frankie turns up they are both in the head space of being ready to meet someone – that's why Cat goes online. They are quite opposite, which is always attractive. Sam is calm and cool and Cat quite stressy which Sam, I think, finds cute and amusing.

Cat sees in Sam something steady and sorted, qualities that she didn't have with Frankie.

What attracted you to the drama Lip Service?

I just loved the writing, I think with both Harriet and Kudos on board it just shouted quality drama. When I read for the part it was really easy to make it sound natural because the dialogue was so good.

Also, the bulk of my career has been working predominately with all men so I thought it would be nice to star in a drama with women. It's about time that the UK did a drama about gay girls, and essentially it stops being about sexuality and more about friendship and love.

Do you think Sam is intimidated by Frankie?

I think Sam takes people as she finds them and so initially she isn't jealous or intimidated. It's only when she starts to suspect that maybe Frankie and Cat have unfinished business that she starts to feel insecure. I think she is very perceptive about what is going on at all times but tries to ignore it hoping it will go away.

Do you think the audience will be split between Team Sam or Team Frankie?

I think without the tension of "oh no, what is she going to do?", without that dilemma the story is not as strong. It has to be a genuinely hard choice for Cat.

If so whose side would you take?

Sam's, of course – need you ask?!

What was it like filming in Glasgow?

I fell in love with the city. I do think the way the show looks has benefitted massively from being set there. The city looks like a smaller New York and is so beautiful at night around the Merchant City area.

I think Glasgow is one of the most vibrant, multicultural, cool cities I have been to. The theatre I saw there, the restaurants I ate at and the bars I visited were some of the best I have ever experienced.

Did you and the cast get to experience any of Glasgow Gay scene?

I did, a lot! It was fun and friendly if not a little on the small side, but then I did go to the same places most of the time in Merchant City. Roxanne McKee came out with me a couple of times and that was insane, she could not walk anywhere and was practically mobbed.

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

It would have been lonely if we hadn't! We hung out in Fiona's room drinking herbal tea a lot – not my first choice. It would have been wine but the girls had a lot more script to learn than I did so they were very well behaved!

A couple of times I cooked dinner for everyone which was lovely and we went ice skating and to the cinema. Most nights we ate together, they are a great bunch and we gelled really well as a team.

What's your most memorable moment from filming?

Getting naked the first time?! Those things you dread, so getting the first sex scene out of the way was memorable as it's never going to be quite as nerve-wracking again. Weirdly, it started to become quite normal.

Why should the audience tune in to Lip Service?

It is a fun, heart-warming, quality drama. It's sexy and funny and taps into the lives of not just Gay women but groups of friends everywhere and the dramas their lives bring.

You were recently featured in the prestigious Pink List Top 100 – how do you feel about this accolade?

I was never "in the closet" as such – I just didn't talk about my sexuality within a professional environment for a lot of years. My partners haven't always been in the acting industry. Quite often, they worked in industries where life was made difficult if they were visibly "out".

I'm proud of who I am and happy to let people know I am happy being gay.

My mum told me about the Pink List – I was most thrilled by the fact she was really proud of me because of it.

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