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F***ing Sheffield - interview with Cassie

Cassie Kennedy talks about appearing in the documentary film F***ing Sheffield whilst pregnant and working as a lapdancer, and her dreams of a music career.

How did you get involved in the film?

Cassie Kennedy
Cassie dressed for dancing

Through Alex coming and looking out for people with stories. I don't know, he must have saw my wings.

The way the film ends on an emotional note: there’s a really beautiful scene with a closeup of your face, and it looks like you’re splitting up with your fiancé at the time. It’s left hanging.

We split up because he was cheating on me so my suspicions were right all along, and then we got together again in March and I fell pregnant with this one [Cassie is pregnant at the time of the interview]. I also found out that he was yet again cheating on me with the same girl.

So it’s been a hard year for you.

Yes it has.

On a more positive note you’re trying to launch your musical career….

At the moment I'm still doing a little bit of work on that. I'm just working some more lyrics to get the album completed. I'm not working with anyone on that, I'm waiting for someone to say “I want to work with you”.

And what’s your style of music?

"I'd like help with finishing my album and getting the album sorted out and to be recognised properly for who I am and not what people perceive of me"
Cassie Kennedy

It’s Cassie Kennedy style, it’s my style. In the film it’s speed garage because I’ve got a lot of friends who do that so it’s easier to go that route, but it isn't kind of the way I wanted to go with my music.

 I'm inspired a lot by Tracy Chapman and stuff and I wanted to write an album what personalises me rather than doing it as speed and garage and underground. Just like easy listening and deep stuff.

When Alex approached you to be involved in the film, why did you decide to do it, what did you think would be good about it for you?

Just for recognition of myself. Not just the music, mainly about actually getting on and dealing with things that have happened. When someone is very down it’s just a case of gerrin’ on, just gerrin’ on and doing it and surviving everything and just basically getting on with everything.

Were your friends and family supportive of you taking part?

My friends and family don’t really, I wouldn’t say, pay too much attention. They’re not too bothered about what I do because nowt that I do does actually shock them. So, they just go with the flow now really.

How did you cope with being filmed?

Kim was with me all through the filming, just over a year. It’s basically the first five minutes, and after the first five minutes I’ve learned to switch off from it and get on with everything around me and just forget that they’re there.

 Is that the same for your family and your colleagues?

Record player
Cassie wants a career in music

A lot of the time most of them weren’t actually there when I was doing the actual filming, until I was doing the actual filming in the Adelphi. It’s all a bit surreal actually, with everything and everybody knowing what’s been going on and everything.

In the film you're shown pole dancing whilst pregnant - although you can't tell because you're so slim. Was that hard?

Yeah it was, and that’s one of the main reasons I stopped doing it.

Quite a few women go. It’s got far more popular now, women do go and they enjoy it and there’s a lot of women and married women that actually go and are taking the pole dancing classes. Not because they want to go and do the pole dancing but because it’s an exercise so I think it’s become more acceptable in Sheffield now.

I miss the pole dancing, I don't miss the private dancing, I want a pole in my bedroom.

How do you think people will react to you pole dancing whilst pregnant?

People’s opinions don’t bother me very much, I’ve gone through my life with people being very opinionated about me. Some people agree with what I do, some people disagree. The way that I see it is that they can’t be disagreeing that much because they’re taking so much of an interest with what I’m doing anyway.

 Do you think anything’s going to change for you now you're in the film?

I hope so.

What would you like to happen?

I'd like more help with finishing my album and getting the album sorted out properly and be recognised properly for who I am and not what people perceive of me.

F***ing Sheffield premieres at Sheffield International Documentary Festival at Sheffield's Showroom Cinema on 4 November 2006.

Photograph of Cassie, by Bill Stephenson.

last updated: 24/04/07
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