The second series of BBC3's popular lesbian drama Lip
Service saw the development of streetwise, light-fingered character
Sadie from a relatively peripheral role into a central, and
deservedly popular mainstay. With the show due out on DVD later
this month, DIVA caught up with actress Natasha O'Keeffe, the woman
behind the Artful Dodgeress
It seems fitting that the woman who plays Sadie, the Lip Service
character who most epitomizes deceitfulness and unreliability, has
a Wikipedia page that plays a little fast and loose with the truth.
It's a discovery we make fairly early in the interview (which takes
place while she's in make-up for our cover shoot at a studio on
Shaftsbury Avenue) when I ask if it's correct that, as Natasha's
page on the user-generated encyclopedia claims, she was born in
Llanelli, Wales. "Oh no, I was born in Brighton," she says. "I'm a
Brighton lass. Does it say Wales on Wikipedia? Liar, liar, pants on
fire!" Nor was she born in 1987. "86," she verifies. "Who puts that
stuff down on Wikipedia?" "Anyone," I tell her. "People."
She did go to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in
Cardiff, however. "The Welsh accent I'm still trying to perfect,
even after having been there three years," she laughs. "But yeah,
born in Brighton and then moved to Tooting, London, where I lived
my whole life, pretty much."
She got into acting because "I've always been a great spy on
people, and I'm really interested in characters. I always used to
want to make people laugh and play odd little characters. And in
primary school, I was always cast as Jesus or Prince Charming. I
never got the parts of the princess; I think it was because I was a
tall girl. So I think maybe it's me trying to prove I can play a
lady." She laughs and then adopts a Terminator voice: "I can do
it," she jokes, before continuing. "So it's just been a natural
progression. There wasn't ever a profound moment of thinking, 'I
want to be an actress'."
For a girl who was always the prince, never the princess, in
primary school productions, it's ironic that Natasha's first role
out of drama school was playing "a contemporary Princess Margaret"
in Oasis' Falling Down video in 2009. "I think there were a few
people who were confused by the actual storyline," she admits when
I confess that I had found the video slightly baffling. "But I was
absolutely chuffed to pieces about getting to meet the Gallaghers
and getting to wear nice costumes."
Not to mention people curtseying to you. "Yeah, of course!" she
jokes, and, not for the last time, she adopts a slightly silly
voice: "I like a curtsey now and again." She was mute in the video,
she notes, much to her father's disappointment. "My dad just wanted
to hear me speak in it. I said, 'Dad, it's a music video!'"
To read the rest of this interview and see our exclusive new
photos, get hold of a copy of the July 2012 issue of DIVA.