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Cover interview: The Artful Dodgeress

An exclusive shoot and chat with Lip Service's Sadie, Natasha O'Keeffe

Eden Carter Wood

Tue, 29 May 2012 11:14:45 GMT | Updated 4 years today

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.


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PHOTO: Lezli+Rose


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