Gavin & Stacey actress Joanna Page returns to our screens next week in Gates, a new Sky Living comedy about a group of parents running the gauntlet of the daily school run.
TV&Satellite Week magazine caught up with her to find out more…
Tell us about your character, Helen…
“She has decided to go back to work as an estate agent and her husband Mark, played by Tom Ellis, is now taking their daughter Chloe to school. She finds it incredibly difficult to hand over the responsibility because she feels guilty, which a lot of women will identify with, but she also advises Mark to get in and get out quickly and not to talk to anybody because you get dragged in.”
Has working with children made you feel broody?
“Yes, because they are all so adorable. I prefer animals to children, but I had always thought I would be good with little babies and wouldn’t know what to do with them when they get older, but Mariann, who plays Chloe, is so cute and you can say anything and it makes her laugh.“
What sort of mother would you be at the school gates?
“Probably the sort who in the first week would be baking all of the cakes and then would be down the supermarket buying stuff and passing it off as my own. I’d also be the type who turns up with her hair in ponytail, no make-up and still in pyjamas. I wouldn’t be very glam.”
Did you know Tom before you worked together on this?
“It’s hilarious because I have known him for years. My husband James Thornton was in Red Cap with Tamzin Outhwaite, who is Tom’s wife, and they have done romantic scenes, and now Tom and I are doing them. He is really lovely and was constantly doing accents during filming and making me laugh.”
What was it like working with Sue Johnston, who plays Chloe’s teacher Miss Hunter?
“It was lovely, we did a play at the National Theatre years ago called The Mysteries where she played Mary and I played Eve, so it was lovely to work together again. She was a joy to work with and really funny. Even though I have worked with her before, I still got scared and wanted to impress her because she is fantastic.”
Have you found your niche with comedy?
“I have never thought of myself as a comedy actress because Gavin & Stacey was really the first comedy I’d done. Before that I trained at RADA and worked for 10 years on serious stuff. Now, suddenly people think I am funny, which is scary because you feel you have got to come up with the goods.”
Will Gavin & Stacey ever return?
“I don’t think there will be another series, but I wouldn’t be surprised if in a couple of years James Corden and Ruth Jones say, ‘Let’s do a Christmas special’. We’d all love to meet up and have a laugh again. I still think it is hilarious I ended up in a hit show, but I think of it fondly because it really wasn’t like working.”
Gates begins on Sky Living on Tuesday 14 August at 8.30pm