Sheridan Smith on reuniting with David Williams for Sky One's quirky comedy sequel to much-loved fairytale Jack & the Beanstalk
Sitting next to Sheridan Smith in a dimly-lit trailer in Buckinghamshire is a very hairy, very scary-looking character who is claiming to be David Walliams. Wearing a huge prosthetic nose and with a face full of beard, we might just have to take his word for it!
We are chatting via video link to Sheridan during a break from filming Sky One’s family comedy, Jack & the Beanstalk: After Ever After, a follow-up to Walliams’ wickedly funny Cinderella sequel, which aired last Christmas.
In this imagining of what happens after the fairytale ends, Sheridan plays The Woman With No Name, a notorious giant slayer whose secret weapon is hidden beneath her eyepatch. She’s hot on the trail of the giant (played by Williams, who also co-wrote the story) and leads an angry mob of villagers, including a dodgy market stall trader (The Inbetweeners’ Blake Harrison) who sold young Jack the magic beans.
Here, Cilla and The Moorside star Sheridan Smith, 39, tell us why this Jack & the Beanstalk sequel is lots of fee-fi-fo… fun!
What can we expect from this twist on the classic tale?
Sheridan Smith: “David’s stories always have a love message, usually about someone fitting in, and I love that. Here, Jack and the giant become friends, but my character, The Woman With No Name, is the baddie. Despite being a bit of a loner, she’s renowned in the village for killing 37 giants. She kills them by taking out her glass eye and catapulting it with her eyepatch!”
Tell us about your costume…
SS: “Dressing up and being silly at work is great fun! My costume is like something out of the The Matrix film, with lots of leather, armour, belts and tools. I also have a prosthetic eye, and I decided to give her a West Country accent for some reason.”
You’ve previously starred in adaptations of David’s books Ratburger and Mr Stink. Why do you work so well together?
SS: “This is my first acting job since having my son, Billy, in May. I love working with David because I always get to play great roles and we have so much fun. I don’t normally get to kill giants with eyeballs, but I do have to endure David taking the mickey out of me all day!”
What are you looking forward to this Christmas?
SS: “I haven’t really enjoyed Christmas the last couple of years since my dad passed away, but it’s exciting again now I have my little boy. It’ll be our first proper Christmas as a family and I can’t wait. I also can’t wait for Billy to be old enough to watch this and say, ‘Look, there’s Mummy as a baddie!’ I think this is perfect festive family viewing and we need something like this for all the family this Christmas.”
Jack & the Beanstalk: After Ever After airs on Sky One on Wednesday 23 December