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Skins is back

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When Skins first-premiered in 2007 it was hailed as “ground-breaking”, a show that pushed the boundaries on everything we thought that teen television dramas should be.

Now as it hurtles forward into a sixth season, TNS again (we chatted to him ahead of series five) caught up with 'third generation' Skins star Sean Teale about the upcoming series, on-set hook-ups and the pressures of being beautiful.

Sean Teale

TNS: So Sean, how did you first get involved with Skins?

Sean Teale: Well, it all started when an agent, who just happened to be in the audience, approached me after a school play I was in during my final year at school. I started doing some work with the agency and then a couple of months later I was told about the audition for Skins!

TNS: Was it intimidating going to audition for a show as big as Skins?

ST: Not really to be honest, it was such a big deal that I didn’t think I really stood a chance. So I just went along like it was any other audition, but then I found myself being called back to Bristol to do more auditions and read-throughs and rehearsals and then eventually, eight weeks later, I got the part! It was surreal.

TNS: That sounds like something from a movie! Were you a fan of the show before you got a role in it?

ST: Definitely. I was a big fan of the show, especially the first generation (Series 1 and 2). I think because at the time, there was nothing like it really, it was gritty and hard-hitting and it took the country by storm.

TNS: The nature of the show (which follows a group of teenagers through their college years) means that the cast is replaced every two years. Was there a sense of pressure or responsibility having to take the reigns as part of the third generation of characters?

ST: Yes, to be honest with you. There is a huge amount of pressure and expectation that comes with the show, especially when it comes to your looks. The last group of actors was known for being particularly good-looking, and so of course it is going to be daunting going into an environment like that.

TNS: How did you cope with that pressure?

ST: As cheesy as it sounds, I just had to believe in myself. I am massively self-conscious, as most actors are, but I also had the self-belief and the confidence that I could bring something different to the show. I was excited by the project, and knew that I would learn a huge amount from it, so I just tried to focus on that instead.

TNS: Skins is known for introducing relatively unknown or first-time actors to television audiences, so I imagine that the rest of the cast would have been in a similar position to you. What was it like meeting the other members of the cast for the first time?

ST: Filming on a TV show is the sort of situation where you are all thrown together, and spend so much time together that you just have to get on really. But we are so lucky in the fact that there are no forced friendships, we just all genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Seb [Sebastian De Souza] who plays my brother Matty on the show has become one of my best friends.

TNS: And how about any other on-set relationships? Any behind-the-scenes gossip you can tell us about?

ST: Unfortunately there isn’t! I’m sorry! We all just spend too much time together, so we try and keep it clean with each other.

TNS: The last series of the show faced some criticism, with some people saying that it had become soft, or lost its edge. What do you have to say to those people about this new season?

ST: I would just say that this series is an entirely different beast to the last one. The last season focused on introducing the characters, building their relationships, and this year everything gets pushed and put to the test. It is what people know, love and expect from Skins, but there is just more of it. It is more extreme, and more edgy. We are doing things that have never been done on Skins before, maybe even never been done on TV before!

TNS: Is there anything that you can share with us?

ST: Unfortunately I cant talk about so many of the incredible things that are part of this new series, I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait and watch it. But it will be really amazing; we are all really excited about it. Its like the last season on heat, lets put it that way! Anyone who didn’t give season five a chance really need to give this one a go, it’s something special.

TNS: And finally, how is your Christmas shopping going?

ST: I haven’t done any actually! We wrap on December 23rd, so I should probably start soon.

Series six of Skins airs in early 2012 on E4




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