Thursday, 3 May 2012

New Skin for an old ceremony

Skins blasted onto our screens more than six years ago, its portrayal of British teenage life was refreshing and it gave an unflinching insight into growing up in the modern-day world. Yet uniquely not within the capital city of London, but in the smaller yet fast-paced Bristol. Unlike most shows that make stars and cling onto them, Skins has renewed its cast every two seasons, using mostly unprofessional actors allowing those who watch the show to become a part of it and in some cases involving new writers and directors. Skins has become a breeding ground for new talent on a multitude of levels, and over time it has launched the careers of several individuals, including cast member Nicholas Hoult, who unlike the others was a child actor acting alongside Hugh Grant in About A Boy and post series working with Tom Ford on both his film debut A Single Man which led to being featured in Ford’s advertising campaigns.
Who could also forget series one’s Dev Patel, a non-actor prior, who went on to work with Danny Boyle in Slumdog Millionaire and M Night Shyamalan on The Last Airbender. Similarly Daniel Kaluuya, who also directed an episode and has become a fixture on BBC shows Fade and Psychoville appeared alongside Rowan Atkinson on Johnny English Reborn. Series three which was the second generation, made stars out of Jack O’Connell who was an actor prior to Skins, yet it’s no doubt that the show helped showcase his talent, and Kaya Scodelario, who played supporting roles in the previous generation even before the show’s end. Kaya had worked with directors such as Duncan Jones on his breakout film Moon and alongside talent Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Gemma Arteton on Clash of the Titians and recently taking a starring turn in Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights. Series five launched the third generation of young talent. One name, Dakota Blue Richards, may ring a few bells, an actress beforehand who has shared the screen with actors Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman in the blockbuster Golden Compass. The third generation will star in the sixth series and consists of Freya Mavor, Laya Lewis, Jessica Sula, Alex Arnold, Will Merrick, Sean Teale, Sebastian De Souza and series six newcomer, Sam Jackson. The cast arrived to photographer Simon Harris’ studio and were surprisingly humble. Although it felt like a trip back to college it was clear the cast were confident around each other and enjoyed one another’s company. The team was intrigued with the new face that was Sam Jackson and based the following fashion story on him and his character. Each had their individual story about how they became a part of the show, told with glee and somewhat disbelief, as if they were still pinching themselves. Lewis recalls, ‘The director came to my sixth form and I was like yeah I can do it.’ Jackson remembers, ‘I went down to London for a first audition and got called back for a second one and then they told me that I hadn’t got it, and then they rang me up again saying I’m back in the frame and then they rang me up again saying I got the part.’ One thing all the cast members do agree on is which series was their favourite so far, which in turn was series one. Mavor says ‘They’ll always be like the Skins characters and we’re like the kind of shadows’. Ends.

 4dvd's Skin Series 6 is out on DVD from 23rd of April as well as the full series box set of series 1-6

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