Over the past few years, Leona Vaughan has been seen on screens as main character, Jana in hit CBBC show, Wolfblood. Her fanbase has grown throughout the years and has led her on to many other projects. We talk to Leona about what it’s like on the set of Wolfblood, who’s the funniest on set and what Hacker is really like.
You play Jana in CBBC’s Wolfblood, what’s it like on set of the show?
Being on the set of Wolfblood is the best feeling ever! It’s where my career started and everything that I’ve learned about the craft and the industry has come from Wolfblood. For that, I’m eternally grateful!
The cast changed over the years, do you still talk to the old cast members and what were the new cast like to work with?
I do, yes, although not very often as they’re all super busy with their own projects! The new cast are fab! We all gelled really quickly and got along great! They’re all so talented!
Did any of the actors on the show play practical jokes while on set?
Yes! Haha! The worst person is Louis (Payne) who plays TJ! He’s always getting into mischief!
Do you have contact lenses specially made for your role and what is it like?
Yes. They are specially designed with my prescription so I can actually see better with them in! They are made and shipped from America so it’s quite exciting!
Your portrayal of Jana saw you be nominated for a Children’s BAFTA Award, how did this feel?
I remember I was on set filming Wolfblood and one of the cast members shouted it out! Everyone was so happy for me! I phoned my mum in work and cried! I just think to have that nomination was amazing! I feel very proud still and it definitely gave me a confidence boost! Hopefully one day I’ll win the award!
Earlier this year, you were a guest on Top Class, did you enjoy filming this?
I did indeed! I’d never done a game show before and had loads of fun! Sue (Calman) was amazing! And filming in Glasgow was special too!
What was it like talking to Hacker on Hacker Time?
Absolutely hilarious! It’s probably my favourite guest role that I’ve done! Hacker is just so naughty and funny! Me and Louis could not concentrate as Hacker was making us laugh so much!
How different was it filming for your episode of Casualty opposed to filming for Wolfblood?
Completely! Although I’d worked with a few of the crew members before on other projects! Casualty is a BBC One drama so it was super exciting to be part of the experience! It’s made me more determined to do more dramas! Also, it’s interesting as there is a different audience you’re playing to!
Do you hope to work on films at some point in your career?
Most definitely! Film is what inspired me from a very young age! I always loved watching stories on screen, anything from Disney to Titanic! I fell in love with characters and their stories and that has stayed with me all my life. I think it’s important to educate people through storytelling.
Having previously performed in pantomimes, what was it like performing live to an audience each night?
Very nerve-racking! It totally forces you to feel all the adrenaline and makes you focus. It was so much fun! And I got to sing a rendition of a Beyoncé song which was great!
Would you like to do more pantomimes in the future and would you like to be in a West End show?
Yes, of course! Although I love singing and acting, I prefer doing them separately. I prefer singing at concerts as myself instead of a character, and I prefer filming and being on set to stage! But yes, if I had the opportunity to perform in the West End then, of course, I would go for it!
Did you perform in any school plays when you were younger?
I did indeed! My favourite roles were Cinderella in Cinderella when I was in Year 6, and when I played Oliver Twist in Oliver!, when I was 15! That was probably one of the best experiences of my life! It was definitely a turning point and when I actually thought I could do this one day as a job.
You attended the Mark Jermin stage school, when was this?
The Mark Jermin stage school was part of a Friday night class I did after school in Penarth. I’d won a scholarship there when I was 14, and I performed there until I was 17/18.
Would you like to do any presenting work?
Maybe one day! I’ve done a little bit of it already! And it’s very different to acting! It puts you on the spot which can be nerve-racking but exciting too!
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t acting?
If I wasn’t acting then I’d most probably be travelling all around the world at the moment as travel is another passion of mine! But career-wise, I would probably work for a charity such as Tenovus, which I am currently a patron for, or maybe have gone to university to study psychology or medicine as that’s what I wanted to do before I discovered acting.
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