Best known for her role as Jody Jackson in CBBC show The Dumping Ground, seventeen-year-old Kia Pegg has been acting from a very young age. Before landing the role in Tracy Beaker Returns, Kia had already had experience in acting including the role of Vicious Vicky in Horrid Henry: The Movie. On a break from filming The Dumping Ground, we caught up with Kia about her character Jody, growing up on TV and recently winning an award.
What was it like growing up on the set of a popular TV show?
Growing up on set was equally a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. We have great fun when we are working, the cast and crew are all extremely close while we film however I think sometimes it’s understated how hard everyone works! Especially the little ones! It was an amazing experience I wouldn’t exchange for the world though!
How different was it filming Tracy Beaker Returns to The Dumping Ground?
It was no different for me at all really!
What’s been the most memorable scene to film?
Unfortunately all of the most memorable scenes that I’ve filmed are in episodes that haven’t aired! However, the first scene I ever filmed will stick in my mind – this was the scene where Jody has to get into the jelly bath with Tracy. Another memorable one was the ‘farce scene’ with Annabelle Davis hiding in the cupboard with the parcel! We had too much fun that day!
Many of the original cast members have left, are you still in contact with them?
I’m still in touch with most of the old cast though we don’t talk regularly. We always check in with each other now and again though – we are like the best sorts of friends though – we might not talk to each other constantly but when we see each other again you would never believe we have had time apart!
What was it like celebrating your birthday on set?
My birthday on set is the best!!! I actually love it so much, Ruben (Reuter) is only one day older than me so we get to celebrate together which is my favourite thing ever because Ruben and I are best friends in real life. For his birthday I put posters everywhere and made decorations, Ruben took a camera round the whole cast and crew and created me a special birthday video then we all went bowling together. I honestly love it so much!
What do you enjoy the most about playing Jody?
My favourite thing about Jody is she’s so interesting – also she’s just the right balance between a ‘good character’ and a ‘bad character’. She often makes the wrong decisions and loses her temper, however at heart Jody has a strong sense of justice and cares about the other kids deeply. This makes her a lot of fun and never boring!
Do you have any similarities to her?
I think when I was younger me and Jody were a lot more similar but that’s changed the longer I’ve played her. She’s a lot more frustrated than me, then again she has a lot more that doesn’t go her way in life. She is also a lot braver than I think I am, she’s been through a lot over the course of the show!
Are any of the cast members pranksters?
No one is particularly a prankster on set but everyone is absolutely hilarious! Me, Annabelle, Connor Lawson and Ruben had lunch together every day – we had Lunchtime Club and that was so, so funny! Me and Annabelle often went on photoshoots where we explored the building which was a lot of fun.
Did you have fun on the set of Horrid Henry the Movie?
Horrid Henry was a while back but I can remember that it was a lot of fun – even if I did end up losing my voice from growling!
Would you like to do more film roles?
Yeah, for sure!
You recently won the Best Young Actor award for The Quiet One at Birmingham Film Festival, can you tell us anything about the production?
That production was an independent feature that I had a small role in when I was around twelve. It’s a pretty cool film though that’s doing pretty well in film festivals at the minute.
What was pantomime like last year, are you doing one this year?
Panto was fun but I’m not doing it again. I’ve been working all summer and I just want some time at home, plus I’m having to work really hard at college. However I am at Television Workshop involved with a play they are doing next year!
What are you up to now this series of The Dumping Ground has finished filming?
I’m trying desperately to catch up with all the work that I missed at college! I’m a member of the Television Workshop which is brilliant – I’ve missed it loads and every session reminds me of why. I think when I’m not at Workshop I relax too much, lose a little confidence in myself – Workshop always brings that back! I’m spending time with my horses, friends and family.
How was the recent wrap party?
The wrap party was perfect! We had a wicked time and it was the most lovely way to congratulate everyone on (what I personally think is) the best season yet!
Your time on The Dumping Ground will have to come to an end at some point, do you plan to continue acting and how do you want Jody to leave?
I plan to continue acting for sure, it’s what I love more than anything! But I’m training to be a teacher too, everyone should have a back up plan. I’m not fussed how Jody goes as long as she’s not alone – I would like her to go with someone. I hate to imagine her alone in the world!
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