With the hugely popular CBBC show The Dumping Ground now in its eighth series, Jasmine Uson is currently playing the role of Taz after she joined the cast back in 2017. The Dumping Ground is Jasmine’s first professional acting job leading to her being nominated for Best Newcomer at the RTS North East & Border Television Awards last year for which she attended the award ceremony with fellow cast members Kia Pegg and Ruben Reuter with the show picking up the award for Best Drama. Jasmine has also had the experience of live TV when she was a guest at CBBC HQ with the channel’s presenters. Talking with us, Jasmine chats about booking the role of Taz in The Dumping Ground, being nominated for Best Newcomer and being a guest at CBBC HQ.
Do you remember how and when you found out you’d booked the role of Taz in The Dumping Ground and how you felt?
I remember that my acting school were sent an email about a casting call for The Dumping Ground, so my mum let me audition just for the experience. In fact, we passed the deadline of sending in my headshots so we originally thought that I couldn’t audition anymore. I was so excited when I found out I got the part but also quite shocked because I didn’t think I would get it.
How would you describe Taz and what is she like to play?
Taz is an energetic, feisty and mischievous person. She’s always determined to finish what she has started and she’s also a great friend. Taz is such a fun character to play as we don’t really have the same personality, so it’s fun getting to play someone so different from me. It’s so cool getting to see her develop every storyline.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the cast?
The thing I enjoy the most about being a part of the cast is how I basically have a second family. It’s genuinely like having lots of brothers and sisters. Everyone’s just really close with each other.
How did you prepare for your role and what did you know about the character before auditioning?
I read through my scripts with my mum and made sure I knew every line off by heart. I knew that her mum had passed away and her dad was an alcoholic and I also knew that my character was based off the Tasmanian devil.
What’s it like seeing yourself on TV and what do you feel you’ve learnt from your time in the show so far?
It’s really weird seeing myself on TV and sometimes it can be quite cringy watching back on old episodes. From my time in the show, I’ve learnt that if you work hard you can reach your goals. I’ve also learnt that there is always someone there for you when you need it.
How is it having The Dumping Ground as your first professional acting job?
It’s amazing! I’ve definitely experienced so much just from being on set and being around so many amazing people.
Can you tell us about attending the RTS North East & Border Television Awards last year where the show won Best Drama and you were nominated for Best Newcomer?
It was such an incredible experience that I will never forget, however, I was a bit nervous as it was my first award show. There were so many talented people there and it was such an honour knowing that I was nominated for an award. Even though I didn’t win my category, it was still such a privilege that I was even nominated in the first place. It’s so cool knowing that the show won Best Drama, going up on the stage was really fun.
Have you had a most challenging episode or scene to film?
I had to film an episode where I met my dad again and it was quite a hard episode to film. It was hard because I had to show a softer side of Taz which I wasn’t really used to but I got there in the end and the episode turned out great.
What’s it like attending the wrap parties at the end of a series and seeing what’s next for your character before filming for the following series?
The wrap parties are always something to look forward to after filming the series because it’s the time where we all get ready together and we take so many photos and dance to our favourite songs. Last year, the wrap party was amazing! I love having the little chats with the producers to discuss what they are planning for Taz in the future and what storylines they have in mind for her. It’s so exciting knowing what great ideas they have.
You’ve previously filmed at CBBC HQ, how did you find the experience?
Going to CBBC HQ was so fun and it was also quite scary since everything was live and there were so many cameras everywhere. I didn’t really know which one to look at! The presenters were some of the most kindest and funniest people I have ever met and everyone was so nice and welcoming there.
How are you finding the experience working with CBBC?
It’s been such a great journey and I’ve met so many incredible people along the way. I’m so happy I get to work alongside so many talented people.
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you get into it?
I’ve always been a performer since I was little and my love for acting grew through musical theatre. I got into acting by watching all these American TV shows when I was little and I would pretend to be the characters. I wondered what it would be like to be an actor on a TV show or a film.
How do you spend your time away from acting?
I play my piano and ukulele and I also go out with my friends.
What TV shows, films and musicals do you enjoy watching?
I really enjoy watching Stranger Things and I also love the films Mamma Mia!, Coraline and Corpse Bride. Some of my favourite musicals are Hamilton, Wicked and Waitress.
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