After filming the pilot episode of In My Skin as Bethan Gwyndaf in 2018, Gabrielle Creevy has since gone on to film the first full series in the lead role, which was released on BBC iPlayer and has now been picked up by Hulu, and her performance of the character has seen her win a BAFTA for Best Actress. Whilst training at Arts Educational Schools, Gabrielle booked her first screen role in The Stand Up Sketch Show, and last year, she could be seen on screens in new TV series 15 Days in the role of Katie. Gabrielle has also worked on stage and radio having performed as Yaz in Lose Yourself at Sherman Theatre and recorded as Leah in the BBC Radio 4’s production of Found. Chatting to Gabrielle, she talks about her BAFTA-winning role of Bethan in In My Skin, playing Katie in 15 Days and performing as Yaz in Lose Yourself at Sherman Theatre.
You play Bethan Gwyndaf in the TV series In My Skin, what is she like to play?
There is so much to say so I’ll start by saying what a dream to have such a layered character to get my teeth into. Bethan is awkward, funny, charming, troubled, caring, sassy and I had a ball getting to know her. In terms of playing her, I enjoyed the relationships she had with others especially her mum who is played by the AMAZING Jo Hartley. The moments we had to play out were such a highlight for me and Jo taught me a lot.
What did you know about the show and character before auditioning?
I had a brief breakdown of Bethan’s character and the relationship she has with her mum and friends and a few scenes to prepare but I had no idea of the full extent of the show and Bethan’s journey. Sometimes I find that more helpful because you have the license to build a version of the character which can be exciting.
How different was it filming the full series opposed to the pilot episode in 2018?
You know what? It felt like I’d never left. Bethan’s house was exactly the same, Bethan’s clothes were exactly the same and Cardiff was exactly the same. Even the hotel I was staying at was exactly the same! I guess, the intensity of the shoot was a bit different, we only had five days (I believe) to film the pilot compared to the series. Also, in the series we had the opportunity, of course, to develop relationships even further. The pilot, you get a snippet of who these people are so I guess the series was different in terms of character development.
Your portrayal of Bethan saw you win a BAFTA Award for Best Actress, how was the experience?
I say it every time but surreal. It only hit me the other day that the BAFTA on my shelf is MINE!!! The experience was overwhelming (in a good way). You know, you always dream about these things when you’re younger about winning an award for your work or making an acceptance speech and I can’t believe it became a reality. It’s the last thing I expected but I am extremely grateful and lucky. The experience was joyous. We were halfway through filming the series when the awards took place so it couldn’t have come at a better time. Also, apart from the evening itself I’d say the experience started when I found out I was nominated. I was working in a cafe at the time and I got a text (I shouldn’t have had my phone so apologies) but I was serving a lady at the time and, bless her, I was so distracted she ended up getting her latte about three years later. So, shoutout to the lady I served with the patience of a saint.
What’s it like having the show picked up by Hulu?
Fantastic. I’m so glad that a wider audience get to know these people and Kayleigh’s (Llewellyn) story is making its way around the globe. It shines a light on many important topics so I’m really pleased that it’s getting out there.
Can you say about appearing in The Stand Up Sketch Show?
This was actually my first job whilst at drama school. I’d never watched anything like this so I remember being quite fascinated about the concept when I had the audition through. The experience was so much fun and I was lucky to go back and do the second series. The talent they have on this show is mind-blowing.
Last year, you played Katie in 15 Days, how was this?
Firstly, I met some great people on this job. It felt like a real family unit which is always a good start. Playing Katie actually brought back a few memories. I definitely saw a glimpse of myself in her when I was fifteen. You know the unnecessary attitude you develop with every single member of your family or always on your phone etc. I had a good time. It was like revisiting my childhood in a weird way. Also, it was filmed in Wales, like a really beautiful part of Wales, which is always a bonus.
What was the show like to be part of?
It’s interesting because there has already been a Welsh version of this show called 35 Diwrnod and I’d seen bits of it before I got this job. I was intrigued to see how it would differ. It’s set in the crime/drama genre and this is a tick on the list for me as I’ve always wanted to be a part of something similar. I also got to work with a director and producer that I worked with years ago so it was lovely to be able to reunite years later.
What was Father Brown like to film as Polly Beavington?
We filmed in the most beautiful place. I’d never seen scenery like it. What I loved about this job was that I got to transport back in time and do something different. Polly Beavington is a strong-willed barmaid (my bar skills finally came in handy here) and she’s slightly troubled. I had some lovely scenes to explore. I actually filmed it around this time last year and I believe it was one of the hottest days of my existence and I was wearing a shirt, tights, wool jumper and skirt. The things we do, hey!
How was your time filming as Shona Collins in Casualty?
I actually appeared on Casualty years ago so going back years later to the same building was pretty cool. Déjà vu! Shona Collins is this feisty, trainee lawyer and a role I wouldn’t usually have put myself in (because I have such a baby face), but she was fun and interesting to play. She had this attitude and sourness. Also, weirdly, the director on this I had also worked with many years ago, so it was cool to reunite with him.
You appeared at Sherman Theatre as Yaz in Lose Yourself, can you say more about the role and production?
Lose Yourself was my first theatre job. I remember getting the audition through and thinking ‘I need to do this’. Katherine Chandler is an amazing playwright and I’d read quite a few of her things before this came about. She’s clever with her writing so immediately I saw this person jump off the page and I fell in love with Yaz. She’s feisty, funny, charming but also has that tender side to her. Our director Patricia, who I’m so glad I met and got to work with, made this production very special. She has this way with people and she taught me the ropes. It was overwhelming at first, with some of the topics and the play being a three-hander and it suddenly dawned on me one day that I had to take all this information in but sometimes I think the thrill of it all is exciting.
What did you enjoy most about being on stage and playing Yaz?
There’s something about performing in front of a live audience and discovering new things that I can’t help but love. Yaz was a perfect example of being in the moment, she’s that type of person. She allowed me to have this freedom because it’s in her nature. Yaz is fun and, again, like Bethan, she has many layers which is a dream to play. There are so many avenues to go down with a character like this. I know many ‘Yaz’s’ and felt as though I had this duty to portray her in the best light possible.
How was it recording as Leah in the BBC Radio 4 show Found?
I’d never done anything like this before so I was super aware that I had no idea what it would even look like inside a recording studio and, to my amazement, it was nothing like I pictured. It was a new world to me. It was the little things like having props that I’d never thought of. Katherine Chandler wrote this also (Lose Yourself). Katherine pours magic onto the page with her writing and there’s a bit of text at the end which Leah says “It was there. The Love. I just didn’t know what it was”. This rings so true and Leah, like most people, has insecurities and imperfections, so therefore, it was heartwarming to portray Leah. She felt like a real person. I think radio plays are a really interesting form of art. Listening to someone express their thoughts and feelings only using their voice is so endearing. I’d love to do more of it.
Had you always wanted an acting career and how did it come about?
Strangely, me and my mum were chatting about this not long ago. I believe it came around at the age of four and I said to my mum these exact words, ‘I want to do acting’ (four-year-old Gabrielle wasn’t too good at stringing a sentence together), and she sent me to a stage school and the rest is history.
Can you tell us about training at Arts Educational Schools and some of the shows you appeared in whilst there?
My time at ArtsEd was a ride. I thought I knew most things about the industry and boy was I wrong! I’m so glad I decided to train here also. They offer exceptional training and the opportunities are outrageous. A lot of self-discovery took place in that building and my time at Arts. One of my favourite shows was The Suicide, I played a forty-year-old mum. I challenged myself to this because it was completely out of my comfort zone and I didn’t look back ONCE! I had a ball. So much fun was had and I found this love for comedy. I never thought I’d see the day because I do not have one single funny bone in my body.
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