Since Almost Never started airing on CBBC, Imogen Chadwick has been playing Elena across all three series of the show, with her character becoming The Wonderland’s social media manager in the recent episodes, and Almost Never has now been picked up by Disney Channel and premiered in the US earlier this month. Imogen made her first major acting appearance as Cecy in Jacqueline Wilson’s adaptation of Katy on CBBC in 2018, and alongside acting, she is working with her father on a sustainable business called We Are Prudence. Answering our questions, Imogen tells us about booking her role of Elena in Almost Never, filming the series and her time as Cecy in Katy.
You play Elena in Almost Never, can you tell us about your character and what she is like to play?
Elena is a fun, bubbly, and borderline crazy super fan of The Wonderland, who somehow in the third series becomes their social media manager. Whilst playing her, the energy is always at 100% so it can be tiring doing the same scene repeatedly, but I can’t complain because I absolutely love playing her.
How did it feel booking the role in your first long-running series and what was it like reading the script for the first time?
It was my twelfth birthday when I got the news that I’d booked the part, making it one of the best birthdays I’ve had. Once I read the script, I knew how good the show was going to be instantly.
What’s it like working with the cast and being on set?
The cast are all amazing and all unbelievably talented, and we all get along really well which makes it so eye-opening when you see the amount of people and the large number of departments that work hard to make the show as good as it is.
Do you have any highlights from your time filming as Elena and have you had a favourite episode or scene to work on?
Series 3, Episode 2 is the one that sticks out to me the most. My character is on trial to be the band’s social media manager and we visit two of the boys’ school to give speeches. The writing in that episode and the performance was especially brilliant and has some of my favourite scenes to act in and is amazing to watch back.
How is it returning to set to film each series and developing the character?
I feel very lucky that I have been asked to return each year. Not only that but my character has been written into the script a lot more, allowing me to really have more fun in developing the character, often with the director allowing me to improvise with the other cast.
What do you enjoy most about being part of a CBBC show?
It sounds cheesy but I know if I could talk to my younger self and say that I’m on a CBBC show I would be elated. I used to write in primary school that my dream job would be on CBBC presenting or acting and I used to want to apply for every show on the website so if I then knew in a few years I would have achieved that goal, I would be incredibly impressed.
In 2018, you played Cecy in Jacqueline Wilson’s CBBC adaptation Katy, what was this like to be a part of?
It will be an experience I will never forget as it was my first project and it was with the most amazing group of people, who I’m still in touch with!
What do you remember most from your time filming the role and had you read the book before joining the cast?
Coincidentally, I had just finished the book when I got the audition! The things I remember most are the other actors I worked with and the time we spent off set together. We would be in the green room playing games and making inside jokes, which eased my nerves on set being able to perform with my new friends.
How was it seeing your first major acting job released on TV?
It was so surreal seeing myself on the channel I had watched for years. Also, the support and kind words I got from friends, family and even people at school I didn’t know.
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you start?
I’ve always put on shows for my family and performed to songs, so my parents knew I would love something like a drama club. I started when I was around ten years old and immediately fell in love with it. Instead of shows in the living room, it became shows on stage with new friends and incredible teachers.
Do you have any favourite TV shows or films to watch?
As of last year, the show Community has become my all-time favourite. I’ve rewatched it countless times and it never gets old. I could talk about it for hours but I 100% recommend it.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Recently, all I’ve been doing is watching shows, listening to music, and going to the gym, which isn’t very exciting. Hopefully in the near future, a small, sustainable business me and my dad work on called We Are Prudence will be taking off. I think this year I will be putting a lot more time into it alongside focusing on my GCSEs.
Do you have any career plans for the rest of 2021 that you can tell us about?
I’m not sure what lies ahead for my career, but this year it will definitely just be focusing on my GCSEs!!
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