For her first screen role, Georgia de Gidlow plays Keedie – one of the lead characters in the CBBC/BBC iPlayer series A Kind of Spark, which has led to her being a guest on BBC Breakfast and CBBC HQ, and attend the show’s premiere event in March. Georgia worked closely with a cast including Lola Blue and Caitlin Hamilton (as her on-screen sisters Addie and Nina), and Eve Midgley (as Audrey), and A Kind of Spark is adapted from Elle McNicoll’s novel of the same name. Having started acting when she was young, Georgia hadn’t professionally acted for a while due to being at university, until her drama teacher mentioned to her about the audition for an autistic character for an upcoming series, which resulted in her being cast for her regular character debut on screen. We recently caught up with Georgia, who chatted about playing Keedie in A Kind of Spark, acting alongside her on-screen sisters and how the experience was as a guest on CBBC HQ and BBC Breakfast.
What was it like finding out you’d booked the regular role of Keedie in the new screen adaptation of A Kind of Spark and how much did you know about Elle McNicoll’s book before auditioning?
I was beyond happy. I can’t describe to you how happy I was. I resonate so deeply with this character and it means more to me than just having this absolutely incredible opportunity. I hadn’t heard of the books at all, so when I got the callback for Keedie, I was like, ‘oh, I have to read this book!’. I didn’t realise that Addie had an older sister that was a bit more fiery. I just cried the whole way through. Every single time Keedie was on the page, I couldn’t tear myself away from her.
What is Keedie like to play and can you tell us about the character?
Keedie is so fun to play! She’s so cool and she is the person that I have allowed myself to grow into because she’s always known who she is whereas I have had to figure out how to be Keedie. It was cool to play someone who was just so assured in herself.
It was pure joy! Me, Eve (Midgley), Lola and Caitlin all lived together and it was a sisterhood. I really hope that I’ll always be close with those girls because they are the most kind and supportive people I’ve ever met. I’m so lucky.
What are some of your favourite highlights from your time on set of A Kind of Spark?
In terms of filming, I loved the putting our heads together that me and Lola did because that is something we do off screen, so to bring that on screen was emotional. Also, I couldn’t stop laughing with all the cast, especially Eve, oh my god, she’s so funny!
How does it feel to be part of a series bringing neurodiversity representation to CBBC and BBC iPlayer and how has it been seeing the viewers’ response to the show?
It’s been an honour. I don’t really have anything else to say, I’m just so glad that I could bring Keedie to life. I’m not a representative for autistic people, I wouldn’t want to put myself out there like that because maybe there are better people for it, but in terms of playing a character that I feel like people can relate to, I’m so lucky to have done that.
What was it like watching the completed series for the first time and how was it attending the show’s premiere event in March?
I honestly can’t explain it because I didn’t realise how well it would be edited, but I obviously knew that it was going to be an amazing show. I’d never seen a meltdown on screen before, and to see the scene of Lola walking into the school, getting overwhelmed and all of those things be translated so perfectly was bonkers.
You were a guest on CBBC HQ and BBC Breakfast, how did you find the experience filming for live TV?
Really, really scary. It’s very different from being on a TV set where you know that you get a second chance. It was like, ‘people are watching, you have to be perfect, there’s no retake’, so it was really scary. I’ve always been a thrill seeker though and it was also exhilarating so I liked the adrenaline!
Why would you recommend A Kind of Spark and who do you think will enjoy watching it?
It’s a good show with a good story that is full of mystery. It’s a binge-worthy series and anyone can watch it. I’ve had tonnes of my mates watching it – boys and girls of any age – and they’ve all loved it.
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
I got into acting when I was little because it was fun. I had an amazing drama teacher, who ended up signing up to an amazing agency. I hadn’t really done any acting for a while because I’ve been at uni studying politics. Then randomly, said drama teacher told me that there was an audition for an autistic girl so I knew I had to do that and it was too good of an opportunity to miss. I’ve got really lucky.
Have you been given any advice over your time as an actor so far that has stuck with you?
Yes, but I can’t think of anything right now… maybe not advice as an actor, but advice on how to cope with life in general as an autistic woman by other autistic women. I think that has been what has stuck with me the most.
Do you have any favourite films and TV shows to watch?
Yes, time to look at my hyperfixations, haha! I absolutely love The Haunting of Hill House, it’s literally the best TV show of all time. It’s one of those really satisfying shows where things are littered throughout the whole series and they all come together at the end. Hereditary as well, which is quite dark. I’m a huge horror film fan because I’ve got a very short attention span so one of the best ways to keep me engaged in the film is if I’m totally anxious the whole way through!
How do you like to spend your time away from acting?
I love spending time with my mates. I’ve got really good friends and a very good support system.
What are you hoping 2023 brings for you?
Season 2, please! Either Season 2 or more acting. Just a chance to be creative and move away from education and become the person that my fellow castmates have taught me how to be.
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