Cast of skins dating
'I’m not good at dressing up,’ she says, leaning back on to the cushions of the banquette. It’s just not me – high heels and designer dresses – and I can’t seem to get used to it.’ But I imagine she’s going to have to get used to it, for Kaya Scodelario is just about the hottest actress in Britain.
She first appeared on our screens aged 14 as the compulsive, in-yer-face Effy Stonem in Skins.
It turns out – to the delight of its many fans – that Skins is coming back.
The new series will feature three two-part films, each focusing on a different character. 'I never thought it would happen, and at first I wasn’t sure what I thought about the idea. It was so much part of its time and I was so young. Now Effy, like Scodelario, has grown up and is finding her way through life as a young adult, negotiating the maze of work and love and friendship. My mum came with me at first but then she didn’t need to after a while.’ It was, she says, 'the most incredible time for all of us’.
'I knew so many people had done the role before me, but I liked not knowing much about it.’ (Scodelario caused a stir when promoting the film by revealing she hadn’t read the book.) 'I think in the book she and Heathcliff are young, so maybe that’s why it all worked.
'She’s intelligent and she pushes herself.’ She is still cool, sexy, unpredictable and clever, with that crucifying dash of kindness in her. I had been in touch with him but I didn’t see him that much. No one really knows exactly though.’ Her mother emigrated to Britain in 1990, where she met and married Scodelario’s father. ’ Scodelario took her mother’s surname when her parents divorced. She moved from Surrey to London, taught herself English and found a job.’ (She worked at various points as a cleaner, nurse and secretary.) 'She worked as hard as she could to support me but still people come up to her and tell her to go back on the banana boat, complaining she’s “taken their jobs”. At the time she called him the love of her life – but they split up in 2009 after a year together. We were both really young but it was a beautiful thing.’ She tells me it was a magical time, nine teenagers in a hotel with money, let loose in Bristol. We laughed, we fought, we made friendships that have lasted.
'There were all sorts of people within the industry who felt that all of us in Skins wouldn’t be able to escape [our characters].
But then I saw Nicholas [Hoult] and Dev [Patel] go on and be really successful and thought maybe I could do that as well.’ What really took her away from Effy was appearing in Wuthering Heights in 2011.
Andrea Arnold’s award-winning adaptation of Emily Brontë’s book used young, relatively unknown actors and focused more on the first half of the book than the second.
Scodelario put in a lauded performance as a wild, emotional Cathy Earnshaw.