Caroline Webster will be remembered by many stalwart fans for her role as Paramedic-turned-Manager Jane Scott who appeared in CASUALTY between Series 5 to 8. Caroline has now quit acting and is currently working behind the scenes. She talks to holby.tv…
Do you have fond memories of your time on CASUALTY?
I have very fond memories of CASUALTY. The cast and crew were such fun and friendly people, that we had a great time when filming. I count myself very luck to have had such a fabulous job.
What were your most memorable storylines from your time playing Jane?
The most memorable storylines were of course the train crash, (the set was amazing), the air crash (I got to drive down the run way with all the landing lights fully lit), and the nuclear waste episode in which Josh and I had to strip down to our underwear. On the first take, Ian Bleasdale, who had been in league with the costume department, stripped down to a basque and fishnet tights!
Were you pleased at how your character progressed during the show? For example when she switched career paths from paramedic to manager.
I was very instrumental in my character going into management. I got rather bored of my paramedic role repeating the same sort of action episode after episode, that I worked with the script editors to move Jane on. I knew that it was probably going to create my exit from the show, but I felt it needed to happen.
Can you remember your first scene?
My first scene was shot on a pice of waste ground on the site of the old Wills factory in Bristol. I was attacked by two druggies who snatched my paramedic box with all the drugs etc. I remember feeling quite nervous.
Do you still keep in touch with any of the cast from CASUALTY?
One of my dearest friends is Maureen Beattie, and Ian and I meet up from time-to-time.
Do you ever watch the show now?
No I never watch the show now. It has become too much of a ‘soap’.
CASUALTY soon reaches it’s 25th year, why do you think the show has maintained it’s success?
The show is such a success because the format allows personal dramas to be played out and resolved all within 50 minutes. It’s very cathartic to see the distress and crisis that characters encounter, and then witness each incident unfold and be remedied. The format is very strong and makes very good television.
Next year, filming will cease to continue in the Bristol warehouse, when it moves to Cardiff. Quite a topical debate, what are your thoughts on the move and the affects it will have?
I didn’t know it was moving to Cardiff. I wish it luck.
What acting projects did you work on after leaving CASUALTY?
I did an number of other acting jobs including a series with Jasper Carrott, where I played a new reporter.
You then developed your interest in writing and directing, what sparked this?
A friend of mine produced and directed a short film, and suggested that we make one together. I felt so inspired by what he had achieved, that I wrote a script. The film was called ‘Fluke’, and featured myself and Derek Thompson. I found the whole process of being behind the camera fascinating, and gradually moved away from acting.
You set up a training and production base called Manx Multimedia Centre, what can you tell us about your involvement in this company?
The MMC followed on from the short film. My friend and colleague, Julie Laslett, was based on the Isle of Man, and invited me over as part of a drama workshop for secondary school pupils regarding drugs awareness. We so enjoyed working together, devising and telling drama stories, that we got backing for a training and production base. The IOM Department of Trade & Industry funded what became the Manx Multimedia Centre, a training and production base, providing professional training and production experience for local young people. It enabled us to write and produce, and for me to direct a number of half hour dramas about social themes pertinent to young people, whilst training and working with young trainees.
A lot of your work has been aimed at young people and education, what made you decide to target this audience primarily?
Education and young people became our main focus due to the fact that Julie was a Deputy Head teacher, and it seemed both exciting and valuable to use our creativity to encourage young people, and also produce learning materials.
What career projects are you involved with now?
I am now working as a freelance director and photographer. My specialisms are corporate and education promo films, and actor’s headshots.
Do you miss acting?
No I don’t really miss acting. I miss some of the fun and camaraderie that comes with working closely with other actors, however, I certainly don’t miss the ‘business’ of being an actor, which is harder now than when I left drama school.
Do you ever get recognised now from your CASUALTY role?
I used to get recognised a lot, but it is such a long time ago now, that it rarely happens.