holby.tv caught up with former Hollyoaks actress Gemma Atkinson who joins the new series of CASUALTY this week as paramedic Tamzin Bayle. She kindly tells us about her new role…
What can you tell us about your character Tamzin?
My character Tamzin is very girl next door and genuine. She’s a people pleaser and loves to do the best she can when at work.
Can you relate to her in any way? Are you similar?
I think myself and Tamzin are similar in that we both like to give 100%, she’s also the type of person you could go to in times of trouble and my friends say I’m the ‘go to girl’ in our group too!
How does Tamzin interact with the rest of the team?
Tamzin gets on well with the rest of the team, in ep 1 she accidentally breaks Jeff’s favourite mug so gets off on the wrong foot but she soon redeems herself.
Were you at all nervous at joining such an established show as CASUALTY? Were you a fan of the show beforehand?
I’m always nervous when starting a new job especially TV as the cast and crew are usually all established whereas with film you all join on day one together. I’m also a fan of the show so wanted to do the part justice. Thankfully everyone made me feel really welcome and in the crew I saw loads of old Hollyoaks faces which was lovely.
What have the rest of the cast been like to work with?
The cast have been great to work with, especially Jane who plays Dixie. She’s a fellow Mancunian so we had good chats and the same sense of humour.
Do you think you’d be a good person to have around in an emergency?
I’d like to think I’d be good in an emergency, I always try to calm people when they are upset or agitated and I’m not squeamish either which always helps!
Are you health conscious?
I am health conscious yes, I exercise 6 days a week and I love hiking and cycling. I also have a good diet allowing myself 1 cheat day a week, I’ve never smoked and rarely drink alcohol.
You’re famed for your role in Hollyoaks, how does working on CASUALTY compare/ differ? Do you have fond memories of your time on Hollyoaks?
I loved working on Hollyoaks, it’s where I started and I’m grateful that I was cast as Lisa Hunter. CASUALTY was very much the same when shooting, in TV we have a saying ‘Hurry up and wait’ and it seems to be the same no matter what show!
What do you consider to be some of the highlights of your career so far?
Highlight of my career so far has been being nominated for best actress in Hollyoaks for my self harm story line. I’ve also been lucky enough to have made 5 movies at such a young age, one of which I co produced. Oh and I’ve met Sly Stallone too which I’m chuffed about haha!
Who or what inspired you to become an actress? Who are your favourite actors/ actresses?
I’ve always from a young age been the performer in the family, every Xmas I’d be gathering my sister and cousins to put on a play for the adults. I’ve always loved Jodie Foster as an actress but growing up I loved the movies Elizabeth Shue was in, esp Adventures in Babysitting and Cocktail.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
In my spare time I love being at home with family and school friends. We go for meals, have BBQ’s, go shopping with mum, just normal stuff really.
What was the last…
a) music you bought
The last album I bought was Adele’s 21.
b) film you watched
The last film was Bridesmaids. I went with the girls and loved it.
c) book you read
The last book was the autobiography of Michael J Fox titled Lucky Man. I laughed and cried.
You’re an avid user of Twitter, what feedback do you get from your fans?
My fans on Twitter have been great and really supportive. I enjoy interacting with them and getting their feedback.
Your CASUALTY role is only a short-term contract, have you got anything lined up after?
After CASUALTY I’m shooting my first Bollywood movie, Fever. We’re shooting half in Switzerland and half in India. I’m also playing the lead role of Barbara in a re-make of the horror classic Night Of The Living Dead 3D. As well as doing the promotion for my movies Airborne and How To Stop Being A Loser due for release later in the year.