Interview with Danielle Walters for Chewing Gum

You play Candice. For those who’ve not seen the show, tell us a bit about her? Candice is wonderful. She's exciting, strong, courageous and real. What you see is what you get with her. You will know exactly how she feels about you. She's not scared to go with whatever she feels is right. She's human, so insecure at times and deep down quite vulnerable, which makes her sweet, funny and lovable. She is into fashion, her clothes are extremely unique and she loves doing hair and make up for everyone on the Estate. She has dreams bigger than just staying on her estate forever, possibly opening her own salon one day and she is willing to work hard to make these dreams a reality. 

She’s cooler than Tracey, and more experienced, and more streetwise. Why is she friends with her? Candice is friends (best friends) with Tracey as it's always been that way! She is very loyal to her and wants to look after her. They grew up as little kids on the estate together and just got along. They are like Ying and Yang, completely different but fit perfectly together, they just work. Candice loves Tracey and is very close to her. She's quite overprotective of her and tries her best to make her friend look good at all times. She wants to teach her and get her to grow up a bit. Tracey makes Candice laugh and always brings up her mood with her hair brained schemes and naivety. Candice has an emotional bond with Tracey they have always had and I don't think will ever be lost, whatever they go through. Tracey is one of the only people that can really hurt Candice. She is Candice's other half. 

When you were growing up, were you more Tracey or Candice? I would say I was a bit of both to be honest. I wanted to dress nice and be cool, but I didn't have that natural amazing dress sense that Candice has, so many of my outfits I thought were cool really were not. I was quite boyish growing up, especially with two brothers and no sisters, sometimes I didn't know what it was to act ladylike! I'm like Candice in the way that I'm honest to a fault and sometimes tactless, what you see is definitely what you get with me, but I was also quite naive growing up as my parents kept anything bad away from me so I was in my own little bubble until way into my 20s! My parents, especially my mum, were quite religious when I was growing up so I didn't get to experience as many things as maybe others my age did. Which made me really curious and a little naughty when I left school. There was definitely both Candice and Tracy in me! 

You had a baby in October. Presumably, then, you were pregnant while series 2 was being made. How did you cope with that? Yes! I was 7 going on 8 months pregnant when I was filming series 2! It's weird because I was also pregnant when we first filmed the C4 Blap for Chewing Gum back in 2014. The early mornings and long days really took it out of me this time and I could see the difference in my energy from filming series 1 not pregnant, to filming series 2. The physicality of filming was difficult as Candice is quite an active character, she's always up and down, this was hard for me to cope with on some days, but I was always made comfortable and where possible in the scenes I was sitting down. As Candice isn't pregnant in series 2 I still had to portray a young feisty, energetic Candice when all I wanted to do was fall asleep half the time! I got through it though and everyone on the team was very accommodating which I was grateful for! 

Did they write a pregnancy into the script, or did they hide your bump? Candice is not pregnant in series 2 and with the story lines that were created for her, being pregnant just would not have worked for her. We all came up with different ways of hiding "the bump" depending on what the scene was and what she was doing in that specific scene. It's cleverly done! Let's see if anyone notices!

What’s the atmosphere like on set? Generally the atmosphere is amazing on set, everyone has loads of energy and are always ready to help each other and come up with new innovative ideas, from the director to make up and wardrobe to the actors, we all worked very well with each other to make Michaela's masterpiece come together. It's a fun and lively atmosphere with loads of daily banter. Some days are quiet where people are not as energetic as other days but it's to be expected, we are all human and have up and down days. 

Is corpsing a problem? Who’s the worst? We all corpse now and then. It's not a problem and most of the time we just laugh it off! When it comes to the end of the day and everyone wants to go home we may not be as forgiving though! I wouldn't say anyone is the worst! We all have our times! 

Do you improvise at all, or do you stick rigidly to the script? We do have quite a few moments where we improvise, as if something works better when we are in the moment than what it says on the script, we go with that. There are quite a few times where we have added in extra lines and if it works we go with it! Nothing is written in stone, it's whatever is best at the time.

Do you and Ashley read scripts and help each other rehearse at home? Ashley and I are always reading scripts together. We help each other and advise each other when we are going for castings or just reading things we are working on. It's fun to have someone that understands and knows how to help and push you in the best way possible, but ultimately we always play things how we as individuals feel would be best for our characters. It's great to have his support.

Is he a fan of the show? Yes, he thinks Chewing Gum is original and very funny! 

How old will your kids have to be before you’ll let them watch the show? Well the older ones are in their mid-teens so they watch it already and find it hilarious!!! I think sometimes it's a bit awkward for my son who is 15 as his friends watch it at school too, but generally he is proud. The babies won't be watching Chewing Gum for at least another 10 years! We will be on series 12 by then!

December 14, 2016 1:27pm by Channel 4  

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