Interview with Alicia Forde who plays Kelly-Jo Rafferty in Waterloo Road



About Kelly-Jo Rafferty
Kelly-Jo loves disruption, and all the staff dread having her in their lessons. It’s not that she's not bright, she really is, she just can’t concentrate. Kelly is best mates with Samia simply because they have been since they were eleven; and has serious tough-girl status.

Alicia Forde Q&A

Welcome to Waterloo Road! How does it feel to be part of the class of 2023?

It feels amazing, it’s still very surreal. I think it’s crazy when you watch something when you're younger and never expect to be a part of it, then all of a sudden, you’re in the world, playing a character you wish you had when you were younger and now, you’re doing press for the show. Very surreal, but amazing.

Kelly-Jo has a big personality in the show, what similarities do you share with her?

In a way, I can relate to her, but to be honest I think me and Kelly-Jo are different in many ways. I think there’s going to be similarities in every character you ever play in life, but I see Kelly-Jo more as a little sister, who I’m guiding through life and through all these different, crazy emotions that you go through at the age of sixteen. I hope she’ll be able to resonate with a lot of people out there who have been misunderstood and who are being misunderstood. I just hope she’ll help at least one person to see that their special power (the thing that they might see as a weakness) is actually something incredible.

In the series, you have a big storyline that unfolds, what research did you do to better understand Kelly-Jo?

To be honest, my main point of research was Educating Greater Manchester. The kids in that show are just shown in complete reality, and we see the things kids go through outside of school that can affect them in education. But apart from that, there was a lot of research on finding out how different brains work. I think we can take inspiration from everywhere!

What impact do you hope she will have on viewers?

I think as an audience we put characters in a stereotypical box and as actors we’ve done a good job when we break that. Kelly Jo has a lot going on in her brain and heart, she’s just a young girl finding herself, finding her identity, finding who she is and watch her grow.

What was your experience of school like?

You know what, I loved school, I was more of a sporty kid. I think there’s a lot of kids out there who think they’re not as intelligent because they go down the creative route, but the creative kids here are thriving just as much as the kids who are very book smart.


Waterloo Road returns for a new term on Tuesday, January 3 2023.

The highly anticipated first episode will air at 8 pm on BBC One after EastEnders.

The classroom drama will also be repeated on BBC Three on Friday, January 6 at 7 pm.

The new series consists of seven episodes and will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Source BBC One

January 3, 2023 5:00am ET by BBC One  


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