Spaced out – that time I met Jessica Hynes

jessicah

So the other day a pretty strange thing happened.

I’d been in the office editing a blog about Spaced to mark the forthcoming 15th anniversary of the show.

To be honest I was getting sick of it as I couldn’t find any decent pics on the system and I ended up leaving the office knowing I’d miss my train.

When I did finally get on the next random one in the right direction, I found a window seat then did that thing of making room for someone to sit by you but really hoping no one does so you can spread out.

But someone did sit next to me.

Jessica Hynes – who co-created, wrote and starred in Spaced.

I did a double take, as it seemed such an unlikely coincidence, then obviously decided to talk to her.

Yes, it was her and, yes, she thought it must be ‘kismet’.

So anyway, I told her about the article, and she told me about Spaced. I don’t have any direct quotes as I wasn’t taking notes but I can give you the gist.

She wrote Spaced for many reasons, but the key ones seemed to be to make sense of her and her struggling artist friends’ experiences of living in London at the time, and to make something creative out of it, to depict a living situation that lots of people had but you never saw on TV at the time, and to create a visually striking series – TV with ‘wow’ moments.

I loved what she had to say about the characters. Simon Pegg’s character, Tim, was basically an amalgamation of her creative, arty ex-boyfriends and male friends.

Marsha and her daughter were based on a – apparently posher – landlady and her daughter who used to have blazing rows.

We didn’t talk about the character of Daisy, but she did say the character she felt closest to was actually Brian Topp, the artist, who was based on a writer she once lived with.

Fun fact – Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith are, according to Hynes, fans of Spaced. They’ve chatted to her about it and particularly liked the strong female lead (and how balanced the two leads are).

Speaking of strong female leads we also chatted a bit about Up The Women, her more recent comedy show, which will have a second series.

We struggled to think of any other current TV programmes other than Orange Is The New Black in which women take centre stage, then I went off on one about the depiction of women in films and she did a funny impression of a hair-flicking stick insect American woman.

It was a great chat. I’m sorry I didn’t record it for you. But anyway, look out for her popping up in Cider With Rosie and, of course, Up The Women, which was originally on BBC4 but now looks to be on BBC2 at some point.

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