TV Quickfire: Jessica Barden on what happens next in TV hit The End of The F***ing World
Hit Channel 4 comedy drama The End Of The F***ing World ended on a huge cliff-hanger. Ahead of series two, we quizzed star Jessica Barden about what happens next for Alyssa and James
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO RETURN FOR A SECOND SERIES?
It was so exciting as an actor to go back and play a character for the second time. I've never done that before! Alyssa is like my best friend, I'm really proud of her and I love playing her. I love doing this job.
DO YOU RELATE TO ALYSSA?
I relate to being misunderstood in the way that she is. I will have an answer for everybody, and I will be able to speak to everybody. I can say exactly what comes into my head and be free of insecurity from that. I probably do come across like a very confident person – I can articulate the way that I feel.
But really, I can also be the complete opposite of that, which I think is what a lot of seemingly confident people feel. I loved that being put more into the second series.
WAS IT EASY TO SLIP BACK INTO CHARACTER?
It was weirdly easier than I thought. It was so strange. I read the first four episodes when I was doing a Harold Pinter play. I found that really hard and I didn't massively enjoy it. And so, when I read this, I was like, 'Thank god!'
I don't like to feel like I'm acting, and it felt like what was required from that particular play was complete acting.
WHAT HAPPENS TO ALYSSA IN SERIES TWO?
She's dealing with the possibility of James not being in her life – the removal of something really amazing that happened to her, at the same time as processing the trauma of that.
A lot of people forget James was protecting her from a sexual predator. The series also explores what that felt like to Alyssa.
NAOMI ACKIE JOINS THE CAST AS BONNIE. WHAT'S HER RELATIONSHIP WITH ALYSSA?
Women don't always like each other. Everybody constantly wants to show women supporting each other, but it's why Alyssa is brilliant and why I enjoy playing her – she is an extremely flawed character.
It's great seeing her and Bonnie together – it's really funny, because they don't have anything in common with each other.
WHY DO FANS LOVE THE SHOW?
I think that people had never seen a TV show like The End Of The F***ing World before.
It's very retro in the way that it looks. The way that music is used like a character as well, and a lot of really great TV shows that have stood the test of time have a fantastic soundtrack.
The Channel 4 release date was at the beginning of a very infamous period with the Time's Up stuff. People wanted to see a vulnerable male character, they wanted to see a strong female character.
THE SHOW WAS NOMINATED FOR A BAFTA, HOW DID THAT FEEL?
I never thought I would be in a Bafta-nominated TV show playing a character like Alyssa, no way!
I haven't always found it the easiest being an actress. I didn't know what type of career I was going to have; I couldn't see an example of me in the industry. I've never had a career I can follow, because I never could see myself in any other actors.
But, at the same time, what the industry does do really well here - and Bafta do it in all their schemes - is try and move with the times. And I think it was reflected a lot with our nomination.
:: The End Of The F****** World Series 2 airs on Channel 4 from Monday, November 4 to Thursday, November 7, with two new episodes double-billed every night across the week.