The stars of Pramface on series two, romance and playing football with Angus Deayton

Scarlett Alice Johnson and Sean Verey chat to RadioTimes.com about being sent off set for laughing too hard and whether their characters will end up together

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The stars of Pramface on series two, romance and playing football with Angus Deayton
Written By
Susanna Lazarus

If you could describe your characters in three words, what would they be?

Scarlett: Determined, earnest and strong-willed.

Sean: loveable, idiotic and loyal.

What research did you do when you found out you were going to be playing young parents?

Scarlett: I spoke to a lot of people, especially in the first series with the labour because that's quite a big undertaking. I've been with my sister when she's had her babies which was an amazing experience and completely life-changing and my brother has children as well so I've been around both their young families. 

Sean: I didn't do a lot because when I was reading the script it was obvious that Jamie didn't know what he was doing or what world he was entering. I wanted that to come across - that he'd never known anything like this - so I couldn't be too clued up. I wanted every experience to be as if it was for the first time.

Scarlett: He didn't want to hold the babies until he had to...

PramfaceWhat's it been like having the babies on the set? You've had more than one, haven't you?

Scarlett: Yes, we've had six! Two sets of twins and two single babies. I quite liked coming into work thinking I was going to get a cuddle from a lovely little baby today.

Sean: It was a bit tricky for some scenes when they were screaming and crying, but then on other scenes it added something to it as it became very chaotic. 

You had a pretty traumatic labour scene to film in series one...

Scarlett: It was really intense and we'd only known each other for a couple of weeks so it was quite nerve-wracking because you feel pretty vulnerable.

Sean: It was serious that day but I think it needed to be. For the two weeks leading up to it there were laughs, laughs, laughs, but then on that day it was like some sort of Spielberg film. 

Scarlett: We weren't making a comedy that day. 

What can you tell us about series two?

Scarlett: Jamie and Laura continue bumbling along in the same tone, having to make the most of some pretty dire situations. But this time they have beautiful little baby Emily thrown into the mix and their relationship progresses quite a lot.

Sean: Last series it was all about the baby and what they were going to do. Now the baby's here it's about Jamie and Laura and what they're going to do. It keeps you guessing all the way and it's a new tone because everyone's at a different stage in their lives. The last series Jamie was at school, now he's at college and he's got a part-time job and Laura tries getting a job later in the series too.

Scarlett: There's also a scene coming up which has more of a hearty emotional thing going on between Jamie and Laura and I was quite teary when I filmed it because it's just so sweet. It was really beautifully written.

Are you hoping your characters will end up together?

Scarlett: I think there's definitely a possibility. There are lots of people on Twitter saying, "please let them be a couple."

Sean: I think there might be an uprising if it doesn't happen!

Scarlett: I think we should string it out for as long as possible. It should be like the Ross and Rachel saga - will they/won't they?

Will viewers see any new love interests introduced. 

Sean: Maybe...

Scarlett: Maybe...

Hmm, cryptic. If you could give your characters any advice, what would it be?

PramfaceScarlett: I'd love to be able to sit her down, get her a babysitter, get her out of clothes covered with baby sick, give her a glass of wine and say, "your life is going to be great. You've got an amazing guy even though you can't see the best in him at the moment. He's a devoted dad and he's always got the best intentions and your family will come around and you will be fine." She's so anxious all the time and you just want her to chill out and enjoy life a little bit.

Sean: I would just tell him to keep going because he's doing well. I think ultimately he'll get there.

Did you watch last week's episode as it went out?

Sean: We all got together and watched it. 

Scarlett: We had some drinks and some food and put down our phones because Twitter was going nuts. We watched it in silence.

Sean: And then afterwards no one said anything because we were all on our phones!

Do you get good feedback from the show?

Sean: On the whole people are lovely - we've got some amazing loyal fans who've been really excited about the second series for a long time. I've also had a few tweets from young mums and dads saying it's their favourite show and they identify with it so much. But then I've had tweets from people saying, "Jamie's storyline is like my worst nightmare!"

Scarlett: A family friend texted me to say he watched it and it felt very close to him because of his situation. I'm really proud of it!

What have been your favourite scenes over the last two series?

Scarlett: One of my favourite scenes is actually from series one when Jamie and Laura go to an ante-natal class. I can't explain how much I laughed that day. 

Sean: You got sent off set...

Scarlett: I laughed to the point that everything ached and you can feel it for days afterwards in your cheeks. It was so embarrassing because I couldn't get any work done and Sean's reactions were just brilliant. 

Sean: I really enjoyed the scene in series two, episode one where I do the speech in the church - we had everyone under one roof for the first time and I got the chance to act in front of people like Ronald Pickup which was amazing.

Pramface Anna Chancellor and Angus Deayton also appear in Pramface - what's it been like working alongside such an experienced cast?

Scarlett: They've done a lot of comedy so they give you a kind of confidence - it's almost like you get a seal of approaval or a thumbs up because they've done such amazing work. We're a lot younger and you want an older cast to accept you and think they can throw things at you and you'll be able to reciprocate. It's really nice when an actor does something that's not necessarily scripted and then hopefully, if you're good enough, you can throw something back.

Sean: The highlight for me was watching Ron Pickup in Best Exotic Marigold Hotel about a week before we were due to film and thinking he was amazing. And then doing that scene in the church with the speech and he was just sat there - he didn't have any lines - and after one take he was smiling and gave me a little wink and thumbs up to say, "that was good". 

Do you prefer filming emotional scenes to comic ones?

Scarlett: I don't prefer either one, but what's really nice is being able to do both in one programme.

Sean: It's just getting it right - that's the thrill. Whether it's being funny, having a comic line or a serious one, it's not about getting the laughs or making people cry, it's about nailing it in its own department. Feeling like you've done it well, that's the buzz. 

Scarlett: And if in the beginning of an episode it's all light and funny and then you know in scene 18 there's a really beautiful, heart-rending moment, it's nice to think that the audience are (hopefully) going to be laughing and smiling and then suddenly... Because in great shows like Only Fools and Horses, there are moments in that where out of nowhere Del Boy will make you cry and it's brilliant... and then he makes you laugh again! That's such a rare thing and hopefully we can do something like it.

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Scarlett: I'm shooting someting at the moment with Blake Harrison from The Inbetweeners for Comedy Central that will come out in March but after that, who knows. 

Sean: And I'm free...

Scarlett: Free for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs...

Sean: After-dinner speeches... 

Are you hoping for a third series of Pramface?

Sean: I'd happily do series three, but at the moment I'm writing some stand-up comedy. I did my first gig a couple of weeks ago. 

Scarlett: (whispers) He was amazing! We all went to see it.

Sean: It went really well so I'm in the middle of writing more. I'm going to venture into that as well as acting. While the phone's not ringing I might as well go and be funny somewhere else!

Do you all spend time together outside of filming?

Sean: We do, actually, which is rare. We've made some really good friendships. I'm playing football on the same team as Angus Deayton now which is really cool. 

Scarlett: I want to play football with Angus Deayton - he didn't ask me!

Sean: Well he plays football with me. 

You asked him along...?

Sean: Yes.

Scarlett: Definitely didn't happen like that!


Watch Scarlett and Sean in series two of Pramface on Tuesdays at 10pm on BBC3

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