Fresh Meat: Zawe Ashton – no one at drama school could understand what I was saying

"I used to mumble a lot, which isn’t ideal for an actress. That soon got beaten out of me!"

Who do you play?
A punky English student called Vod. The other students are a bit scared of her; they’re not sure what she might do.

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What do you remember about your freshers week?
I remember no one could understand what I was saying because I used to mumble a lot, which isn’t ideal for an actress. That soon got beaten out of me at drama school!

Did you live in halls or a flat-share?
Like the characters in Fresh Meat, I found my accommodation quite late and ended up in these terrible privately-owned Halls. I lived next door to a wannabe DJ who played really loud, really rubbish music in the middle of the night, every night, although he was well aware that I always had a 9am start.

Were you domesticated?
I took to the cooking pretty well; I just dished up the same thing over and over again – chicken salad everyday for a year.

What do you wish you’d known then?
I wish I hadn’t worried whether I was too fat or too thin or that I only knew how to cook one dish. Because when you look back at it, you realise this is the time of your life.

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And your top tip for this year’s freshers?
It’s a shame Woolworths isn’t around any more because that’s where I decked myself out. So my advice is: learn how to cook eggs because you’re going to need them.