Jessica Knappett on Drifters series 2, Tinder, bare bottoms and working with Ross from Friends
"All I’m saying is, I ended up having to do my own stunt and there is a bare bottom involved…"
Jessica Knappett is the writer, star and, it in lots of cases, inspiration for E4's twenty-something sitcom Drifters. As Meg, Bunny and Laura prepare to burst back onto our TV screens tonight, we caught up with Knappett to get a heads up on what we can expect from series two...
Tragically, more of the same really. They were kind of hoping that their lives might have moved on but they are still stuck and still waiting for the movies of their lives to start. Really, things have kind of got worse because as time has worn on the situation has become more desperate for all three of them.
What's Meg up to?
Meg is still living with her ex-boyfriend Mark despite the fact that they’ve now been not together for two years now. She’s using hook up apps. It’s very modern. Very, very modern this series.
Yes, though of course we're not allowed to call it Tinder. It's called Banger. We went through quite a long list. It's amazing how many of them really do exist. You think, 'What's the most ludicrous name I can come up with for a fictional hook up app?' Oh no. It exists.
I think it might be television's first foray into the land of Tinder. I’ve never seen it done on a sitcom before so that’s quite exciting. I fell like there is an entire sitcom just in Tinder, so at least one episode goes down that road. We see Meg obviously using it badly. She ends up having to commute 40 miles for a date because she set her distance wrong...
Are you using your own experiences as inspiration here?
Oh my God, yes. I’m always mining my past and sometime present, unfortunately... It’s actually fun to explore these kinds of things. I actually really enjoy delving into them and doing my research! But not taking it too far.
My friends are getting now very reluctant to tell me things that have happened to them. They just know it's going to end up in Drifters. Of course, by the time it's entered into script form it's gone beyond the point of recognition anyway. Sometimes people say to me, 'You should write something about me', and I go, 'I already have...'
So, you were a real Drifter?
For a long time I was doing what I loved but I wasn’t being paid to do it so during that time I had to find other ways to earn a living. That was when I ended up doing a lot of promotional work which you’ll see in Drifters.
Wearing promotional gambling outfits with appalling slogans on them like ‘Feeling Lucky?’ You might as well have been standing there with a sign on your head saying ‘Touch me up! Today! For free!’ It was degrading and humiliating but I sort of plotted my revenge while I was doing it...
What's the best moment from series two?
My favourite episode to write, film and edit is an episode called Truth or Dare. It’s episode two and the girls play a game of truth or dare inside the flat. All I’m saying is, I ended up having to do my own stunt and there is a bare bottom involved…
Are plans in motion for a third run?
I feel like something’s really clicked this series and I’ve found what I wanted to say. The first series, I was proud of it, but I felt like it was a lot of just getting down all this stuff that was in my head. The second series felt a lot clearer and more defined. So, I’m kind of excited by the prospect of doing another one, although I don’t know what’s going to happen.
If you were in control of the TV schedules what would you put on?
Back to back Game of Thrones followed by The Simpsons and then anything with Dan Snow or Bear Grylls in it. Oh, and loads of The Thick of It.
What's next for you?
I did a pilot earlier this year with David Schwimmer [called Irreversible]. All that is kind of up in the air at the moment, but that was fun. It was insane to meet him, let alone be his wife. Ross from Friends. No big deal. MASSIVE big deal. Obviously you want to call him Ross...
Drifters series two starts tonight at 9:00pm on E4