But while Smith, 37, has seen her stock rise with her powerful performance as the troubled gambling addict Sam, the drama itself has received more of a mixed response, with viewers critical of the show’s storyline and occasionally clunky dialogue.
However, Smith’s Cleaning Up co-star Jade Anouka says the cast were expecting a mixed reaction – and were pleased that it has caused such a stir.
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Speaking to RadioTimes.com at the Platform Presents Poetry Gala after-party, she explained, “We always knew it was going to split people, but the best things split an audience.
“I’d rather have people love it and hate it than having everything beige. Actually, the response that I’ve received, not that I’ve sought out responses, but the stuff that’s come to me has all been really positive.”
Cleaning Up is 28-year-old Anouka’s biggest television role to date, having previously featured in 2018 mini-series Trauma and Michaela Coel’s comedy Chewing Gum.
“I had such a great time on Cleaning Up, I loved that show,” she said. “Sheridan and I just got on really well, she’s so lovely. She’s so good as well!
“She’s great fun but she’s also a really good actor and I just learnt from example. She’s wicked.”
Smith, who recently starred in BBC1 dementia drama Care and is set to play a porn star in Channel 4’s Adult Material, said she was drawn to the “working class-ness” of Cleaning Up.
“That’s where I’m from, they’re the type of people that I would naturally attract to and want to be around, so I loved it,” she told RadioTimes.com.
This article was originally published in January 2019