‘It was f****d up’: Skins stars April Pearson and Laya Lewis say they ‘didn’t feel protected’ in sex scenes and claim show bosses told them to ‘skip meals’ ahead of filming in bikinis
- April, 32, said she ‘didn’t feel protected’ when she filmed raunchy sex scenes
- The actress played Michelle Richardson in the teen drama during series 1 and 2
- Laya, 29, who played Liv Malone in seasons five and six, alleged that show bosses told female cast members to ‘skip breakfast’
- The E4 show was hugely popular and ran from 2007 to 2013
Skins stars April Pearson and Laya Lewis have spoken about their ‘f***ed up’ experience filming the E4 show.
April, 32, claimed she ‘didn’t feel protected’ when she filmed raunchy sex scenes in her role as Michelle Richardson in the teen drama, which ran from 2007 to 2013.
While Laya, 29, who played Liv Malone in seasons five and six, alleged that show bosses told female cast members to ‘skip breakfast’ so they’d slim down ahead of filming scenes in their bikinis.
‘It was f****d up’: Skins stars April Pearson (pictured), who played Michelle, and Laya Lewis, who portrayed Liv, have spoken about their experience filming the E4 show
Speaking on her podcast Are You Michelle From Skins? on Monday, April said of the show’s sex scenes: ‘At the time you’re young and you don’t know any better.
‘You don’t really know what to say, to speak out, is this okay… And as with a lot of victims of trauma, you look back at it and think: ‘Yeah, that was f***ed up.”
She went on: ‘There’s a difference between being officially old enough and mentally old enough. I was having this conversation with my husband and I was saying I do feel like I was too young, I feel like I wasn’t protected.’
Laya was 18 when she first starred in the show, and claimed this meant she had more sex scenes than her other cast members.
Claims: Laya, 29, who played Liv in seasons five and six, alleged that show bosses told female cast members to ‘skip breakfast’ so they’d slim down ahead of filming scenes in their bikinis
She reflected: ‘I do think fair enough, we are actors and we are acting, but I think if you want to pluck children out of the street, which is essentially what they were doing to have this authentic onscreen thing going on, there needs to be a bit more help.
‘Talk through things, it was just a bit much to be bang, day one, here you are.’
The two actresses continued to claim that other cast members have ‘felt the same’ following the show ending and said that things have changed since Skins aired.
April told her fellow Skins alum: ‘Laya, you’re not the first person to have said you’ve carried some negativity from that experience
On screen: April, now 32, claimed she ‘didn’t feel protected’ when she filmed raunchy sex scenes in her role as Michelle (pictured) in the teen drama, which ran from 2007 and 2013
‘There needs to be a bit more help’: Laya was 18 when she first starred in the show, and claimed this meant she had more sex scenes than her other cast members
‘We’re talking seven series of the same show and everyone feeling the same, certainly the women and some of the men I have spoken to feel the same.
‘Nowadays you have an intimacy co-ordinator as a standard for nude, intimate scenes and that just simply wasn’t a thing.’
Laya also reflected on how she felt ‘pressure’ to be slim while appearing as Liv, telling April that the female cast had to line up in bikinis ahead of season six shooting.
She said: ‘I definitely felt a lot of pressure to be smaller or slimmer. From the actual creators or people behind the scenes.
‘There was one point where we were told to skip breakfast, and for dinner we should just have a jacket potato.’
Pressure: Laya also reflected on how she felt ‘pressure’ to be slim while playing Liv, telling April that female cast members once had to line up in bikinis (pictured a scene from the E4 show)
Hit: The raunchy series about teenagers ran from 2007 and 2013 and became an instant hit
Candid: April (pictured) and Laya reflected on their time on the show on April’s podcast
Laya also claimed that she and other cast members between the ages of 16 and 18 had to stand in swimwear and were ‘told if we looked good enough to film in Morocco’ for series six.
Laya alleged: ‘Costume told me to go first because I’m the most comfortable one, to show the other girls it’s not that bad – but it was bad… I will never forget that moment…
‘At the time I thought it was horrible, but I think it’s so much f***ing worse now.’
Skins was created by father and son Bryan Elsley, 60, and Jamie Brittain, 35.
Discussion: The actresses continued to claim that other stars have ‘felt the same’ following the show ending and said that things have changed since Skins aired (pictured a scene from Skins)
When approached by The Sun about April and Laya’s claims, Bryan’s representative said: ‘We’re deeply and unambiguously sorry that any cast member was made to feel uncomfortable or inadequately respected in their work during their time on Skins.
‘We’re committed to continually evolving safe, trustworthy and enjoyable working conditions for everyone who works in the TV industry.’
A Channel 4 spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘It is very concerning to hear of the comments made.
‘We now have a confidential ‘Speak Up’ facility available and widely publicised on our production call sheets for current productions, however, we take all allegations of inappropriate behaviour very seriously and encourage anyone with concerns to come forward.’
Authentic: Skins ran for seven series and followed the lives of a group of teenagers in Bristol
It comes after Skins star Kaya Scodelario disclosed in April that she was asked to audition naked for a ‘big opportunity’ by a famous director, while feeling ‘scared’ for publicly sharing her experience.
In light of recent allegations that Noel Clarke sexually harassed multiple women – including one lady who claimed he asked her to perform a naked audition – the actress, 29, took to Twitter to reveal her own ‘terrifying’ request from an unnamed individual.
Luckily, Kaya’s agent prevented the audition from taking place as she explained online: ‘I had a audition for a job a few years ago.
‘I was terrified’: It comes after Skins star Kaya Scodelario disclosed in April that she was asked to audition naked for a ‘big opportunity’ by a famous director
‘It said, ‘She just needs to come in. Take her clothes off and that’s all.’
‘I was terrified. Luckily I have an agent who swiftly said there was no way that was going to happen. This was a big movie. A big director. A big ‘opportunity”’. (sic)
In another tweet, she showed her support for fellow actors who are not protected from sexual harassment in the industry.
She said: ‘MANY MANY young actors do not have the safety net of a caring agent to protect them.
Shocking: In light of recent allegations that Noel Clarke sexually harassed multiple women – including one lady who claimed he asked her to perform a naked audition – the actress, 29, took to Twitter to reveal her own ‘terrifying’ request from an unnamed individual
TV history: Kaya is best known for her role as Effy Stonem in Channel 4 series Skins
‘They will assume that it is normal for an actresses worth to be measured by the body they have.
‘By the amount of skin they are willing to show. We have been conditioned to believe this.’ (sic)
In an additional Twitter post, she said: ‘Different casting, between me and another actress. Both worked very hard to impress this notoriously difficult director, auditioned multiple times.
‘He emailed our agents ‘whoever agrees to go nude 1st gets the job.’ The movie had no nudity in it. He just wanted 2 see who’d say yes.’ (sic)
Kaya expressed fear over speaking out while applauding other women’s bravery for sharing their sexual harassment experiences.
‘I am in awe of you all’: In a series of tweets, she showed her support for fellow actors who are not protected from sexual harassment and applauded the bravery of women for speaking out
She said: ‘You know what’s f***ed? I’m going to wake up in the morning with anxiety about tweeting.
‘Despite the fact that I haven’t named names. I’m still going to feel scared.
‘The women who come forward openly are so brave. I ‘am in awe of you all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.’ (sic)
Kaya’s statements appear in response to news that Kidulthood’s Noel Clarke, 45, was suspended by Bafta after 20 women accused him of sexual harassment, groping and bullying, with the claims levelled against him in The Guardian.
Married Noel, who plays DC Martin Young in Viewpoint, has strongly denied the allegations, with the incidents claimed to have taken place between 2004 and 2019.
Accused: Kaya’s statements appear in response to news that Kidulthood’s Noel Clarke, 45, was suspended by Bafta after 20 women accused him of sexual harassment, groping and bullying, with the claims levelled against him in The Guardian
He said in a statement to the newspaper: ‘In a 20-year career, I have put inclusivity and diversity at the forefront of my work and never had a complaint made against me.
‘If anyone who has worked with me has ever felt uncomfortable or disrespected, I sincerely apologise. I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations.’
The statement from Bafta said: ‘In light of the allegations of serious misconduct regarding Noel Clarke in The Guardian, Bafta has taken the decision to suspend his membership and the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award immediately and until further notice.’
Management and production company 42 M&P said it stopped representing Clarke earlier this month.
A spokesman said: ‘Noel Clarke was a client of 42 M&P until April this year but the company no longer represents him.’
For a full list of support centres for sexual abuse, please visit: gov.uk/sexualabusesupport
Denial: Noel vehemently denied the allegations in a statement to the publication (pictured with his wife Iris Da Silva in February 2017)
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