We speak to the actor who played Jess about series five, the end of the show and THAT toilet scene(opens in new tab)
SFX: The final episode aired last week. Did you watch it live, have a get together, anything like that?
Karla Crome: No, I didn’t. I’ve been watching it a bit sporadically. I wasn’t keen on watching it until at least next year actually, but because we went to the screening at the start of the series I started watching it and so I just carried on. I watched the last episode online a few days before it aired. I just watched it on my own.
How did you feel after watching the last episode?
I was a little bit sad. It’s the end of an era and I had such a great time doing it. And it seems to have all been filmed and edited and come together so quickly and then just finished. You spend six months filming, which is a lot of time, a lot of long hours, and for it to finish so quickly is quite bizarre. It was a little bit sad, but I really liked the last episode. Wayne [Yip] gave us brilliant direction on it, and it was a nice episode for Jess actually. It was an episode for her that she hasn’t really had before. The only one I can think of is the one where evil Rudy turns up and they had a bit of a thing, but that was more about Rudy, so it was nice for the spotlight to end on her.
Was there a sense when you were filming this series that the show was back on track?
I am a notorious and constant worrier. I’m worried if I’m not worried. I find it difficult to be comfortable with anything for the same reasons that anyone gets nervous about something – because they want it to be good and they don’t want to let anyone down. The other actors seemed a lot more comfortable this time round with the work we were producing, and that was apparent from day dot. I remember having conversations with the boys and them being like, “Yeah, I feel this is a lot stronger.” I definitely had an inclination to agree with them at the beginning because the scripts were in a much stronger place and the actors were in a much stronger place, but I can never shake the feeling of concern until I see the finished product. That’s not just for Misfits, that’s for anything that I do. But by the end I couldn’t have been happier, in terms of Misfits .
Do you think Jess made the right choice settling down with Rudy?
You know when I said I see where I went wrong in the first series? Something they taught us at drama school, and it’s taken me a long time to realise it’s true through practice, is that you can’t put judgments on a character you’re playing, especially while you’re doing it. So you can’t sit there and go, “I think it’s a good idea that they do this, that or the other,” because it’s not helpful for creating the work. I don’t know the answer to that question, whether Jess should have settled down with Rudy or not, that’s just the way it was.
Jess didn’t use her power all that much, would you like to play a proper superhero at some point?
Yeah! I thought it was a shame she didn’t use her powers more. There were particular times when I thought, “Hang on, why doesn’t she just use her power?” Like looking through the door waiting for Alex to come along with a nail gun. I can see the point of dramatic tension, but I thought she could save herself an eyeball here if she just used her power! But it’s about the story and it wouldn’t have served that. I love the fantasy genre, I’d love to be a member of the X-Men. Or, you know what I’d really like, I’d love to play Buffy in a reboot or something. I would certainly like the opportunity to do a bit more of that, or maybe a bit of action, something I really had to beef up for and stop eating junk for so I could go and kick people’s arses. That would be really fun.
It seemed every character got their moment of utter humiliation this series, Jess more so than most. When you read Jess’ toilet scene in the script were you dreading the moment you’d actually have to act that out?
No, not at all. I couldn’t wait! I really couldn’t wait to do it and I was really glad I got the opportunity to. As you can probably tell I’m the kind of person who likes to sit around and mouth off about how things are morally. I’m very much not like Jess, it’s not a problem for me to talk toilet humour or burp in front of my friends or say things that are quite crass or recount stories about myself that are rude because I’ve never been much of a girly girl. I was always really envious of Joe getting to do these quite base, horrible things as Rudy, so I relished the opportunity for her to go and do something that was a bit gross really, because girls do and it’s not represented enough on telly. Jess is presented like… I’ll go in and get my make-up and hair done for hours and hours and that’s not me, that’s not what I look like and I know that’s not what a lot of girls look like. But guess what? Girls do shit and it’s nice to be able to do that for once.
Do you have a highlight from your time on the show?
Getting the part was a highlight because I was a massive fan of the show and I felt really privileged and really excited. But I guess it’s the friends I’ve made. I’m in communication with Tash and Matt and Joe and Nathan at least once a week, whether that’s a phone call or meeting up for a drink. I see them and hear from them regularly. They are really good friends of mine I can’t imagine my life without them now. And it’s not just them, it’s costume, make-up, other people that I’ve met who I’m going to be friends with forever, which is lovely, because what are the chances of going into a job and getting on with everybody? I think they’re pretty low, but somehow we managed it. I don’t know if I’ll have another job like it.
What will we see you in next?
I don’t have anything lined up, but I’m writing a play. We’ve got a director and one of the actors ready. It’s very, very different to Misfits . It’s about a Jewish couple and it’s basically a romance, a love story. It’s quite tender and small scale, so I’m working on writing that at the moment and getting funding together for it, so that’s my focus for a while. I’ve always been into my writing but fortunately work’s been quite constant in terms of acting over the last couple of years, this is the first time I’ve been able to take a breather. I’m trying to choose my auditions and my projects quite carefully at the moment and really try between now and Easter to concentrate on this play, so that’s my main focus.
Misfits series 5 is available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray now.