By Chuck Wilson
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Carolina Del Busto
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Michael Atkinson
By Calum Marsh
It's just funny to me that she's such a horrible person. That's the whole joke with her. You can't believe you're watching this girl, that this is really happening. And, probably, she's not that far from the truth.
She builds herself up as so powerful: "I'm the school captain and really hot. Everyone worships me." And the series is about watching her downfall. She makes you want to really take her down. As things start to fall apart, it has the audience really cheering that on.
I read in an interview that you were sometimes scared by how attractive you found Ja'mie to be. Is that still the case?
I don't know whether that was taken out of context. Yeah, she's all right. It's funny; she just claims to be so hot, and she tells you how hot she is all the time. She really puts herself out there. I did a photo shoot for Zoo – you guys have Maxim, but it's more trashy than that. This is cheap men's bikini models, and Ja'mie is on the cover of that. She's in a wet school uniform, and she sort of passes. I think she looks very good.
I don't disagree!
It's all about your attitude. She just sells it.
How do you nail the teen-girl mannerisms?
I don't really think too much about it. It's quite instinctive. Maybe it's being around other girls while I'm shooting. I definitely don't study it or anything. I just make it up. Being in the costume and wig helps.
What inspired the change in Ja'mie's hairdo?
No, it's the same wig. It's probably the lighting. I wanted her hair to appear fake. If I were starting the show now, I'd probably want her hair to be a little bit longer. When I first started Ja'mie, that was the style. The style now, in Australia at least, is much longer and the style straighter and with a center part. But I wanted her to have the same look so people weren't confused.
Where had the wig been for the five years since Summer Heights High?
Just at my house. I used to have them all on head blocks, but that seemed creepy. So I just had them wrapped up in a box.
Were you afraid of returning to play Ja'mie and appearing not as attractive in the role five years later?
Um, no? I don't know. I've never been a 16-year-old girl. I play mostly characters that are younger than me and of different races and different ages, and I'm always transforming into something very far removed from myself. It's never been a concern; it's all just part of the joke. I don't really look like any of the characters in real life. I played an African-American. I didn't really look like one. You just get into the illusion of it.
I watched Summer Heights High just by chance and it was really good- at times laugh-out-loud funny, poignant , I was really impressed. I'm now a Chris Lilley fan, and watching Angry Boys, which is good, but not nearly as good as Summer Heights High and I have to admit that the American rapper character is just a bit off and the whole black face thing is slightly offensive. Other than that Lilley is a master of characterization and impressions, and I'm definitely going to watch Ja Mie.
Summer Heights High was excellent and I look forward to seeing this. Lilley is extremely talented and very funny, though Angry Boys isn't as good as SHH and the American rapper character is a bit off, especially with the black face- too bad about that, because otherwise I think he's brilliant.
Awful, sucked big time, so much so that I actually had to turn it off. Sadly, the show that preceded it, "Getting On" was also awful! HBO might need to rethink its programming choices when it comes to their comedy series. Ugh! Two thumbs down!
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