Q&A with Callie Cooke on Henpocalypse!
Henpocalypse! is so much fun, what attracted you to your role?
It’s not every day you get a script about a group of women from the Midlands trying to survive the apocalypse. I thought the script was completely mad but completely hilarious.
Can you tell us a bit about your character Shelly?
Shelly is our very hard done by but wonderfully loveable chief bridesmaid. I guess we see a lot of the show through her eyes, and she deals with platonic love versus romantic love, all whilst trying not to get eaten by zombies!!
Are there any parts of your character you can relate to?
Definitely. I mean she makes some questionable decisions but ultimately, she has a huge heart. I also think trying to survive an apocalypse with my best mates would be great craic.
Shelly has some secrets, do you think that is why she is a bit of a push over with the other girls?
She deals with a huge guilt complex and struggles to find her feet with the other girls. Zara hasn’t been the best to her over the years and her confidence is pretty shot.
How was it working with the other actresses that make up the incredible cast?
Can’t stand them!! No, annoyingly they are the new loves of my life and working with them all was an utter joy. I’m not sure you can even call it work.
It’s such a strong female ensemble, how did that compare to other shows and environments you’ve worked in before?
I’ve never been on a show where the main five cast are all female. I think it created a totally safe and warm space where people really enjoyed coming to work. We were all able to be ridiculously silly with one another with absolutely zero ego in the room. Every single crew member (particularly the lads) became honorary hens by the end of the shoot.
Did you have a favourite scene to film?
I LOVED any scene involving Kate O’ Flynn because she is my spirit animal when it comes to corpsing and there is honestly no greater feeling. The scene in the pilot episode in the basement was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do because her stupid little face was making me laugh so much.
What did you think of Caroline Moran’s writing when you first read the scripts?
My initial thought was this is either going to be iconic or absolutely mental. I think maybe it’s both?! She writes dialogue like nobody else I know.
You come up against some tough adversaries in the Core Strength Bitches in the show, what can you tell us about them?
I think it’s not that we fear them but it’s more we’ve never met these types of women before. Not a great deal of pilates happening on our estate. I think it’s hilarious that we’ve gone completely feral whilst they’re doing their kegel exercises.
Do you think you would you survive in an apocalypse? What tactics would you employ?
Absolutely not. I once did a zombie apocalypse experience thing, and I was the first one to get bitten and then just had to be the decoy for the rest of the day.
How would you describe the tone for this series?
Bridesmaids meets Pitch Perfect meets Shaun of the Dead meets Mad Max.
Do you have any funny tales from set you can tell us?
Honestly every day was a joy. All the girls made me laugh SO much. Even on one of our toughest days shooting, Lucie and Lauren fell through the easy up tent and took the entire tent down with them. Elizabeth helped them up and I just filmed it. We were all hysterical whilst being battered by every possible weather condition.
How important was it for you to be part of the show that has empowered females from the Midlands at the helm?
It feels special. I feel we’re underrepresented on screen which is mad because there’s so much talent in the Midlands. Leading this show has been one of the proudest moments of my career so far.
What do you love about your area of the midlands?
The people. Everyone is a bit mad and always knows someone who has a pet ferret.
Finally, why do you think viewers should tune in?
Because it is completely mad. I think there’s something in it for everyone. Also Danny Dyer is a national treasure and I’d watch anything he’s in.