Q&A with Lucie Shorthouse Q&A on Henpocalyspe!
Henpocalypse! is so much fun, what attracted you to your role as Zara?
What didn’t! Itâs very fun, effervescent, bubbly, and larger than life. I love that it’s a female-centric comedy, so I got to work with a great group of women. What also attracted me was that I know these women; the voice is so hearty and homey in terms of what I know and the people I know from growing up, so it felt like a great homage to Midlands girls.
Can you tell us a bit about your character Zara?
Zara is the bridezilla of all bridezillas, it’s her hen do and it’s the reason why they’ve gone away and she’s very much âme, me meâ, sheâs the centre of attention and this wedding of hers will be the greatest event in history. I don’t think she’s even envisaged her life after the wedding to be honest, so this apocalypse is most inconvenient because the event of the century is now being impaired.
Are there any parts of your character you can relate to?
I think I definitely recognise parts of myself in Zara, a younger me for sure and it was quite fun to relive those kind of more self-absorbed less evolved days. I can definitely relate to Zara’s petulance, I know that when I’m tired or when I’m around my dad in particular, I revert to little childish, petulant Lucie and it’s very Zara-esque! I was channelling 18 year old me when I was in playing her.
Zara, at times, is not very nice to her friends, why do you think that is?
I think Zara is a Bridezilla purely because she wants to get this right. She’s someone who loves attention, the spotlight and what greater event to have that then her wedding. I think she’s married to the wedding idea, but she hasn’t actually thought about what her life is going to be after this wedding, and I think if the wedding does go ahead, I see her being incredibly miserable and disappointed on the other side of it when she hasn’t got that big event to look forward to.
I don’t want to label her as insecure or childish in any way because that’s not who she is, she’s actually a really beautiful character but I think a lot of that need for attention is over compensating for deep insecurity. Her currency in the world has been how she looks and how she presents herself. In fact, I think it’s really empowering that Zara, even in the midst of the apocalypse, make herself feel and look as beautiful and good as possible in her own warped way.
How would you describe Zaraâs relationship with her mother?
It’s very co-dependent and in some ways, it’s a beautiful friendship that I recognise a lot, in single mum families with just mother and daughter where it becomes kind of a best friend situation and you know, they both give each other so much purpose, it’s a very reciprocal exchange. I think Zara has never been held fully accountable for her actions, which just enables her to still be quite petulant and childish, even at this age.
Why is it so important for Zara to keep up her appearance during the apocalypse?
I think during the apocalypse, she wants to look good for herself and I think that’s really telling and important that they’re in an environment where vanity and your appearance as a currency is no longer valid, no one’s seeing you, but it’s purely for her to feel good and look good. I think we can so easily dismiss it as it being trivial and she’s focusing on the wrong things, but actually, no, she’s doing something to make herself feel better within herself. Feel more capable, more worthy, stronger, smarter and I think we can all take from that, actually, because I think a lot of us might assume that she’s doing it for vanity, but I actually think it empowers her in a really beautiful way.
How was it working with the other actresses that make up the incredible cast and have you worked with any of them previously?
I hadn’t worked with any of the cast previously but it was just utter, total joy from the get go. I couldn’t have asked for a better ensemble of women to go on this journey with and each one of them, I’ve learned something different from. What’s great is that the show is about a group of women coming together and all from different walks of life and that’s exactly what we are as actresses coming into this project.
What did you think of Caroline Moranâs writing?
I loved Carolineâs script when I first read it! I remember getting the audition and my best friend read in for me and we still laugh because we recognise how much Zara was a bit of me, and it’s always nice when the writing fits so nicely, and it was a joy to get to bring her words to life.
Did you have any favourite scenes to film?
I’d say probably all our favourite scenes to film were ones involving Jen because she’s just such a gift of a character.
Do you think you would you survive in an apocalypse? What tactics would you employ?
This has made me realise that I actually probably wouldn’t do that well in an apocalypse but I think I would survive and fare very well if I had a child or a friend’s child to look after. Otherwise, I think I probably lie down and take the easiest, sleepiest route.
What do you love about your area of the Midlands?
I was so excited to do something from the Midlands because I think we get a bad rep, but it’s home for me and there’s something special about hearing the accent. It just reminded me of everyone I know from back home, which was lovely. Iâm a massive Wolves fan.
Why should viewers tune in?
For a laugh, warmth, an escape and just for fun thrills, and I think itâs very touching in some regards.