Switch Interview: Nina Toussaint-White
Switch is a new series from the same stable as Being Human. Produced, like that show, by Touchpaper TV (and sharing a lot of the same crew), it centres on four young witches living in Camden, played by Lacey Turner, Nina Toussaint-White, Hannah Tointon and Phoebe Fox.
Each of the four represents an element, and Nina Toussaint-White (whom you may remember from her role as Mels – aka the young River Song – in Doctor Who’s “Let’s Kill Hitler”, or Syd Chambers – Bradley’s love interest – in EastEnders), plays Jude, who is the fiery one of the group.
SFX: So what can you tell us about Jude?
Nina Toussaint-White: “That she’s a complete scatterbrain, I’d say! She’s a bit hedonistic, loves the boys, loves the party lifestyle. She’s a fashionista, she wants to be a fashion designer, and I think that’s the only thing she’s really focused on in life. Whether she works in a shop or on a stall, her aim in life is to be a fashion designer and she’ll flitter around and not focus on anything else apart from that. And she loves sex and drink and rock and roll!”
What’s it like to play someone so liberated?
“Oh, lovely! I’m a bit liberated anyway so it’s quite easy! No, it’s fun. It’s fun to be really free. When I read the script I thought she was the funniest, so I can’t complain!”
What kind of witch is she?
“She can have a mean streak, but she’s a very happy witch and like we all do uses good magic to help each other out. She’s bolshy and she’s quite territorial over her friends, so that’s the only evil side that would come out of her – she’s very protective. She’s the fighter of the pack, I’d say.”
You don’t have a wand or anything?
“No, but I think we should! When we were doing a preparation week we had lots of different ideas for spellbooks so everyone would have their own stamp on a spellbook. Lacey’s character has this kind of Filofax, really business-like thing; Phoebe’s would be more traditional; and I might have doodles all over mine. So we have loads of spellbooks in the house, and then we have a Hero spellbook and a Hero pot [to assemble the ingredients of the spell in]. Otherwise we have to improvise. We always need a pot, so once we’ve used a bin, and we’ve used a policeman’s hat… So yeah, there’s all of that improvisation.”
Did it help that you already knew Lacey Turner from working on EastEnders?
“Yeah, lovely! Well… nervous, because we didn’t spend much time together, but here… Phoebe [Fox] is a bit method, so she’s like, ‘We have to be best friends!’. We’re gelling so well; we’ll have, like, movie nights in Lacey’s house. I think before she has maybe kept herself to herself, but it’s this unit that we’ve made… It’s the first time I’ve ever felt part of it. Sets can feel quite cliquey, but being here from the beginning and it being my baby I’ve just been so free.”
There’s the possibility this could be a career-changing role for you, one you really become known for. How do you feel about that prospect?
“Well, when I read the three episodes, I was over the moon – she’s just fantastic. I don’t want to say anything about other shows, but… okay, I don’t think my role was very fun in EastEnders. A lot of people on the street were saying, ‘Oh, you’re very dull’, y’know? I suppose you can make something from a script, but… I’m just not going to say anything more! I’m just having so much fun. And if I’m known for this then hell yeah, I’m really happy!”
Read our Lacey Turner interview.
Read our Caroline Quentin interview.
Switch starts airing on ITV2 on Monday 15 October, at 10.00pm.