We’ve finally bid goodbye to Skins, one of the most successful, controversial, and revolutionary shows to grace television screens across Britain and beyond. Since series 1 first aired in 2007, a number of its stars from across the original six series have gone on to further pursue careers in acting, to varying degrees of success.
There are also those who have all but disappeared into obscurity; Larissa Wilson (Jal), Lisa Blackwell (aka Pandora), Merveille Lukeba (Thomas) and even April Pearson (Michelle) seem to have shunned, or been shunned by, the limelight since their Skins stints. But what has become of these cast members now that the show has, after a special seventh season, come to an end? Well, thanks to Google and a good few hours of Twitter/Facebook stalking, we can give you the scoop on the career highs and lows of a few Skins favourites:
Nicholas Hoult (Tony Stonem): Of all the Skins cast, Nicholas is the one to have carved the most successful acting career following his time in series 1 and 2. Nicholas has landed starring roles in, to name a few, X Men: First Class, Warm Bodies, Jack the Giant Slayer and 2014’s X Men: Days of Future Past. Not only is he well on the way to conquering Hollywood, Nicholas only went and bagged himself actress of the moment, Jennifer Lawrence! The couple split earlier this year but, if rumours are to be believed, reconciled in July on the set of the new X Men film. Amazing where a pair of funky eyebrows can get you…
Mike Bailey (Sid Jenkins): Other than a role in 2009 TV series 1066 and a couple of films (We Are The Freaks and Faulty) Mike doesn’t seem to have set his sights on acting as a full-time career. Nowadays, he works as a Direct Sales Executive for Hearst Magazines, the company behind publications such as Elle, Cosmopolitan and Company. His favourite films include Footloose and Alien Vs. Predator, if Facebook is anything to go by.
Hannah Murray (Cassie Ainsworth): Hannah returned to our screens in 2013 as the much-loved character, Cassie, for a couple of episodes in Skins: Pure, a move which prompted many to assume that her career hadn’t gone too well since originally leaving the show in 2008. Contrary to the doubts, Hannah’s CV isn’t too shabby; she is fairly well-known as Gilly in the popular televised adaptation of Game of Thrones and has had both small and lead parts in a number of films, including a role in Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
Joe Dempsie (Chris Miles): Joe has been a pretty regular face on TV since Skins; as well as one-off appearances in shows such as Doctor Who and The Adventures of Merlin, he has had a couple of longer-running gigs in hit dramas. Joe starred as Higgy in This Is England ’86, John in The Fades, Gendry in Game of Thrones and, most recently, as Chris Cooper in Channel 4’s Southcliffe. His name might not be as instantly recognisable as Nicholas Hoult’s, but it seems fair to say that we can expect to see a lot more from Joe, and for a long time to come.
Mitch Hewer (Maxxie Oliver): After playing gay dancer Maxxie in Skins, Mitch went on to star in ITV’s Britannia High, a show about a group of teenagers attending a fictional London theatre school. The show was cancelled after just one series, following poor ratings (it was even beaten by Antiques Roadshow, ouch), and Mitch flew off to LA to find fame and fortune. Despite going fairly incognito professionally since he crossed the pond, fans will see more of Mitch in two films due out this year, Nightlight and Behaving Badly.
Dev Patel (Anwar Kharral): Dev soared to worldwide recognition as Jamal Malik in the critically acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire in 2008 and, since then, has continued to act in both film and television. He starred alongside Judi Dench and Bill Nighy in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2011, was Prince Zuko in The Last Airbender, and landed a role in American TV series The Newsroom (2012-2013) as Neal Sampat. He met actress and model Freida Pinto on the set of Slumdog Millionaire, and the two have been together ever since. N’aww.
Kaya Scodelario (Effy Stonem): Kaya was tipped for big things following the success of her portrayal of Effy in Skins series’ 1 and 2. While she has done fairly well, landing roles such as Cathy in the 2011 remake of Wuthering Heights and Anna alongside ex-Skins co-star, Joe Dempsie, in Southcliffe, Kaya hasn’t quite reached the level of fame that many expected of her. She has had regular film work, albeit in lesser-known titles including Moon, Now Is Good and Twenty8k, but is yet to find her truly big break. Still, at 21, she still has plenty of time to match the success of on-screen big brother, Nicholas Hoult.
Lily Loveless (Naomi Campbell): Lily was another second generation Skins cast member who returned for series 7 but, in the interim, has done pretty well for herself on the small screen. Lily had regular roles in Combat Kids (2010), The Sarah Jane Adventures (2011) and The Fades (2011) and a number of one-off appearances in programmes such as Bedlam (2011), Wallander (2012) and Good Cop (2012). It’s a pretty good guess that more acting is on the cards for Lily, just watch this space…
Jack O’Connell (James Cook): It would seem that those TV and film producers love a bad boy, if Jack’s jam-packed acting roll since leaving Skins’ favourite bit of rough, Cook, behind in 2010 is anything to go by. As well as clocking up several film roles year on year, Jack starred as Eamonn in TV series The Runaway before bringing Cook back to our screens this year for a well-deserved encore. Fans will be pleased to hear that Jack has not one, not two, but three films already scheduled for release in the next twelve months; catch him in Starred Up later this year, a film that tells the story of a troubled and violent teenager who finally meets his match when transferred to adult prison, in a man who also happens to be his father.
Ollie Barbieri (JJ Jones): Aside from a role in Anuvahood in 2011, and a Cornetto ad alongside Skins chum Kathryn Prescott, Ollie appears to have all but abandoned acting. Instead, he went to university and notably took part in Hitch 2012 – a sponsored hitchhike to Morocco in aid of the Link charity, which aims to improve the quality of education in Africa – with his friend Miles. Nice work, JJ.
Kathryn & Megan Prescott (Emily & Katie Fitch): Kathryn and Megan both skipped off to university when series 4 came to a close, while still each doing a little acting on the side. Megan appears to have withdrawn more from thespianism than Kathryn; other than brief appearances in Doctors and Silent Witness, she seems to have gone off the radar while, according to her IMDb profile, Kathryn landed a few more one-off TV jobs. It is thought that Megan went to university to study Television Production, while Kathryn possibly pursued an early ambition to study Psychology before trying her hand at photography (www.kateprescottphotography.com).
Freya Mavor (Mini McGuinness): Star of Skins’ penultimate and final series, Freya is now fairing considerably better than her on-screen persona, Mini. No sooner had Skins left the box than Freya was snapped up for a role in film Not Another Happy Ending, and offered the part of Princess Elizabeth of York in BBC’s series The White Queen. Fans of Queen Bee Mini can look forward to seeing her later this year in new film Sushine on Leith, which follows the stories of two men re-learning how to live life in Edinburgh after returning from serving in Afghanistan.
Dakota Blue Richards (Franky Fitzgerald): Dakota was already a fairly well-established young actress prior to landing the part of Franky in Skins, having starred as Lyra in the 2007 film adaptation of The Golden Compass and April in the 2008 TV movie adaptation of Dustbin Baby. With such impressive credentials already under her belt, it’s no surprise that Dakota is doing just fine post-Skins. She bagged a leading role in ITV’s spooky series Lightfields and in two films – The Fold, out later this year and The Quiet Hour, out 2014.
Will Merrick (Alo Creevey): ‘Farmboy’ Alo Creevey ain’t doing too badly out in the real world these days – Will appears alongside the gorgeous Rachel McAdams in film About Time out this September. He’s carried on the television game too, having featured in 2012 show In With The Flynns, a 2013 episode of Doctor Who and in soon-to-come series Coming Up. The boy is definitely keeping himself busy – as well as frequent TV roles, Will has stayed true to his childhood love of theatre and continues to appear in plays at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival each year.