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Alicia Forde

1st February 2024

Interview & Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent

Alicia Forde chats to us this week about starring in the latest series of Waterloo Road. Forde tells us about growing up in school, playing the role of Kelly-Jo and we ask where she wants to see herself in five years time.

Hi Alicia, Thanks for chatting with us today. Growing up what was school like for you?

School for me was amazing. I was a lot more sporty and I remember specifically, we had an opening evening and we did it for drama and I had to do a monologue in a scouse accent and I remember the audience laughing and I thought this is quite fun. It’s really interesting because I got told I had ADHD and dyslexia at University. My experience is not like Kelly-Jo’s at all! I remember watching a lot of Educating Great Manchester and watching so many people stories of their hyperactivity which Kelly-Jo shows in her description. I went to school with someone just like her! It’s crazy what you pick up at school that you don’t know what you’re going to use. I didn’t use fractions but I used that girl!

Did you grow up watching Waterloo Road?

I did yeah! Again, there was another girl in the year above me who was an extra and I remember thinking how the hell did she get that? I was so jealous! When Waterloo Road came out I understood it from a level. It’s like the show Two Packets and a Pint of Lager, when it’s local to you, it feels like more in your heart. I also remember meeting Adam Thomas and saying to him “Me and my mates were obsessed with you when we were younger” and now I’m working with him. 

You play the character ‘Kelly-Jo’ in the hit show. What was the audition process like getting this role?

Mine is a weird one! I was in a Shakespeare play. I was acting for three years and started writing and then went on a little short course at a national film and television school which was amazing but alongside that, I did A Midsomer’s Nightsdream. Michelle Smith (casting director for Waterloo Road) came to watch the show, grabbed me at the end, and asked me to audition for Waterloo Road. It was the first cast director I emailed for an audition and I just wanted to say regardless of whether I get it that representation is fantastic. Then I got a recall and then we all went into a room where I saw Noah who plays Preston which was crazy and we both ended up getting the roles. It’s my first ever acting job! So it will always mean so much to me.

Do you have any role models?

I have a lot of role models. My family is so important to me, I look up to my Mum and Dad, my sister, and my nieces and I was thinking about this the other day because I think people think of role models who are famous or who are in the limelight but a lot of my role models are the people are around me and people I have never met like my ancestors who got me here! Sasha and I would always look at a quote of the day, and it would keep going and keep rising because of the people around us.

Where would you see Kelly-Jo’s next chapter go?

I want her to realize that she’s got a superpower. Her brain is a superpower regardless of what people have said in the past about anything, that is what will get her far. You are sixteen years of age and everything will work itself out have fun because at the moment you are not paying taxes! [laughs]

And where do you want to see yourself in five years?

I do a lot of writing, so I would like to keep doing that.

Lastly, if you had the opportunity to ReVamp anything in the world, what would it be and why?

What an amazing question! I would like to ReVamp the British Government and we can sort out the rest later. 

Waterloo Road is on BBC One Tuesdays at 8pm or catch all the episodes now on BBC iPlayer

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