MTV Skins’ Jesse Carere AKA Chris on Bieber, Being Green, and Behind-the-Scenes
You’ve probably seen the billboards, the commercials, and the bus benches. The UK’s hit teen soap opera Skins is on Monday nights at 10 on MTV, with an American cast, a few new characters, and the good old gritty teen drama we know and love from the original series. Much like it did overseas, the series will tackle those darker topics, like dysfunctional families, mental illness, sexual identity, sex, substance abuse, and death.
And while the sex and language have been toned down quite a bit for 10pm basic cable, this isn’t Gossip Girl, kids. These are regular kids: kids from working class families, kids you can relate to more than the Blairs Waldorfs and Chuck Basses of the world – kids with real teen problems. Sure, the storylines can be tough to stomach at times, but so can being a teenager.
Buzznet: How are you Jesse?
Jesse Carere: I’m not bad!
BN: Would you say that you are similar to your character in real life?
JC: I actually enjoy playing Chris particularly because I don’t think I am similar to him. I mean I think I’m similar to him in the sense that we’re both outgoing and we like to have a bunch of friends and have fun, but that’s about the extent. I wouldn’t say my family is similar at all, with those matters like drugs, but I think that’s why it was fun playing him because I could explore another person totally.
BN: Is there a character that you would say is most similar to your actual personality?
JC: You know what, I actually don’t think that there is. I don’t feel like I fit into any of the archetypes on the show. Stanley in the UK version was definitely my favorite though.
BN: Would you say there is a character furthest removed from what you are like?
JC: I’ d probably say Abbud.
BN: This is your first acting experience. What has it been like? Is it stressful? Is it scary, awesome, a combination?
JC: Looking back I can say the experience was totally a blast. It was really fun meeting new people on set and discovering what goes into filming and what happens behind the scenes. But during the process, I think on behalf of the cast I can say it was quite stressful. We were learning how to memorize lines and how to function around the camera and that aspect was a little bit stressful. But I loved it and I’d love to act again.
BN: How much input do you guys have in what the characters wear?
JC: We actually got to go shopping with the wardrobe department before we started shooting. I don’t know if it was a character thing but I think it definitely helped us get into character because we got to choose some of the things our characters wore. So throughout filming we’d see what we bought in the beginning on the rack and sometimes we wore it, sometimes we didn’t. It was more up to the wardrobe department. But I think that we do have some input. We try things on, if we don’t like them, we don’t necessarily have to wear them. It’s kind of a mix. We’d come to an agreement with wardrobe.
BN: I saw on your twitter that you were pretty shocked that Justin Bieber didn’t win Best New Artist at the Grammys. Are you a big Justin fan?
JC: Recently, he’s started to grow on me. At first, he didn’t fit into my image of what I liked music to be and all that. Lately, being in the entertainment industry now, I see that he got really far and he didn’t get there by doing nothing. I know he’s done a lot of work to get there and his movie Never Say Never shows that. I respect him a lot and it was irritating seeing someone else get the Grammy.
BN: What other bands are you super into these days?
JC: I don’t particularly latch onto one band; it’s more different songs. Right now, I keep listening to ‘You Be Killin Em’ by Fabolous and Eminem. I tend to listen to more of Eminem’s older songs from like 2000. I love Recovery too though. I like his older music better.
BN: Have you been able to check out a concert recently? What was the last show that you saw?
JC: I’ve actually never been to a concert in my life. I know it’s pretty weird, shocking I guess.
BN: What’s the best part of being on an MTV show?
JC: I think the coolest part about being on an MTV show is that MTV is such a different network from any other network out there. They’re all about what’s relevant and about teenagers. I don’t think a lot of networks do that as well as MTV does. I’m pretty proud to be a part of the MTV family in that sense. Also it comes out when we’re filming the show. The scenes are fun, they’re active.