You may have been moping around and feeling very sad about the lack of The Inbetweeners on a Monday night, but this might cheer you up a bit. School can’t last forever so Emily Atack, Emily Head and Hannah Tointon now require some on-the-job training. The girls are guaranteed to brighten up any office. Any offers?
Aah, school. The glory days. A time when trying to make smoking your first cigarette look like smoking your 25th cigarette took precedent over maths homework, because what good’s algebra in real life anyway? When spots form a blanket of puss on your face and are impossible to hide from the girls you never get to kiss. And they’re everywhere, these girls. Walking. Talking. Eating. Distracting boys by fiddling with their hair and reading Tess Of The D’Urbervilles.
Luckily for fans of top-quality TV comedy shows about four boys struggling their way to manhood, The Inbetweeners’ writers remember Osgood-Schlatter’s and accidental wet dreams on coach trips and made the most-watched programme on E4 about it.
Step up Emily Head, Emily Atack and Hannah Tointon, the females who made it impossible for Will, Simon, Jay and Neil to do anything productive at all in Season Three. The Emilys have been in the show since it first aired in May 2008, but Hannah was fresh blood. “I’ve never laughed so much reading something as when I got the audition script,” says Tointon. “I got home after the first audition and got through the whole of Series One and Two in one night. I became a fan overnight.”
She adds: “It’s just funny to see what goes through boys’ minds, because as a girl you don’t really know. I think that’s why girls like it. They finally understand the weirdness.” And with that she leans her stockinged self over to do some photocopying, Emily H answers the phone in her little black dress and Emily A lifts her stilettoed feet onto a desk. We leave them to it.
We were on set to see you (as Tara) vomit all over Simon…
Oh no! That was the worst day of my life. I’ve got a phobia of sick, so pretending to be sick just makes me want to be sick. I had to do it and carry on with the scene, no glass of water or anything. It was horrible.
If you were at school and Tara was in your year, would you be friends with her?
I don’t know. She’s into bands and is a bit emo. I went through an emo stage, but she knows a lot more cool stuff. She’s feisty. You don’t want to get on the bad side of her.
Are you funny in real life?
I’ve got quite a childish, odd sense of humour.
What’s your favourite joke?
What’s the difference between a post box and an elephant’s bottom?
Hmm. Don’t know.
Well, I wouldn’t want you to post my letters then. See? That’s funny!
Ha ha. Very good. Did you know that you and your sibling ex-EastEnder Kara are the first sisters to have both been on FHM’s cover since the Minogues?
Wow. That’s something. I can’t believe that. Kara will be very pleased.
Which Minogue do you think is richer?
I guess Danni’s done The X-Factor. Maybe they’re even. Whoever has more will have given the other one a bit so there’s no rivalry.
What would you do if you weren’t acting?
I love art, so probably interior design or something like that. Or I’d be a detective, that would be quite fun. Although death would be depressing. Maybe I could do simple crimes like when a dog gets stolen. A detective in a small village would be perfect.
If you were at school again would you be friends with Charlotte?
I think so. She’s the flirty popular girl, but not a stereotypical popular girl. Not a bitch. Likeable.
When you were making the show, did your school-time memories flood back?
Totally. Especially the way the boys aren’t in the popular or geeky crowd, they’re just in between. I think that’s why parents and grandparents love it, because it’s how they were. Everybody likes to think they were in the popular crowd and the girls all fancied them, but looking back they were all just idiots.
Do you have to deal with people who come up to you and say they don’t like it?
All the time. They’re arseholes. The classic line me and my friends wait for is “Apparently you’re in some show but I’ve never seen it so I’ve no fucking clue who you are”. You know they watch it every night. It really annoys me.
Have you ever had an office job?
Yes, I worked in a call centre. One guy I phoned was a bit of a schizo. He said, “Your voice is really sexy,” and I replied, “Thank you,” and he said, “What are you selling me?” and I said, “Oh, books,” and he said, “Books? Go fuck yourself!” I thought I had a sale there.
Do you consider yourself famous?
I get called a ‘bus wanker’ all the time, and through Dancing On Ice I get recognised a lot. I get little girls and little old ladies coming up to me asking for autographs, so that’s nice. I had a group of boys shouting “Charlotte!” outside my flat recently and trying to climb in my bedroom window, which was a bit scary.
How did you make them go away?
I did the stupid thing of going to the window and being like, “Oi, go away.” But that didn’t work so I just ignored them, shut the curtains, and eventually a neighbour called the police.
What do you like about the show?
It’s one of those shows that blokes watch and are like: “Oh yeah, do you remember when we did that?” And girls watch it and go: “Blokes are idiots, aren’t they?” When I watch it I realise I knew people like that, and although it’s a depressing thought, I liked them at the time.
No doubt all your friends watch the show. Do they think you’re a bit of a hero?
I wouldn’t say hero. Although my friend introduced me to a few of her sister’s friends last night and when I went into another room all I could hear was ‘Oh my days’ and my friend came out and was like, “They just asked if you were Carli.” They were really excited!
Does that kind of thing happen a lot?
You get people staring at you. The worst is when they follow you around HMV talking to each other like, “It is Carli, go and talk to her, I’m not going, you talk to her.” It’s awkward.
What was it like growing up with Giles from Buffy (Anthony Head) as your dad?
Pretty good. I spent a lot of time on set and went to school in LA which was fun. I didn’t realise how huge Buffy was at the time.
Does he help you out?
Sometimes I’ll call him and ask what he thinks, tell him I’ve got a couple of ideas of how I’m going to do a role and see if he can help. But he never strolls in and says “Emily, I think I need to help you”. He leaves me to my own devices.
What’s the difference between UK and US TV sets?
In America the cast services are amazing. All day they have a massive table covered in food – you just grab whatever you want. It’s just there all day. In England you get breakfast and there might be biscuits at 11am, but then nothing until 4 or 5pm when they bring around a plate of sandwiches and cakes. I don’t know how American actresses are so skinny.
Would you like to be really fat just once in your life to see what it feels like?
I suppose so. I don’t really diet at all or anything. In fact, I eat a lot of pizza.