My mum hates me being a Bad Girl



MOST actors would relish getting their teeth into a dark, menacing role in a top-rated TV drama.

But Bad Girls star Kerry Norton has found playing Larkhall Prison’s psychotic bitch Maxi Purvis just too grim to bear.

Being stripped of make-up, having a greasy middle parting, unflattering clothes and a permanent scowl all took their toll on the normally cheery actress.

She says: “Playing a baddie gets monotonous. With someone evil like Maxi it leaves no room for sympathy.

“It got to a point where I would read the script and think, ‘When am I going to have a laugh or even smile?’ I can’t believe bad people never enjoy themselves.

“Playing Maxi can really put you in a bad mood. I thought I would switch off when I got home but there were times when I’d feel awful in the evening. Then I’d remember I’d tried to kill someone that day in prison.”

The sexy 5ft 4in actress jokes: “Maybe I’m vain but I kept wanting to have a scene where I skipped round the set looking pretty wearing a flowery dress with my hair in a ponytail instead of looking so hard!”


The ITV1 jail saga, which began its fourth series on Thursday night, is one of the channel’s most successful dramas and regularly attracts more than nine million viewers.

Yet Kerry, 27, feels she has outgrown her role and has decided to leave the programme at the end of this series.

Before then she warns that viewers are in for the worst violence seen yet from the jail’s infamous Peckham Boot Gang.

Maxi is still intent on knocking hard-bitten lag Yvonne Atkins off her perch and Kerry says: “Maxi is still as horrible.

“She starts off bad and gets worse. But eventually she ostracises herself and everyone in the prison hates her.

“People will see a more vulnerable side to her but it’s too late. Let’s just say she gets her come-uppance.”

Kerry is not the only one who finds her screen alter ego hard to bear.

She says: “I have one friend who just can’t watch it because I look so ugly and hideous. He says it’s just not me.”

Even her mum Angela, 57, a book-keeper, hates seeing her daughter on screen. Kerry says: “It used to be her favourite programme but she doesn’t like it any more because she thinks it’s too violent.”

Her boyfriend is actor Jamie Bamber, 28, who plays hunky Peak Practice doctor Matt Kendal. He finds Maxi a turn-off too.

Kerry says: “I went on holiday to Spain for a week with my mum and sisters and he was missing me. He put on the TV to watch the show and had to turn it off. He told me it wasn’t the Kerry he wanted to see.”

Kerry and Jamie met last year while filming eco-warrior movie The Devil’s Tattoo in Scotland. They have now been together for nine months and she recalls: “When I first met him I thought, ‘Cor, he’s gorgeous!’ and he felt the same about me.

“We had adjoining rooms. I’d go to bed at night and think all I had to do was walk through the door and there he would be.

“He used to wonder what I would have done if he’d let himself in, too. There was a lot of flirting going on and our characters were in love so the chemistry was really there. It took about two weeks to get together. In the end the door was open all the time.”

Kerry, from Stockwell, South London, admits it is great going out with a man women lust after. She says: “He gets loads of fan mail and is good-looking but luckily he doesn’t consider himself a hunk.

“Jamie definitely is the one. I would love to get married and have kids. We’ve talked about living together.” But there are downsides to dating a jobbing actor. She says: “He’s in LA at the moment and I really miss him.

“He’s been gone for a week and I hate it. It’s like losing a limb.

“If he gets the part he’s auditioning for he might be out there for six months. It’s a long time to be apart in a new relationship. It rams it home how difficult it is. I don’t believe in absence making the heart grow fonder — I think it makes you forget.”

In her youth Kerry trained as a gymnast but gave it up at 16 and went into acting after failing to make the Olympic squad.

However she still possesses a wonderfully flexible body and practises yoga to keep in shape.

She once entertained stunned guests at a posh hotel in New York with a move in which she puts her body through her legs and scuttles around the floor.

She says: “I haven’t done anything like that recently — well, not in bars, that is. But Jamie certainly enjoys it!”


� The Sun

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