Congratulations on your 2011 British Soap Awards nominations! How surprised were you when you found out?
When I found out about my nomination it was a surprise, an honour. I never expect anything I just love my job and hope it has an impact. But the fact that the public shortlisted me had a huge impact on me, shock and gratitude, wow! They shortlisted me?! Thank you.
How did your part on Hollyoaks come about?
The job came about like any other audition via my agent- popped in & did an audition with Jen (Mercedes) she said ” all I know is, you have to be bigger than me..” to be honest I thought How can I be bigger than Mercedes McQueen?! But it turned out to be bigger in a different way, the energy of Jacqui has certainly evolved, nothing was set in stone.. I have played her for 5years which is an amazing experience for any actor. We weren’t sure who Jacqui was when she arrived, it was trial & error. No right or wrong way. I had great support from Brian Kirkwood & scripts the risks I took were large and scary. Hollyoaks had never had a character quite as brash & grotesque on screen! Lucky me, I couldn’t wait to get my teeth into her!
What has been your favourite Hollyoaks episode to shoot?
Obviously the first one was so exciting, getting to meet the family and everyone who works on the show. There was one particular episode with Jorgie and Nicole where a professional SWAT team ran onto the set, the director didn’t even warn us! We didn’t stop laughing the whole time we got them all singing and I was in hysterics
Did you always want to be an actress? I know you were a gymnast for ten years….
Well at the time it was something to do and I loved it, I went professional and took part in National competitions but in the end I grew out of it. My whole family is extremely artistic and I think I always knew I wanted to be an actress; I have always been a very creative person.
Do you love dressing up in Jacqui’s often outrageous outfits? How does it compare to your own style?
Yes! I love how she is not bothered what people think and is so laid back, she just wants to be herself. I don’t normally wear much make up like Jacqui and I have naturally curly hair. Although, we both love to wear lip-gloss! I also really love that she can see the good in a lot of people, I really admire that.
What’s the weirdest thing a fan has done for you?
I was walking around just doing some personal shopping and a man came up to me and said “Hello Claire” I didn’t know him so I carried on walking, then he asked if he could come shopping with me, it was very weird! After carrying on walking he wouldn’t stop and asked me out for dinner, I said sorry but no then he asked me out for breakfast, he just wouldn’t quit!
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I love my job so definitely still working, married and hopefully a Mum! Perhaps pursue dramas and maybe films, I think the British film industry is amazing. I just want to be loving life and surrounded by my friends and family.
What do you like to do when you’re not acting?
Definitely catching up with friends, pottering around mainly, I’m always busy!
What’s the best part about being on Hollyoaks?
The people I work with and getting to do something I love every day.
What is your favourite TV show?
I’m a very big fan of Sky Atlantic, I love Boardwalk Empire and True Blood!
What advice would you give to aspiring actresses?
Most people go into the industry, not for the love of acting but just aspiring to just be famous. I would definitely advise people to go on a reality show is fame is all you are after. You must be able to believe in yourself to succeed in this tough industry.
What can we expect from Jacqui McQueen for the rest of 2011?
I can’t say! You will have to watch and see……
Catch Hollyoaks on Channel 4 at 6:30 or catch up on 4 od!