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SOLEMANI''S NOT SOLEMN ABOUT HER FUTURE ; Slobby BBC Three comedy Him & Her is drawing to a close with a fourth series. Actress Sarah Solemani...

November 23, 2013


SOLEMANI''S NOT SOLEMN ABOUT HER FUTURE ; Slobby BBC Three comedy Him & Her is drawing to a close with a fourth series. Actress Sarah Solemani leaves the infamous bedsit to talk to KEELEY BOLGER

WHEN your day job involves being filmed chomping on blocks of cheese, picking food out of your teeth and lolling around on a makeshift bed, it's a natural consequence that people expect you to be similarly slothful in real life.

But Sarah Solemani, the 31-year-old star of Him & Her, a comedy series about two layabout lovers, insists she couldn't be more different to her character Becky.

In the programme, which is coming to a close with the fourth and final series, unemployed Becky and hapless boyfriend Steve, expertly played by Russell Tovey, muddle through life from the comfort of their messy bedsit, only briefly leaving their bed to make a round of chicken nuggets.

"People definitely expect me to more Becky-like, but we don't talk the same or dress the same I'm more of an extrovert, more animated than Becky. She hardly does anything. People are taken aback when they meet me," she says.

Viewers will have had the chance to see Solemani in different guises recently. She played Lizzie, alongside James Corden, in comic thriller series The Wrong Mans, and Jack Whitehall's unrequited love interest, Miss Gulliver, in the hit school-set comedy Bad Education.

Before all this, Solemani took up her craft in the National Youth Theatre and, in her late teens, snapped up her first role in the West End playing Elaine in The Graduate, with Kathleen Turner as her mum.

She went on to study politics at Cambridge, where she became involved with the university's well-known drama club, Footlights, and after graduating, scored parts in the 2005 Judi Dench film Mrs Henderson Presents, BBC2 series Roman's Empire in 2007 and dark comedy Psychoville in 2011.

This series marks a big moment for the couple - for the first time in the show's history they're going to leave their 'cocoon of filth', for the wedding of Becky's sister, Laura.

The change of set meant Solemani had fewer scenes with Tovey, and their two characters are left "desperately trying to have a little gossip together and a little smooch" amid the chaos of the wedding.

Likewise, the actress was keen to seek out a "new place to collapse" between takes, so she and her co-star could have a natter.

"Me and Russell love each other and love chatting about everything," she says, laughing.

Last year, she invited some of the cast to her wedding - to composer Daniel Ingram - and Tovey recently celebrated her 31st birthday with her, at a party in her home.

Unlike their on-screen personas, the pair are both proactive. Tovey has just started filming his leading role in new American comedy drama Looking, and Solemani's been busier than ever, narrating an episode of Crackanory on Dave and working on a drama with Dominic Savage that they're going to "collaborate and write and act" for BBC1. Then there's the small matter of auditioning for Anchorman star Will Ferrell.

"I shot a sketch for, which is Will Ferrell's online company," she explains.

"It was an all-female, all-American cast and crew, and it was really funny seeing my writing translate. They laughed. Or they made laughing sounds, which is an indication of humour. Sometimes."

The sketch seems to have tickled enough people, because Solemani, who says she'd love to work with American comedian Louis CK, is now busy penning a series.

"I showed it to the FX channel who make Louis's show," she says. "So now I've got to write that and see where it goes."

." ? Him& Her: The Wedding begins on BBC3 on Thursday.

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