Celebrity interview: Sarah Solemani

Sarah Solemani.
Sarah Solemani.
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When it comes to baring all, Sarah Solemani is no shrinking violet. Her first film role, while still at university, involved stripping off as one of the cabaret girls in Mrs Henderson Presents.

“People are fascinated by the nudity.

“They always play it at Christmas and I get these texts saying, ‘I’m with my entire family watching you completely naked, Merry Christmas!’” she says, giggling, admitting that it was “weird” to be writing political essays one day, and standing next to Judi Dench on stage – nude – the next.

The 30-year-old is dusting off her birthday suit again in new Sky comedy Aphrodite Fry, which she wrote for the channel’s series of comic films, Love Matters.

Mural artist Aphrodite (Solemani) is young and “sexually free” and, after a particularly disappointing one-night stand, she sets out to take revenge on the male sex, and prove that women can also “come and go”.

The final scene involves her standing opposite her intended prey on the beach in Brighton and shedding her overalls, as he also strips, before they run into the sea naked.

It’s a sweet moment where Aphrodite realises that not all men are sexually selfish.

The only thing was, filming took place in November. “It was freezing!” says Solemani, adding an f-word for good measure. “I was like, ‘Why have I written that? I’m insane, why didn’t I just have us sitting on a sun lounger?’

“My writing head was like, ‘This would be beautiful’ and the stage direction says ‘they run naked and innocent like John and Yoko into the sea’.”

Solemani has written plays before but, bar a pilot that was never shown, this is the first TV piece she’s written which will be broadcast.

Known best for starring alongside Russell Tovey as slovenly couple Becky and Steve in cult BBC Three comedy Him & Her, she found it strange acting in something she’d written.

“I had to drop the writing hat once we were rehearsing and the director actually said to me, ‘Stop it’, because I’d try and change lines or put in new words.”

The one night stand plot line was based on something that happened to a friend.

Solemani explains: “She was not feeling great about herself, she’d just split up with a boyfriend, who she knew wasn’t really suitable but was still kind of grieving, and we told her to get back on the horse, ‘Go out and feel sexy and single and have a great time’.”

* Aphrodite Fry, part of the Love Matters series, is on Sky Living HD on Thursday, April 4.

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