Catching up with Caroline Flack and “Crazy For You” co-star Tom Chambers
Caroline Flack fronted the most popular TV show of the summer, “Love Island”. You’d think after working through the summer, she would be taking a break, but no, she has jumped straight back into work.
From 19-23 September, Caroline will be featuring in the stage show,“Crazy For You”, at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre.
There’s lots of dancing in this show. Did her time on “Strictly Come Dancing” help with this role?
“Absolutely”, says Caroline. “I trained in musical theatre when I was 16 – 19 years old, in college, and then never danced again until “Strictly”. My partner at the time said ‘why are you not doing this as a job?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know’. I kind of forgot that I did it and lost my confidence, I suppose. I thought it wasn’t there anymore. But then I realised it kind of was. And that after that I was like maybe this could open up a whole new path of things I can do as well as telly, so yeah, it definitely helped.”
Off stage habits
Tom Chambers, also a former “Strictly” winner, co stars alongside Caroline. The two have the most peculiar off stage habits.
Caroline shares, “There’s one scene where Tom comes off and I am on the stairs, waiting to go on and we always look at each other. He comes right up to my face, really close and snorts like a pig. It’s kind of half sexy, half not! And then I go on.”
“This is my first role, I am thinking, do people always do this? Is this what people always do in theatre? So I will be doing it to everyone else, and they’ll be like, OK.”
“You brought that up – it’s meant to be a backstage secret!” Tom mockingly chastises Caroline.
On stage mishaps
Thanks to her time on “Love Island”, “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Now”, “XFactor” and Xtra Factor”, Caroline is well used to working in front of live audiences. Like live TV, there can often be moments that happen on stage that aren’t part of the script. For Caroline this was a microphone incident.
“My microphone, is in the back of my pants, and it fell out, nearly onto the floor. It was hanging like string from my pants, just at the bottom of my dress. I could feel it swinging and I was like ‘Oh no, this is the first time …’ This is all going through my head, as well as doing my lines at the same time. I was thinking, ‘What do I do, what do I do? Do I pick it up? Do I leave it? No-one’s told me what to do if this happens. I’m not prepared’. So, I just slowly bent down and lifted up my skirt, at the same time I was lifting up the mic and just held my skirt like that the whole time – with my leg out.”
Mishaps like this is where her live TV experience comes in handy.
“Live TV, as much as it can be the scariest thing in the world, it’s like that good scary, and it releases the same chemical whether you’re nervous or excited. You just have to tell yourself, I’m excited. So as long as you tell your brain, this is excitement, not nerves then that’s how you get through it.”
“You know, the “Love Island” final this year? I was petrified, and I was like, ‘You’re never this scared usually, what is going on?’ There was something about this final. The show had done so brilliantly, I was like, I don’t want this to be the downfall of a brilliant series.”
“But you embrace those nerves. It’s the same as going on stage with a live audience. And because it’s a different audience every night, it never gets any easier. If you’re doing the same audience, it would be fine. When it’s a different audience, you’ve got to make it exactly the same as the night before, so those nerves never go away, ever.”
“Strictly Come Dancing”
Is it more nerve wracking doing a stage show or “Strictly”?
Both Caroline and Tom scream out in unison, “Arrrghghhhh Stricly! 100%”.
Caroline goes on to say, “And it never changes. Like when you get to the final you’re as nervous as that first night, when you first started.”
“Why? Because it’s a different routine and the pressure goes up and up and up. It’s terrifying. And again, it’s like the most sick you’ll ever feel, but with joy – sick with joy.”
Even though she is no longer a “Strictly” contestant, Caroline is still a big fan and doesn’t miss a show.
“I watched the launch show as soon as I got home. In fact I was watching it on twitter during “Crazy for You”. I kept going to twitter to see who was being partnered with who and stuff like that.”
“I’m obsessed with it. Some people don’t watch it after they’ve finished with it. They say, ‘I can’t watch it anymore, it brings back too many memories’. But not me – I love it. I would do it again if they asked me. I’d love it!”
Love Island gripped the nation over the summer. Given the success of the show, casting is already underway for the next series. What advice does Caroline have for anyone thinking of applying to be on the show?
“I suggest they do it quite quickly because we have already had over 100,000 applicants. They’re saying that statistically it is harder to get onto “Love Island” than it is into Cambridge University now. I mean I am not saying ‘Kids, you shouldn’t go to Uni, you should apply to “Love Island”’ but do you know what? Get your character in there. I think you have to apply with these little videos, or go along to the open days.”
What other tips does Caroline have for applicants?
“I don’t do the casting but I’d suggest, be funny and don’t try to be like a previous contestant. We would never do it like, ‘Oh they’re the new Olivia, they’re that …’ That is absolutely not what we do. They try and get someone that’s completely different to before.”
“Also, be prepared that this is going to change your life. The first year, we didn’t really know what to expect. Now, it’s quite life changing when you go on “Love Island” because everyone’s going to know who you are. Make sure you’re prepared for that, because everyone’s going to see it. So, be prepared for what happens afterwards.”
Crazy For You
But before “Love Island” comes back to our screens, Caroline has the “Crazy For You” tour to focus on. Why should people go and see it?
“Because it’s very cool! When I first watched it, I walked into rehearsals a week late because I had to do “Love Island”, so I had to watch the musical numbers first, I was blown away with first of all how talented everyone was. I mean ridiculously talented. But I just thought, this is one of the coolest shows I have ever seen. You know, you’ve got a guy playing the sax dancing, turning around, then going into character for his part, then going back playing the sax, playing the drums, playing the banjo. It’s brilliant!
You can see Caroline in “Crazy For You”, at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre from 19 – 23 September.