Shavani Seth Interview Issue 15

TAKE A little, give a little is Shavani Seth’s healthy attitude towards how to get on in life. The young actress is starring in E4’s Youngers – tipped to be the next big teenage drama sensation – but she’s still happy to teach at her local acting community group.

Shavani explains: “I started off going to my local youth theatre. I was seen by an agent doing theatre work and that was the start.

“I tried to go to as many acting classes as I can find to keep me on my toes so don’t think you have to go to drama school or the Brit Academy to break into acting!

“I also teach drama in the same youth theatre I started off at. It’s nice to turn it around.”

New teen drama Youngers is written by award-winning Levi Daniel Adda and Benjamin Kuffoun and promises to offers a fresh perspective on the music industry.

Shavani also starred in Adda’s BBC3 drama ‘My Murder,’ which last year won ‘Best Single Drama’ at the Broadcast Awards.

Youngers is his latest work and focuses on young, black south Londoners trying to break into the music industry.

Shavani enthuses: “Youngers is a programme that’s never been done before. It’s fresh to the screen and focuses on young people in a good light.

“It’s on young teenagers in South London who are ambitious, goal driven, not like the X Factor – all glitz and glamour where you are turned into a superstar overnight.

“There’s also a bit of a love triangle between my character Davina and the other main characters, Jay and Yemi.

“At 16 your hormones are raging and you don’t know what you want. In real life I wouldn’t fancy Jay. He’s very sweet but I’d go for someone more mature.

“Davina comes from a good background. She’s an only child and daddy’s princess. She’s a mature 16-year-old and she’s goal-driven and hungry to do her music.

“She lacks confidence so when she’s performing she comes across as a diva, her alter-ego. I looked at and listened

to music from MC Mz Bratt, singer-songwriter Tanya Lacey and Beyonce to get into character.

“They are all strong characters. Davina’s playful with her singing, she’s got attitude on stage, but not a rapper like Nicki Minaj.

“I love her character because she’s something really different. There aren’t many similarities between me and Davina, though she’s got a passion for what she’s doing and so do I. I maybe have her sassiness.” Shavani had performed with co-star, Calvin Denuba, who plays Jay, in a short comedy sketch.

Shavani recalls: “It was a Steve Coogan sketch and it was for a pilot.  It went to America but I don’t think it got aired.

“It’s not easy trying to get into the acting industry. A lot of the time you’re broke and you have to have a thick skin.

“My family support me financially and mentally. I’ve done theatre but my first role on television was on Casualty.

“I played a character whose dad was an alcoholic and he runs me over. I did my own stunt jumping on the bonnet of the car and my shins got bruises on them as a result!”