Maxine Peake is not your generic pinup – and that is something she would never aspire to be. She turned up on set for her shoot with her hair scraped back, no make-up on and wearing a rainbow-striped jumper under dungarees – and still looked fabulous.
Peake’s subversion of the conventional is exactly why she’s great. She had a turbulent start at the acting fray: early attempts at securing a place at numerous colleges proved fruitless, until she was accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, aged 21. Her granddad, “a massive influence”, told her: “You’ll never make it as an actress, why do you want to go into that profession?” But she recalls this lightheartedly as, she says, “He was the instigator, really, that was what made me interested in doing something creative for a living.”
Bolton-born Peake has since played characters as diverse as rough-as-your-armpits Veronica in Channel 4 drama Shameless and, more recently, barrister Martha Costello QC in BBC legal drama Silk.
Read the rest of the interview here and watch the video on YouTube!