Although I have nothing but contempt for the character she portrays in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, I think Georgia Groome actually gives a great performance as her namesake. On the DVD commentary, she claims that they had to use CGI to reduce the size of her nostrils during a particularly tearful scene, because they were flaring too much… which reads like a joke, but she didn’t sound like she was joking when she said it, so who knows? I’d say she was a very natural, funny and endearing actress… and in an ideal world, she’d be drafted in to replace Dani Harmer in a couple of her shows! But this is far from an ideal world, and so far Groome’s only scored supporting roles in serious, grown-up, “gritty” dramas. Yawn.
A more controversial casting choice, at least as far as some fans of the books were concerned, was the decision to Desi-fy one of Georgia’s sidechicks. At one point they were going to replace her friend ‘Ellen’ with a new character called ‘Namita’, but in the end they just kept the same actress on in the role of Ellen. As an avid supporter of “affirmative action”, I am glad that Manjeeven Grewal got the gig… although if I were her, I probably wouldn’t be quite so happy, since she gets so little to do, other than stand around mutely reacting to the others. Even worse, her most memorable dialogue scene sees her bemoaning the fact she has (or imagines she has) a visible “moustache”, and that her mother has “sideburns”. Not exactly the most glamorous way to grab the audience’s attention, but props to her for being such a good sport.
As I say, it’s hard to judge Grewal’s performance, since she has so little to say or do, but she seems pretty committed. She’d previously appeared as a regular player in the children’s sitcom My Life as a Popat (Series 2 (2007)), alongside Chandeep Uppal, but that show still hasn’t been released on DVD (boo!), so there’s not much I can say about that either. Ah well, I’ll be sure to keep her in mind, in case anyone ever actually buys one of my scripts… and if she doesn’t mind gothing up, she might even score a starring role this time!