Liberty Savage is back in Hollyoaks â albeit with a brand new face. As Jessamay Stoddart takes on the role of the musical prodigy as she arrives back from LA, the first thing we will see is a cringe-tastic music video in which Liberty sings for someone to âblow her bubbleâ.
However, despite having a music video to her name, it will soon transpire that not all is well with Liberty and her adventures in LA havenât gone the way that she wanted it to. As Dirk is surprised by her sudden desire to move back home, Milo Entwistle has developed a crush. But things suddenly take quite a turn when Liberty is bundled into the back of a mystery car!
We sat down to meet Jessamay and talk all about her arrival in the soap:
How does it feel to have joined the show?
Honestly, itâs amazing. Iâm really learning so, so much. And the character is wild. Itâs nice to play somebody that is so different to yourself, and to my usual casting.
Was it quite daunting taking over a character that already exists? Did you watch the previous Liberty at all?
I think itâs been quite a long time. Iâd say itâs a bit of a reinvention as well, which is nice. Youâre coming in with a new lease of life, as well. Because the characterâs got another five years of life experience â in LA, of all places.
So I think she takes that little bit of the US with her, and brings this kind of avocado-loving party.
What was it like filming the music video for Blow My Bubble? Was it a bit awkward?
Honestly? It was the first thing I ever filmed. So I come in. And that was us just messing around, actually. That was sort of testing it out.
So Liberty was kind of written that she might be a little bit rubbish for this recast, because she was incredible before â just in case I came in and I wasnât really a singer, as it was written. And then when I was like, âOh, I do sing,â they were like, âOh, letâs mess around with some auto tune.â
We sort of collaborated on that together. I was sent some lyrics through and a bit of a tune. We were just messing around upstairs and seeing what we could do. Does she take herself really seriously? We did it completely seriously, in a real video. We had this cool outfit on, but it was actually blending in with the green screen because it was so bright. This is another thing youâll find about Liberty. Sheâs not scared about mixing her patterns or colours!
But it was so clash-y, that I ended up in this fluffy pink dress with pink trainers. We were panning it with my feet, just giving it disco. It was really, really mental.
Have you always wanted to be in a soap? Has that been an ambition of yours?
I did theatre before. So it kind of came with a bit of a surprise. I was like, âIâd love to do some stuff on television. Iâd love to do this.â And then I got an audition. Within a week, itâs like, âYouâre here.â
I think TV is something I definitely, definitely wanted to do. But I didnât know it was going to happen in the way it happened or when it happened. Itâs been quite a whirlwind, which I think is sometimes the best way, to throw yourself right in there.
What can you tell us about what Libertyâs been up to in the time sheâs been away? Has she changed a lot as a person when she comes back?
I think because sheâs such an open person, you could be fooled into thinking sheâs got a screw loose, but a bit lighter â if you get my drift? But she has this real moral core. So sheâs light and sheâs fluffy.
However, you wouldnât spend five years in LA and not gone through struggles. Sheâs not going to have been in consistent work, otherwise sheâd be a movie star or would have a record deal. But we find out sheâs had a few record deals and stuff like that.
So I think sheâs really picked up her learning experience while sheâs been away. But she just says yes to everything. She thinks everything is amazing. so if you would come to her, saying, âWeâre going to try bring nursery rhymes into the modern world,â sheâd be like, âOh my God, thatâs the best idea ever. I can really hear dub step Humpty Dumpty.â
I think she is a breath of fresh air. You kind of know when someoneâs coming on screen like, and youâre like, âAh! Sheâs going to be fun.â
How does Dirk react to having her back in the village?
Sheâs a proper daddyâs girl, so I think itâs really warm. Itâs been amazing to work with David. Heâs been absolutely incredible and welcomed me straight in. So their relationship is gorgeous.
Could there be a romance on the horizon? Is there anyone that might blow her bubble at all?
I think her bubble would be easily blown within Hollyoaks!Â Like I said, she loves everything. So if someone shows her a bit of interest, Iâm sure sheâll fall absolutely head over heels.
Did you know much about Hollyoaks when you joined?
That was quite hard, coming into it. Obviously, when youâre coming in as a recast, itâs like: âRight, letâs get a brief bit of history in there.â Then I logged onto Wikipedia and was like, âThis is not brief!â
So that was fun. Deciding where I had already been, who I already knew. So itâs quite nice when youâre seeing someone whoâs been here for a long time, going to the actor and being like, âSo, when you were here before with Liberty, did you know her? Did you like her?â
Because you canât tell this just off Wikipedia. You have to ask. So thatâs been really lovely, because thereâs part of you that can create the character, and then thereâs part of you that, you know, she was already here â so you have to follow along. Thereâs some stuff you already know, and then itâs what you can grow from it.
Itâs also breaking the ice with your new cast members as well. Something to talk about. So have you found that everyoneâs been very welcoming, from your friends and acquaintances?
So welcoming. And Iâve made friends really quickly, which I think is lovely. Everyoneâs been so kind. I love Liverpool. Iâd never been before. So yeah, everyoneâs really friendly. Everyone will chat to everyone, no matter if youâre in at 7âo clock like this morning.
How much have they told you about the future plans for Liberty? Are there some big storylines coming up for her?
Honestly, I actually donât know a huge amount. Really truly, I donât. Weâre taking each block of scripts as they come, really â seeing what events are on the horizon. When youâre new, a lot of the time youâre facilitating storylines, because youâre establishing a character. So Iâm completely in the same place as you.
Your character is very positive, and obviously thereâs going to be a lot of comedy with her as well. HollyoaksÂ do gritty stories and really serious ones. Is that something youâd like to tackle as well?
I would love as many challenges as you can throw at me as possible. As Jessamy, I would love that. I think sometimes, some of the hardest and most exhilarating moments to watch are when someone can have that balance. When itâs coming from someone who youâve known and loved to be this completely positive bubble-blower, to then have these things filtering through is electric to watch.
She gets involved with MiloâŠ
Oh, Milo. I had him as in their family.Â Youâll have some fun with them two together. Theyâre like the complete polarâ and we look dead funny together as well. Yeah, theyâre very, very cute.
Are you prepared for everyone to recognise your face when youâre outside the studio?
I have no idea what to expect, really. The other day, we just went for a bit of dinner, me and Amanda, who plays Holly. Someone was waving in the car. I see a lot of different faces every day. I canât necessarily pinpoint if someone works in costume or somewhere else so Iâm just waving back, but they werenât waving at me.
So no, Iâm not prepared, basically.
Does she get on well with Cindy, or is there some rivalry there maybe?
In her mind, she gets on well with everyone but if people get on with her is another question. But she thinks everyoneâs amazing. Whatever they do, if thereâs a monologue with a tiny bit of positivity, sheâll cling straight onto it. Itâs like the rest didnât happen. Itâs so refreshing.
How positive are you in real life? Does that rub off on you that she loves absolutely everything?Â
I have to say, Iâm quite a positive person. Usually, with what I wear, the monochrome mistress is my thing. I really donât venture. Even with white sometimes, Iâm like, âOoh, daring.â
The other day, I bought really quite loud earrings and a stripy top. A few of my friends were like, âHave you had a bump to the head?â So things like that are quite nice injections of her into my life, just from being with her every day.