For UK fans of Strike, you will recognise Jess Impiazzi as the 1970s Gloria Conti in Strike: Troubled Blood, which aired on BBC One and iPlayer shortly before Christmas.
Outside of Strike, you may recognise her from the reality TV show Ex On The Beach, and she has also recently starred in a new comedy, Keep Calm & Carry On, on Amazon Prime.
Below is our Q&A with Jess about her role in Troubled Blood and some of her other projects.
What are your thoughts on the character of Gloria Conti, and do you see any of yourself in her?
I really enjoyed playing Gloria. I felt I could really relate to her with similarities I found in myself when I was younger and the need to fit in.
What was it like working with costars (Abigail Lawrie, Jacob James Beswick, etc.) and what was it like working with director Sue Tully?
I learnt so much from everyone, I couldn’t be more grateful! Abi was fabulous and I really looked up to her not just in character but as an actor too and the same with Jacob. Jacob was fab because he is so different from his character, Luca. It really shows his talent! Sue was incredible. She really knows how to get the best out of her actors.
You said your first day on set was the scene with the character Luca Ricci in the car. What was that like, especially for your first day?!
It was a brilliant first day, an intense scene to start with but I like jumping in at the deep end and really enjoyed filming that scene.
What was your overall experience like on set?
I loved every minute! We had the best cast a crew anyone could ask for, and I know so many people said the same thing.
Did you meet the present-day Gloria actress, Cherie Lunghi?
I met Cherie at rehearsals and she was wonderful. We discussed our character and also just had some life chats. It was great to meet her.
Have you/do you intend to read the Strike books? What are your thoughts on the series?
I hadn’t read the books previous to filming but it’s definitely on the agenda now. Especially because my stepdad is a huge fan of the books.
I love the series. I got hooked watching them, so when I knew I was filming for Troubled Blood it felt surreal.
In your book, Silver Linings, you mention that acting has always been your passion, but you were sidetracked with modelling and reality TV. Now that you’ve got into acting, does it live up to your expectations? Is anything different to what you imagined?
It’s everything I ever dreamed of. I knew from a young age I wanted to act, and doing that in any capacity makes me incredibly grateful. I’m just so pleased to have my life in the right direction and I’ll work exceptionally hard and be the best version of myself.
In your book you go into some detail about your mum going blind when you were younger, which has inspired you to become an ambassador for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Could you tell us your involvement with that and some of the work they do with guide dogs?
The charity really is incredible. The dogs really do help blind people get their freedom back. I like to help wherever I can with the charity because I saw first hand how they changed my mum’s life around.
I know you’re a Harry Potter fan, so I have to ask you about that since I’m a huge fan too.…
What’s your Hogwarts House?
What’s your favourite Potter book and movie?
I find this one so hard because I love them all as they are all so different. I can never choose and if I do it ends up changing all the time!!
Who’s your favourite Potter character?
I love Sirius Black and Dumbledore and Hagrid — there’s so many wonderful characters to pick just one.
You also star in the new comedy show Keep Calm & Carry On on Amazon Prime. What was that like to shoot?
This was super fun to film. As it was a comedy, we really just had a lot of fun on set! There were serious parts to it, but overall it was a really fun production to work on.
Do you have any current or upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I’m auditioning around and have another Amazon series I start in February which is exciting, another comedy.
You mentioned you were very close to finishing your second book. Could you tell us about that?
My second book is about mindset. It’s things that I felt really helped me through stages in life, and I wanted to write down what I have experienced and grown through in the hopes to help others live the life they want to and overall become happier.
What are some of your goals for 2023? Have you got any fun plans for the year?
I just want to book as much acting work as possible. I’d love to explore some new characters and work with some great actresses and actors and just keep learning.
END OF Q&A
UK fans can see Jess in Strike: Troubled Blood on BBC iPlayer now. The series airs in the USA on 6th February on HBO Max.
See Jess in Keep Calm & Carry On on Amazon Prime, and find her book, Silver Linings, on Amazon here.