Rachel Shel­ley (Brooke)

Diva (UK) - - Cover Story | Different For Girls -

Rachel Shel­ley is in­stantly recog­nis­able to most DIVA read­ers as The L Word’s He­lena Pe­abody, a spoilt so­cialite used to get­ting what she wants. How does it feel to be play­ing gay again, as Brooke in Dif­fer­ent For Girls?

Oh gosh, I wasn’t ex­pect­ing you to ask me that! What I love when you play gay, you get a set full of women, and I like that. We have a lot of women on the crew, and the cast is pre­dom­i­nately fe­male. I love that. It’s a re­ally good en­ergy to be around.

Com­par­isons will in­evitably be drawn be­tween DFG and The L Word, mostly be­cause there are so few se­ries ex­plic­itly about the lives of les­bians and bi women. But they are very dif­fer­ent. It’s not LA, it hasn’t got that same glam­our, and it’s not try­ing to have that glam­our. There are sim­i­lar­i­ties, but it’s got a dif­fer­ent tone, a dif­fer­ent pace, and it’s much more con­tem­po­rary.

Brooke is noth­ing like He­lena. She’s a lit­tle bit worn down by mother­hood. She’s so ab­sorbed by it, she’s lost her iden­tity a bit. If I had to de­scribe her in one word, it would be sweat­pants.

DFG is a pure vi­sion. It’s not wa­tered down, or hyped up. It doesn’t have to tick boxes like, ‘ We need a sex scene! We need bare breasts here’. And Brooke is kind of like me and who I am these days. My daugh­ter is seven now so I’m not quite in that world any­more, but I def­i­nitely recog­nise Brooke as a real per­son, and some­one that I can see in my­self. A per­son so un­ex­pect­edly ab­sorbed by mother­hood.

The other day I took my daugh­ter to school. I got home and then went to go meet a friend to play ten­nis, and it was only then when I met them at the court that I re­alised that I had my sweat­pants on back to front, in­side out… I looked like I had re­ally hairy legs with all the seams. I’d stood out­side school chat­ting! No one had said any­thing. That is a long way from He­lena Pe­abody.

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