Today I talk all things autism & OCD with Emmerdale star, Samantha Giles who is best known for her role as Bernice Thomas in the popular ITV soap. And of course I have some little exclusives for all you lovely lot all about her life as an Emmerdale actress. Let's not waste anymore time and get on with that all exciting brand new interview! Enjoy....
Hi Samntha! First of all what is your understanding of autism?
My understanding is that autism is when someone's awareness of the world around them and other people is slightly different to everyone elses. Sometimes it might be emotionally that the person with autism is unable to connect with anyone else on an emotional level, or perhaps are not able to empathise with others. Some forms of autism are extreme and some are very slight. I'm guessing that in some cases someone with severe autism may be incontinent, unable to communicate with others and find the world a very scary place. It seems to be about perception too. I also think people with autism are usually highly intelligent, but they are wired up in such a way that often the rest of the world are not able to see this intelligence.
Do you believe that there is enough awareness of the disability here, in the UK?
May I ask, Is there anybody close to you who has got the diagnosis of autism?
No, Nobody I know.
Have you got anything you would like to tell the autism community?
Be patient with yourself and be brave, there are so many people who are willing to help and be kind if you are facing anykind of difficulties, particularly with your confidence or integrating into any kind of social situation. Celebrate your differences: we are all different , we all have our gifts and our faults. Celebrate your brilliance and uniqueness.
What are your thoughts about my blog?
Its a great thing to do and you clearly enjoy it and I'm sure it is brilliant for others with autism to read and enjoy and feel a real sense of belonging to as well.
Moving on, What is your understanding of OCD?
I think OCD is when someone gets obsessed with some kind of pattern or order in their lives, eg hand washing, or having things in a certian way in the cupboard.
We all have a bit of OCD in us somewhere in our lives. Would you agree?
Yes. I can't get on with lines or stuff on the computer unless the house is tidy. I think we all have things that we get sligtly obssessive about. The important thing is to be able to let it go if we don't get the chance to do it.
Do you think OCD is a bad thing or a good thing?
I think OCD in extreme forms can be very debilitating. I think we are taught in this world all the time that things have to be a certain way, or look a certain way or we have to behave in a certain way to get any kind of success, and sometimes its important just to stick two fingers up at the world and let go of all our anxiety about stuff and just remember that whatever will be will be. Sometimes stillness is the greatest lesson ever. Be still and things around you will move and change and come to you.
You’re an Emmerdale star. What’s it like to be an actress on such a famous soap?
It feels like any job really, its lovely to be working as one spends so much time getting rejected as an actor or being out of work. So its fab to be working and getting paid. I don't feel 'famous' at all, its just what I do.
You play Bernice Blackstock in the soap. How would you describe your character?
She's a bit eccentric, bossy, lonely, she doesn't really fit in. She is feisty and funny and says what she thinks. She is always putting her foot in it.
What’s a normal day like for you on set?
Every day is different. Often I have to be in make up at 7am, on set at 8am, and can finish anytime up to 7pm in the evening. We work in studio or to film outdodr stuff we go to the purpose built emmerdale village which is beautiful.
Who would you say your mostly closest to on the set?
Gaynor (Megan) and Laura (Kerry)
Is there anything interesting coming up for your character?
Lots!! Watch this space.....
How has working on Emmerdale changed your life?
It's great to be earning money and being able to save for when I'm out of work again,!!
To finish off, which character do you find Is the most interesting except yours?
I loved Val Pollard, I think she is a great character and one that will be sorely missed (she is leaving the show shortly)