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Lister's ex-girlfriend on the Red Dwarf, Kristine Kochanski, appeared live on beeb on Thursday 18 December 1997. Having recently attained cult status for her assertive and flirtatious role in the new series of Red Dwarf, she found out what it was like to be a crew member on the starship beeb, with the sole responsibility of navigating your questions!
Chloë has trodden a rather unusual path into Red Dwarf stardom. As a young girl growing up in London, the daughter of a director father and voice coach mother, Chloë dreamed of being a ballet dancer. She admits to falling into acting by accident. But since leaving drama school five years ago, she has worked in a variety of roles - from an American mini-series - to an episode of the ITV mediaeval detective series Cadfael. Now, with Kochanski set to become a permanent love interest for Lister and the bane of Krytens life, Chloë is clear about the way she sees the character progressing. "They want her to have lots of flaws and vulnerabilities and I would like to play her that way too," but she adds, "I dont want her to be an uptight old bag."
So if you want to know
answers to questions like "What was it like to be kitted
out in a PVC uniform?"; "How does she get along with
the boys of Red Dwarf?" or "How does she feel about
being regarded as a sex symbol?", then read on below
beeb: "Chloë has arrived at beeb and is preparing to answer your questions..."
Toby Jones asks: "Red Dwarf was primarily a boys'-only adventure - until you came along with a strong female personality which experiments with the chemistry of the show. Did you consider that Kochanski would do this, and how did you attack the role?"
Chloë Annett: "Well that came naturally. The part was always there and I just took over. It just got bigger. It's great!"
beeb: "So how did you approach the role Chloë?"
Chloë Annett: " I never saw the original Kochanski. First of all, it was written as a strong, bossy character and this continued as I have settled into it and established the character."
Joanna Kennedy asks: "How did you react when you discovered that you had landed the part of Kochanski? Was it a case of breaking out the champagne?"
Chloë Annett: "Oh I was thrilled. It happened so quickly. I auditioned for the part. That same afternoon I was told I was a strong contender...and the next day I had the part. It was unbelievable! They sent me champagne and flowers...it was wonderful!"
marvin asks: "How do you think Kochanski would react to an amorous advance by Kryten?"
Chloë Annett: "(laughing) Uhhmm! It wouldn't happen...But if it did, it wouldn't be reciprocated!"
gerry asks: "What did you have to do for your audition?"
Chloë Annett: "Read! I just had to read a few scenes and chat to the team. I had actually read for them before so they had me on tape and knew me which was why they called me in."
Neil Burton asks: "Was the prospect of being slobbered all over by Lister (aka Craig Charles) revolting - or attractive in a strange kind of way?"
Chloë Annett: "Well, actually, up until then I'd had to kiss somebody in everything I'd been in. So I was blase. Craig was nervous so I just said "Come on, let's get on with it..."It was a weird thing to have to do, but I was used to it by then. I just tried to put him at his ease."
Paul Barrett asks: "Do you think that Kochanski's reintroduction to Red Dwarf is loosely based on Ripley from the Alien films. And who do you reckon would come out tops if you both got in a big punch-up!?"
Chloë Annett: "No, I don't think so. I think Ripley would win, let's face it, she's come up against so many aliens. Kochanski is a neurotic, that's her charm, that's the fun of the show. Ripley would be completely out of place in Red Dwarf."
dennis parker asks: "Do you share any common character traits with Kristine Kochanski?"
Chloë Annett: "Um, yeah, I'm also bossy. But the character traits are much bigger on the show, more blown out. As I said before, she's a neurotic. But I think that's always the thing... you always find similarities with the people you play."
marvin asks: " What was your most memorable moment whilst making the last series of Red Dwarf?"
Chloë Annett: "It was in Duct Soup - we had five fire hoses, one for each of us and we just let rip, and sprayed each other. It was freezing!"
trigger asks: "How will the character of Kochanski develop in Series VIII?"
Chloë Annett: "I think she's going to tone down a bit. The more I relax into being with the boys, the less neurotic she's going to become. I don't know what Doug's written for the next series but I'd like her to fall in love. I think she deserves it. She does, she really does!"
Gareth Randall asks: "The regular cast for Red Dwarf VIII looks like being the largest ever. Given the very mixed response Red Dwarf VII received, primarily due to the scripts, are you confident that all the regulars in the new series will get a decent share of strong lines?"
Chloë Annett: "I didn't know it was criticized. I think Doug has written the characters for so many years he knows them inside out and back to front. Last year members of the cast sometimes received 25 pages of script to learn the night before the shoot. Doug has spent a long time writing this new series. There'll be a more even spread."
Perry asks: "I hear that the Red Dwarf movie is going to be made, are you going to appear in it?"
Chloë Annett: "Yeah. I know nothing about it except that I am going to be in it. There is talk about Americans playing the baddies, but I don't know, I shouldn't speculate. But it promises to be great."
DenCage asks: "How do you feel about the prospect of being a major movie star when the Red Dwarf film is made?"
Chloë Annett: "Oh, great! I'd like to work in America again. I've an agent there and I've lived there...but I wouldn't want to live there again. I'd like to work there again but I'd also like to work in France, England and Italy etc., I even worked on a Japanese film once!"
Paul B asks: "Do you know if both the original writers are working on the Red Dwarf Movie?"
Chloë Annett: "No idea. Sorry!"
Toby asks: "How long do you see Red Dwarf lasting for? Would you like to be with it for its entire run, or do you see yourself moving on?"
Chloë Annett: "Um I'm probably not the best person to ask, you should ask the people who've been in it from the beginning - my character is new. I'd like to carry on doing it - and for as long as they want me and for as long as I want to be in it."
DenCage asks: "Is the uniform your wore for 'Can't Smeg Won't Smeg', the 10th Anniversary show, more comfortable?"
Chloë Annett: " Well, the PVC one was not comfortable. It was so hot and my bum left these indents in the PVC. During filming I ate a lot of food supplied by the catering department and put on weight. So I had two costumes - one which I wore at the start of filming and the other at the end when I'd grown bigger. So the one I wore for the Anniversary was definitely more comfortable."
beeb asks: So Chloë, will you ever wear PVC again?
Chloë Annett: "Oh yeah, sure... for a price!"
Matthew Newell asks: "How do you feel about people looking at you as being a sex symbol?"
Chloë Annett: "Yeah! Come on now! It's flattering. I think, to be honest, the things I've done recently have not been glamorous whereas the things I did in the past were. No, it's great."
gerry asks: "Do you think there are enough strong female roles in television?"
Chloë Annett: "I think it's getting better. I think that there were always some strong roles, but these usually went to the character actresses whereas the feminine characters got the fairly weak roles... and that's changing."
Dr Who asks: " Do you have a fondness for the fantasy genre?"
Chloë Annett: "I do! I love Sci-Fi. It wasn't a deliberate choice on my part to be in a fantasy-based show, it just happened that way - it wasn't a conscious decision. I love Star Wars and Close Encounters and lots of the American stuff."
Jay Worraker asks: "Were you disappointed about the trashing the critics gave Crime Traveller? That they could not assess it on its own merits instead of comparing it with more cerebral shows?"
Chloë Annett: "I don't know. I mean you can't not compare it though it was completely different. I'm not going to say they shouldn't have knocked it. But I do know there were people who did enjoy it, we did receive letters from fans. It was just a case of finding the balance between fantasy and reality. It's very difficult to strike the right balance."
Kieron asks: "If you could have one other non-fictional character on board the Red Dwarf who would it be and why?"
Chloë Annett: "Oh! (thinking)...For Kochanski maybe Superman, but he's fictional. A non- fiction character. Doug! Because he keeps on writing it. He'd fit in really well, I think."
scott10101 asks: "What did you enjoy working on more Red Dwarf or Crime Traveller, and for what reasons?"
Chloë Annett: "Red Dwarf! Because to be fair it was one of the best times I had working. It was hard work but I laughed so much, which is rare when you are in that situation.It was great!"
gidik asks: "If you had a time machine at home, would you use it? And what would you want to change?"
Chloë Annett: "Probably I'd go back to the beginning of Red Dwarf and not eat so much so I wouldn't have such a hard time getting into my uniform!"
Ian asks: "Chloë, does Craig really get into his part by smelling like the space bum he acts?"
Chloë Annett: "No! He comes in in his nice suits etc. He's the chicest of the lot! He's very fragranced."
beeb asks: What's it like working with Craig? Spill the beans, Chloë?
Chloë Annett: "It's great! I have a lot of respect for him, he's a good friend so loyal - and also fiercely intelligent, and he's been absolutely wonderful to me... so there's nothing to spill!"
guest20 asks: "Who's the best leading man Michael French or Craig Charles?"
Chloë Annett: "Craig Charles!"
john asks: "Did you feel sorry for Robert Llewellyn having to go through two hours of make up a day?"
Chloë Annett: "I felt very sorry for Robert Llewellyn! But the make up process did get it quicker and quicker...It was horrible for him, really nasty, especially because of the hot weather. We tried to do his stuff first. But still, it was horrible, he couldn't eat until he'd shot his scenes."
guest20 asks: "You appear to be on a desert island with beeb, would you recommend it?"
Chloë Annett: "Yes, very much so. I'd love to be on a desert island right now, somewhere hot!"
TallAndy asks: "After Red Dwarf, do you have any other projects?"
Chloë Annett: "It's ongoing isn't it? I'd like to do something else. I'd like to do something different in between. I've done drama, so maybe theatre just to balance it out. Though maybe that's being greedy."
guest20 asks: "If you were given an unlimited budget and brief to star in a production of your choice, what would you do?"
Chloë Annett: "Gosh that sort of thing takes a long time to work out - I'm on the spot here, I don't know! Off the top of my head I love Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, and I'd like to do that."
Toby asks: "Who in the acting world do you admire? Do you have any role models in your acting?"
Chloë Annett: "It changes all the time.I saw The Usual Suspects the other day and thought that Kevin Spacey was fantastic...but there are so many people I do admire."
stuart green asks: "Your father's a TV director, how did he react when you told him you wanted to be an actress?"
Chloë Annett: "Well it didn't work out that way. I was supposed to go to St Martin's and study art. I was supposed to be a painter but a friend of mine auditioned for drama school who I went along with and got in. My parents encouraged me, they were very supportive."
beeb: "Do you still carry a passion for painting?"
Chloë Annett: "Alas, no! I haven't had the time, or the courage.When you leave something it's difficult to go back to it."
Wendy Peters asks: "What stage school did you study at, and what advice would you give to an aspiring actress?"
Chloë Annett: "I went to Mount View in North London. My advice to anybody that has a passion for anything is that they should go for it. With acting, it helps to be careful and to be aware that it's very competitive. But go for it!"
Paul B asks: "What shows do you like on telly and what ones would you like to be in yourself?"
Chloë Annett: "Um, I've just got a flat and it's such mess and the aerial doesn't work! I love Frost and Frasier and some of the American stuff."
john asks: "If you were offered a role as a Bond girl, would you take it?"
Chloë Annett: "Yeah! Let's take time to think about this one... Yeah! The Bond movies are just such fun. I defy anyone who says they wouldn't want to be in one! I'd be a baddy - they're much more fun."
scott10101 asks: "Which Bond girl did you like the most?"
Chloë Annett: "Oh yes, um...Ursula Andress was so beautiful. I thought Pussy Galore was great."
beeb: "We only have five minutes remaining in our Oi! Chat today. So everyone out there, post your last questions now!"
alexis asks: "What do you prefer comedy or 'serious' acting"
Chloë Annett: "Oh, I think the best one is getting a combination of the two. I do love drama but I think you should try to get a balance of the two."
scott10101 asks: "What do you want to do that you've never done?"
Chloë Annett: "There are loads of things. I'd like to do different acting work, and try different things. I'd like to pursue my art and travel more. I'd love to have a house in France. But at the moment things are great as they are."
Toby asks: "What would you like Santa to bring you this year?"
Chloë Annett: "Ah, tonnes of stuff, I'm a real baby about Christmas. It's so nice to receive things you've forgotten that you liked. Surprises! I'd like my flat to be structurally sound - which it isn't at the moment."
Toby asks: "If you had the chance to play any character in film history, who would it be?"
Chloë Annett: "(thinking) Ummmmm!I don't want to answer that question! I don't think I can"
beeb: "Sadly, we are running out of time, so this will be the final question! Sorry to all of you who have posted brilliant questions - we just didn't have time to get round to all of them."
DenCage asks: "Where can they put your microphone in series VIII if not in your forehead, like they did in VII?"
Chloë Annett: "That was so uncomfortable! Well I'm hoping they can build a badge in my costume or something."
beeb: "Finally, I would like to ask Chloë Annett to sign us off today by adding her final comments, and selecting the winning questions."
Chloë Annett: "I've never done this before. It's been great fun, actually. Carry on watching Red Dwarf - I'm looking forward to making the next series. Yes, prizes...I think we should award a prize to the person who asked the film history question - it completely stumped me. Who said I was a sex symbol! Give that person a video! And also the person who asked me about drama school and requested advice."
beeb: "Thank you very much for joining us today, Chloë. And thank you also to our great smeghead audience.And don't forget everybody, come back to Oi! Chat tomorrow when Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, and Arabella Weir from BBC2's Fast Show will be here to talk to you. But for now, that's all from beeb! Hope you had as good a time as I did!"
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