In a wonderfully funny “Anatomy of a hit” session, Two Doors Down star Elaine C Smith shared the secrets of the BBC Two sitcom’s success at City of Glasgow College.
Smith is best known for her work on programmes such as Rab C Nesbitt and Burdz Eye View. She won the 2016 RTS Scotland Best On Screen Personality award for the latter. She currently stars as Christine O'Neal in Two Doors Down.
At the RTS Scotland event in mid-March, Smith explained that while she loves appearing in Two Doors Down, it is tiring work. Cast members will film on set for 10 hours and sleep though their lunch break. Despite this, when Smith sees the finished episodes, she knows that it’s all worth it. She admitted: “We’re a bunch of moany bastards.”
Smith credited the success of Two Doors Down to its writers, Simon Carlyle and Gregor Sharp. She explained that the ideas behind the sitcom – which features a suburban Scottish couple and their insufferable neighbours – were very simple, and that when writers try to complicate things, no one in the audience can identify with the resulting programme. “Simon and Greg capture not only the madness in people, but the tragedy as well,” said Smith.
The audience at the event took the opportunity to ask Smith questions about her work as an actor and a writer. She advised that people who want to make it in the industry should try to gain as much experience as possible: “I basically took every job that came along. I wasn’t snobby.”
Smith added: “I’ve said this to my daughter: write the parts you want to play; imagine them. Don’t sit around waiting for men to write them for you.”