Joanna Page: 'Hollywood? I'd much rather be at home'

The 'Gavin & Stacey' co-star isn't letting success go to her head. Kunal Dutta meets her

Joanna Page is the co-star we all remember from Gavin & Stacey. And, at first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking she's still in character. Her conversation is punctuated by the same high-pitched giggle; words are shrouded in the same Swansea dialect. And she chatters like a machine-gun on everything from actors ("a bunch of arseholes"), to Ed Miliband ("a character from Sesame Street") and Jimmy Carr ("paying less tax than my dad").

James Corden may have stolen all the headlines recently, but 34-year-old Page is forging her own path. This winter she will join David Tennant in the film Nativity 2. Her next TV appearance will be alongside Sue Johnston of Royle Family fame, in Gates, a comedy on Sky about parents desperately negotiating the school run. And she's still basking in the praise for her performance in The Syndicate, the BBC drama about five Leeds supermarket workers who win the lottery. Corden might be beating his way into Tinseltown, but Page insists she'll "never" follow suit. She's too enamoured of the new cottage in Oxfordshire which she has bought with her actor husband James Thornton. "I'm really happy here," she says, in her Stacey demeanour. "I wake up and put my wellies on. We have a pair of ducks that've just appeared. I've got rabbits on the lawn. And there's nothing I love more than coming home."

Fittingly, Page has recently become the face of the PDSA veterinary charity. Her passion for animals makes it an obvious choice. But it's hard to ignore the growing catalogue of brands cashing in on her wholesome image. They include Superdrug and Mr Kipling. I wonder: could Barclay's Bob Diamond persuade her to add another string to her bow? She draws breath. "I could never do that," she says, insisting projects have to be "personal and meaningful". "This banking crisis is one ridiculous thing after another. You just think how much more shit can things get and what is the Government going to do? Will anyone get fired? Unlikely. I'll tell you what'll happen. There'll be a 15,000-page dossier with recommendations; and then nothing will happen."

And now that the lid is lifted, there are a couple of other points regarding Westminster. "I wish we'd stop fuelling a world of reactionary politics." Politicians, in general, "need to grow a pair of balls... I'm so over them." Oh, come on; what about the Opposition? "Oh my God. Ed Miliband looks like a character from Sesame Street. I just think he's terrible. When he says something, I just switch off."

When I mention James Corden's staggering success in the US, her outlook (and pitch) lift. "Isn't it brilliant?" she says. "Even when working with him you could tell that he had something special. He's a fantastic actor and we could all see how talented he was. When he got nominated for the Tony, I was really pleased; but when he won it was even more special." And it feels heartfelt; rather than steeped in the begrudging congratulations so prevalent in the air-kissing arts world. Then again she insists that neither she, nor her husband, are "typical actors", which in Page world, apparently involves "going to the Groucho" and "having sex with everybody". "I'd rather be at home watching TV with my husband and dog, to be honest."

And here's the thing; Page is honest. Stacey-like honest. And it is this wide-eyed wonder that is dangerously disarming. Earlier this year, David Cameron held a reception in No 10, where Page was a guest. Seemingly gripped by her allure, he was snapped practically bowing to her. And now we know what he said: "He told me that he really enjoyed Gavin & Stacey and wishes we were doing more of it. I recommended that he should watch Homeland. He said he hadn't seen it yet. He was watching Prisoners' Wives, apparently."

Suggested Topics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband