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Interview: Jessie Cave - “I think of stand-up as therapy”

Interview: Jessie Cave – “I think of stand-up as therapy”
Sofie Hagen
  • On May 17, 2013

Most people know Jessie Cave as the charming Lavender Brown from Harry Potter And the Half-Blood Prince, but it’s definitely worth getting to know Jessie Cave – stand-up comedian. She did stand-up for the first time in November 2011 and did a full Edinburgh run with her first show, Bookworm. It sold out quickly,

“People said it was because of Harry Potter, but that’s not true. It was because we worked really hard. People only knew who I was when I referenced Harry Potter. They didn’t know before I mentioned it.”

Cave is the atypical comedian. She was meant to be a professional tennis player, but then got injured. She realised quickly that she needed to earn some money.

“I thought: how can I make money quickly? And adverts was the first thing I could think of. I was meant to do just one, but then I kept getting auditions. ”

After having been an actress in Simon Amstell’s show Grandmother’s House she went on tour with him, to film a series of interviews. She found herself liking stand-up more and more,

“It’s really good for me, because I think of it as therapy. I think all actresses should do it. If you complain about not working, then it’s something you can actually do. Go talk on a stage. Say something that no one else would say.”

Jessie Cave performs a whenever she has time in her busy schedule and she still gets nervous. On stage, she talks about herself, about being in love and about being bad at it.

“I like stand-up because it’s not about how you look, but who you are. I don’t hate myself. You can tell that many young, male stand-ups don’t like themselves that much and that’s fine, but I like being positive and upbeat about myself. I’m optimistic even though I talk about things I’m bad at. I came to stand-up via Simon Amstell. I did Grandmother’s House and I did interviews with him. I saw him perform night after night, and I realised that he talks about himself – and I love that. I also love other stand-ups, Louis CK, who talks about abstract things.”

Cave is taking her Edinburgh show to London this weekend. It’s called Bookworm and it is a character comedy-show about wanting to be someone and about being a fan.

“It was because I was a real bookworm and then I was suddenly part of a huge franchise. I was reading the sixth Harry Potter book the summer before I auditioned for it, so it was really weird.”

Both parents are doctors, and her sister is an actress and is a big part of Bookworm,

“It’s fun. She’s 15 and was very nervous. I would keep forgetting lines, and I would have to leave stage while Bebe was still there, alone. I had to make sure she was alright, so that made me focus on something else than being nervous myself.”

Cave is a bookworm herself and admits to being a shy personality,

“I’m good at performing, when I have to perform and socialising when I have to socialise, but mostly, I just like being alone. I always feel better once I’ve been extrovert because then I feel like I’ve earned my introvert. I feel guilty if I’m too introvert. I’m more a writer than a performer.”

Cave is doing her show for the final time in London this week. In the future, we get to see more of her, but if it’s on stage or on screen, we’ll have to see.

“I’d like to always do both. I’m always working. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and a performer. I’ve always written, so it make sense. My dream is to have a sitcom.”

Go see Jessie Cave’s “Bookworm” at Soho Theatre this Friday 17th and Saturday 18th.

(Due to popular demand, two extra dates have been added: Friday 21st of June and Saturday 22nd of June)



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