TBB Talks … ‘I Hate You’ With Melissa Saint

Newcomer Melissa Saint will next be seen as the lead in new Channel 4 sitcom ‘I Hate You’.

The series revolves around best friends in their 20s: Becca, played by, Melissa and Charlie from idiotic in-jokes to insane bickering, we see the warts-and-all friendship of two best mates who love to hate each other.

Melissa has recently finished filming the hit BBC comedy series Ghosts as well as starring in Splintered at the Soho Theatre. We spoke to Melissa about I Hate You and her career so far …

Introduce yourself …

My name is Melissa Saint and I’m an actor and a writer. I’m from West London (born and bred) but my family are from the lovely little island of Grenada, Woop Woop!

Describe your life right now in a word or one sentence …

I think I’d have to say I’m definitely in a period of growth. I know we are always growing but you know when you can really feel it? I guess to sum that up I’d use the word transformation/transformative.

Tell us about I Hate You

I Hate You is a new sitcom, written by the wonderful Robert Popper and it’s about two best friends that really love each other to bits but also absolutely get on each other’s nerves. It just follows them in their day-to-day lives – they live together – It’s totally bonkers, and that’s what makes it great.

You play the lead role of Becca what is her goal?

Hmm, I think Becca’s goal really is to do whatever she wants to do. She wants to have fun when she wants to have fun and uses absolute minimal effort for tricky things. I think she just wants to enjoy life.

Melissa Saint as Becca – I Hate You

How did it come about/ how you got the role?

So, I auditioned for the show in March 2021, when the casting team were doing a final search for someone to play Becca. I think they’d actually cast Tanya about 4 months prior and were still looking for her partner in crime. It was a little bit crazy because it all happened in the space of a week. I self-taped on a Tuesday with a couple of scenes that Robert had written for a taster and then had a recall and chemistry read with Tanya all within 4 days. I had to wait the weekend to find out if I’d booked the role and it was honestly the longest weekend of my life! After we shot a taster for the pilot, it got sent off to Channel 4 and we then had to wait to see if they wanted to commission the show, which thankfully they did.

Tell us a memorable moment on set.

You know, we had so so many. The famous hilarious moment was when we were shooting the scene where Tanya and I have a hoodie war. I had tears streaming down my face because it was so ridiculous and hilarious. We just couldn’t keep it together.

What’s your current plan B? (if it all goes wrong what’s the plan?)

Hah! Well, I believe in manifesting and also the power of words. So, it’s not going to go wrong. That being said, plan B is to make plan A work, and plan C is to make plan B work.

What’s made you Sad, Mad, Glad this week

Well, I’ve just come back from Barcelona for a roller-skating trip, so returning back to a colder London has definitely made me a little sad. Coupled with that, I haven’t skated in almost a year (which also makes me sad) but it’s made me really happy to get my skates on and start jamming with friends again. Getting back to it in the sun and next to a beach has been a real high.

I don’t think anything has actually made me mad this week. I don’t get mad super easily.

What are you watching right now?

Oh my gosh, I’m actually in the midst of comfort watching a bunch of animation films. Haha. I’m just making my way through a list of like, all the Ice Age films, Madagascar ones, the Shrek trilogy and basically anything that fits. I’m having a great time. I also just finished watching Vis a Vis. It’s a Spanish series that’s essentially the Spanish version of Orange is the New Black. That’s the best way I’d describe it and ooooh the drama!

Melissa Saint Image:Lidia Crisafulli

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading two books. Come as You Are by Dr Emily Nagoski. It’s a really interesting book exploring how women’s sexuality works. I’m also reading People Person by Candice Carty-Williams.

What are you listening to right now?

Soft Thing by LOONY. I think I randomly stumbled upon her last week and absolutely love her sound. The album has made it into my downloads and I’m seriously considering going to watch her in Berlin in a couple of months.

The last thing you saw on stage?

The P Word at the Bush Theatre by Waleed Akhtar. It’s an important love story about two Gay Pakistani men which depicts the seriousness and devastating reality faced by LGBTQ+ asylum seekers. You know when you watch a play and you’re like, this… this is what we need more of. It’s one of those. It’s actually just been extended.

What’s on your bucket list?

Okay, my bucket list includes … the list is long but to name a few.

Ahh, I want to do an action project so bad and also maybe a comedy action film. I think it’ll just be so much fun. Also on this list is obviously to see the projects I’m working on really come to fruition. I want to do a trip around Scotland; I mean I hate the cold and rain, so that’ll be interesting but I’m totally here for the views and hidden gems located there.

Also included:

  1. More skate trips & become a better skater in general
  2. Skydive
  3. Travel more outside of Europe
  4. Voice an animation character
  5. Take my parents on a trip

Celebrate someone else (who do you rate right now?)

Oufff, that is a hard one. There are a lot of people I rate right now. But I’ll say, Ashling O’Shea. I have so much respect for the roles that Ash is currently portraying. I’m all about representation. We all know how important it is, for both young people and also older individuals who haven’t seen themselves represented before. I’m so proud to see her portraying brown, queer characters on screen which we don’t see much of. I am so here for it. I’m also gonna add Emily Aboud to this celebration. I just think she’s defo someone to watch in the theatre-making world. Her work is fearless, unapologetic and educational as well as celebratory and I rate it.

Celebrate yourself … (make us proud of you)

Haha! Well, I wasn’t expecting this question, but alright! I have to remind myself to celebrate this moment. I have two projects that I’ve worked on coming out within days of each other. I didn’t go to drama school. I managed to get an agent off the back of a play I wrote – which was genuinely me just trying different ways and desperately hoping to break into the industry (and it worked!) So to have a whole TV series in which I’m one of two leads and to be part of such a successful show like Ghosts is a huge achievement. The grind is real and it never stops. But as much as I’d imagined I could be doing this thing I love, to actually, physically be doing it is even greater. So I’m proud of myself for that because it’s damn hard! I’m excited about the road ahead.

Where can we find you and watch I Hate You?

So I’m working on some things currently, which you can’t find yet – key word, “yet”. But you will. So, watch this space!

Though if you wanna see some of me doing some fun stuff I love, you can catch me in my roller-skating element on Instagram!

I Hate You airs on Channel 4 from Thursday 13th October @ 10pm and all episodes are available on All4 now.

Image Credit: All4

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