From Canny Farm to Hollywood: The Responder star shares Scouse advice that proved the doubters wrong

Emily Fairn spoke to the ECHO at a celebratory screening of The Responder at FACT Liverpool
-Credit: (Image: Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo)

Emily Fairn has earned rave reviews for her incredible performance as Town Centre Casey in The Responder.

The 25-year-old Scouser's magnificent portrayal infuses the troubled character with heart and humour so you can't help but root for Casey, even as chaotic decisions make the character's life spiral out of control. The actor's performance is all the more impressive given The Responder was Emily's first television gig.

The rising star moved from Liverpool to London for drama school and told the ECHO it was special for her first big role to be set in her home city. She said: "It's just a bit mad. I said I wanted to be an actor growing up and I thought it would have to be in like Hollywood or something and then I'm just walking down Bold Street.

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"For season two, we were driving down past my nan's house. I'm texting her and she said 'why didn't you come over for a cup of tea?' I'm like, 'I'm doing my big, serious important actor job now." She added: "I just can't believe my first job was a TV show set in Liverpool and made by Scousers. It's amazing."

Emily was raised in Stockbridge Village, a place she refers to by its nickname, Canny Farm, and has proved any doubters wrong who said she would struggle to make it in the industry. She added: "I was told when I started to be an actor there was no way you can be an actor with a Scouse accent. Blah, blah, blah.

"So I can't believe that I'm doing this and it's being celebrated." Emily hailed the support she has received from her close family throughout her journey so far, who are all so proud of her success.

She said: "When I got the role I basically told my mum that I was a background artist. I was worried it was going to come out and I was barely in it and I'd been like 'Mum, this is my big break.'

"So I told her, 'I think I'm in it a decent amount'. Then it comes out and my mum said 'every other bloody scene it's Casey this, Casey that.'

"She works in the bank in Liverpool. She's going 'so blah blah's cousin's, auntie's, nan came in and said you were amazing'. She's like 'I don't brag, but everyone knows you're my daughter.' It is so funny that this is happening."

Emily is proud of her Liverpudlian roots and said the characteristics she has inherited from the city have helped her enjoy success in a notoriously difficult industry to crack. She said: "[Without Liverpool] I wouldn't have my humour and self deprecation.

"I think there's definitely an amount of hardiness you have from being from Liverpool. You're just tough but you can also laugh at yourself.

"I live in London now and my dad always said 'if anyone gives you any rubbish, just go as Scouse as possible'. That's what I do. If anyone is being a bit scary, I just go dead Scouse." She laughed: "Then I can skedaddle and I'm fine."

The advice has left Emily in good stead so far as her career continues to go from strength-to-strength after her breakout role. Emily spoke to the ECHO at The Responder's celebratory screening at FACT Liverpool and had recently returned from America where she was filming SNL 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The upcoming film explores the origin story of the iconic sketch show, Saturday Night Live, and is being directed by celebrated filmmaker, Jason Reitman. Emily plays legendary comedian Laraine Newman in the movie and is still pinching herself as her success continues to sink in.

However, she said none of it would have been possible without The Responder as she hailed the BBC show for giving her an opportunity, which she has since seized with both hands. She added: "It's all with credit to this.

"This is my first job and we finished season one and I didn't get another job so then I had nearly a year not knowing what to do. The first episode came out and I had about £30 in my account.

"And now I've just come back from America filming a movie with a director I've admired since I was a kid. I can't really believe it."

The Responder season two continues on BBC One at 9pm tonight. All episodes are available to stream on iPlayer.

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