Heather Peace interview: Multi-talented Lip Service star set for UK tour
'Like a pluckier Sheryl Crow, mixed with a rockier Eva Cassidy'
Bored on a road trip? Tired of playing I Spy? Try to think gay British actors or actresses who aren’t typecast according to their sexuality. After you get past the Stephen Frys and Ian McKellans (hello, national treasures), you might get a bit stuck.
Heather Peace might be one to add to that list. The Yorkshire-born actress and singer was a regular on The Bill and London’s Burning for years before being cast as DS Sam Murray in the BBC’s femme-friendly Lip Service.
‘It’s a tricky one for me, as I’ve never been in the closet,’ says Peace, noted for being the only ‘real life lesbian’ on the show. ‘While playing Sam has been really liberating, nobody wants to talk about their sexuality all the time. To say that all gay characters have to be played by gay actors is very limiting. If it worked the other way around, I would hardly ever get work.’
Further defying any pigeonholes, the 34-year-old is about to embark on a UK tour to promote This is Me, her debut album. If you’re slightly reluctant to open your heart (and ears) to another actor-turned-musician (Jared Leto, we’re looking at you), take solace in the fact that Peace has legitimate skills rather than an unbridled ego. A classically trained pianist, she played in a big band and held a jazz residency at Manchester’s Velvet during her time at drama school. ‘I’d say my guitar style is like a pluckier Sheryl Crow, mixed with a rockier Eva Cassidy. I’ll be playing Gretsch and piano on this tour.’
Peace will have a couple of weeks to recover before relocating to Glasgow from her Brighton home to film the second series of Lip Service in May.