Kathryn Prescott hasn’t been 16 years old for more than six years but the English actress has been playing one since 2009 when she first appeared on the popular U.K. series, Skins.
As Emily Fitch, Prescott played one-half of a set of high school twins with her real-life twin sister, Megan. The two joined the series when Skins replaced the first generation of characters with a new cast of relative unknowns. Prescott -- Kathryn that is -- made her mark as a closeted lesbian who found herself in a complicated romance with Naomi Campbell (Lily Loveless).
While her time on Skins was limited to two seasons before she, like the cast before her, was replaced, Emily Fitch remains a fan favorite until this day. In the years since, the 23-year-old actress has slowly moved beyond Emily with a number of guest spots on U.K. shows before moving stateside to star in MTV’s Finding Carter.
The show -- about a girl who learns that the woman she thought was her biological mother is actually her kidnapper -- finds Prescott once again playing a teenager -- though, as she puts it, with far more maturity. “I don’t feel like Carter is a typical 17-year-old girl,” Prescott tells ETonline. “It doesn’t feel like I constantly have to hold things back because I’m playing a teenager.”
As she’s gotten older, Prescott’s perspective of playing a teen has evolved. “With Skins -- I guess because I was actually closer to the age myself at that time -- it felt less like I was playing younger,” she says. “Now, because I’m older, I am more aware of the fact that we’re playing younger people. At the same time, the stuff that Carter goes through is such huge, life-changing events that they kind of force you to grow up faster.”
Given that this is her biggest role since Skins (MTV failed to successfully remake the property for an American audience), Prescott doesn’t have any hesitation about still being in high school -- so long as Carter continues to be a complex, interesting character. “I would worry about it more if she wasn’t as well-written as well as she is,” Prescott says, adding: “I hope that doesn’t mean I’m stuck in the teenage world, but I don’t feel like it. It’s fun for now.”
Prescott may find luck escaping high school on the big screen. Since moving to the U.S., the actress admits that’s the only medium she’s auditioned for. “I would want to do a thriller, just something a bit dark but not a horror movie,” she says, “or just a straight-up drama about family relationships.” Just as long as she’s not the prom queen.
“Hopefully I won’t be 35 still playing a 16-year-old.”
Finding Carter returns with season two on Tuesday, March 31 at 10 p.m. on MTV.