An Interview With Vicky Homewood

INTRO
THETRIBE.CO.UK welcomes the very beautiful and artistic Vicky Homewood (formerly Rodewyk) to our tribe cast interview.

Tackling the role of Gel within the final series of THE TRIBE, viewers were introduced to a very self-absorbed fashionista who, more than anything, was trying to hold onto beauty and her physical appearance as her weapon of choice within a post-apocalyptic landscape.

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Vicky, first of all, just how much fun was Gel to play, as it looked like an extremely fun role to be involved in against a more serious backdrop? 
And how did you initially gain the role?

VICKY HOMEWOOD

avatar-vickyGel was great fun to play, she was funny and outrageous and like you mentioned brought light to a serious backdrop. I auditioned for the role when I was 13 years old and I had just moved to a new high school. I had to fly to Wellington for the call back and literally 3 weeks into the second term of school I had to relocate to Wellington and start working full time. It was surreal but I gained so much from the experience!

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avatar-siteGel of course hit a lot of fans in the feels as we have not had a character quite like her since way back in series 1, when we were forced to say goodbye to Zandra because of the explosion on Eagle Mountain at the start of series 2. You can’t help but feel that the two would have been the best of friends – or even frenemies! – if the two had been on the show together.

Vicky, were you aware of the character of Zandra? And did this affect or influence your portrayal of Gel in any way?

VICKY HOMEWOOD

avatar-vickyI was aware of the character of Zandra but it had little to do with how I portrayed Gel. I just used aspects of myself and exaggerated them. I am quiet forgetful and used to be a bit ditzy so I just exaggerated myself. I was also obsessed with boys which helped. Zandra and Gel probably would have been good friends.

At the end of the day Gel had a good heart and wanted to be friends with everyone, unless she thought they were stealing her love.

GEL IN SERIES 5 OF THE TRIBE

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avatar-siteUnlike the character of Zandra, Gel seemed to have more of a severe lack of awareness to general events around her and the feelings of others, but this also led to some hilarious moments within the show.

Do you think that her lack of awareness or empathy was intentional – a specific survival mechanic of the character? Or do you think that she knew more than she ever let on?

VICKY HOMEWOOD

avatar-vickyGel was in ‘Gel’s world’. She was really self obsessed and I found this aspect of her character annoying to play. She definitely manipulated Sammy into making him her pet and doing jobs for her so she could feel better about herself and I think this was to do with her own ego. She just was not emotionally mature yet as she was much younger than most of the other characters.

As she started to grow up and catch on to events around her I d think she started to click and became smarter than she let on.

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avatar-siteIt comes as no surprise that Gel turned a few heads during her time on the show, especially Sammy and Lex. What were your thoughts regarding the whole situation with Lex and Gel? And do you see it any differently now compared to back then?

There was a segment of the fandom who were a little uneasy with the near pairing of the two, specifically because of the age difference between the characters more than anything else. As an actor, did you have any say or influence in the story arc at all? And what were your thoughts concerning it?

VICKY HOMEWOOD

avatar-vickyAs an actor you usually don’t get a say in who you kiss but it was very professional and you don’t use tongue on screen so it never feels like a real kiss. I was very young and Lex was much older but that often happens in real life so it wasn’t unrealistic. Gel was still quite innocent and it never went much further than a kiss.

VICKY HOMEWOOD

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avatar-siteThough the show came to an end, it has continued as an expanded universe within the form of novels, allowing us to delve into more of the journey of the Mall Rats beyond what we had seen. In the latest instalment – A NEW DAWN by AJ Penn – Jay, Darryl and Gel unfortunately met their end defending the others against the Zootist movement.

There was a very touching eulogy by Lex which really sums up the character of Gel as well:

I’ll really miss seeing you wearing these. And believe it or not, I’m going to really miss you as well, Gel. Your laughter. The way you saw things at times. If anyone ever had a sense of style – it was you. You were sure one stylish girl. In a class of your own. And I probably never deserved you. Though it didn’t all work out between us – I valued you as a friend. And if there is such a thing as an afterlife – I can image you there right now, with Zandra, trying to outdo each other with your hair and make up. But I have no doubt the two of you would get on. I’ll miss you – we all will. But we won’t forget. I’ll carry with me the memories we shared – and there’ll always be a part of you, in me. In all of us.

Are you aware of the new novels at all? And as an actor, is it sad to discover that your character has now died? Is there any story arcs or developments that you would have loved to have seen for Gel?

VICKY HOMEWOOD

avatar-vickyI have been told about the new novels and death of Gel but I haven’t had the chance to read them yet. When acting I learnt to get used to letting go of characters, especially when I appeared as a guest you never really know when the character will end.

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avatar-siteAway from THE TRIBE, we can see that you are clearly quite a striking actor and model (which comes as no surprise for fans of Gel) but beyond that still, you are also a very talented artist. Music and art seem to go hand in hand with a lot of actors from the show.

We know that you have been involved in art since you were very young, but what it is it about painting that you love, and that keeps pulling you back? Is there any particular subject or imagery that you most love depicting on a canvas, and why? What inspires you?

A PAINTING OF A PAIR OF SURFER GIRLS BY VICKY HOMEWOOD

VICKY HOMEWOOD

avatar-vickyI am really flattered you like my art. It  is just something inside of me that needs to express itself sometimes. Both painting and dancing are expressing emotions and I just enjoy using them as a means of expressing how I feel.

During my late teens I suffered from heartbreak and found I had to protect myself by putting up a wall between my emotions. That meant stopping art and travelling to experience culture and meet new people. 

At the moment I am enjoying painting waves and surfing girls, preparing for my first art exhibition. Surfing has changed my life and the feeling of riding waves is incredible. Acting is great and I am really fortunate to have been in THE TRIBE but it’s a difficult path and even if you don’t sell a painting you have a product.

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Something that we only recently became aware of, you were apparently involved in the creation of a new board game titled POLITICAL SUICIDE. How did the game come about and what is your involvement with it? How can fans learn more about it?

VICKY HOMEWOOD

avatar-vickyPOLITICAL SUICIDE came about because of the scandals around the American Election. My husband is very passionate about politics and came up with the idea to create a card game which relives funny events from political history and gives people the chance to make light of politicians. Most of my involvement was design related and I also do the voice over for the rules section. 

I can say that it is a hilarious and fun game to play with friends. Fans can learn more at politicalsuicide.co.

THE POLITICAL SUICIDE BOARDGAME

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If you were suddenly thrust into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, what is the one object or memento that you would keep with you, and why? And what would you miss the most?

VICKY HOMEWOOD

avatar-vickyMy blue bottle of water.

I literally can’t go anywhere without it! It goes with me to work and I carry it like a baby.

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Finally, what does the future hold next for you? Is there anything that you wish you could do, or are actively striving towards? And are there any projects in the pipeline that fans can get behind you on?

VICKY HOMEWOOD

avatar-vickyI have an agent in New Zealand so acting could still be in the pipeline. I hope to produce more art that people enjoy and support my husband with all of his ventures as an Entrepreneur. More and more I live in the moment so whilst I used to make many goals I now enjoy being in the present and enjoying the simple things in life.

I really wish I could spend more time with my sister but we live in different countries and we are both married now.

OUTRO
Thank you Vicky very much for taking the time to participate in this interview. We wish you all the best for the future, especially preparations for your art exhibition, and are looking forward to following your progress.

Vicky’s artwork has now launched via Etsy.com and is viewable on Behance.net. Fans can support Vicky by liking her shop and items (and purchasing any that take your fancy!)

Also, don’t forget to check out the political suicide website for more information about the game, including a preview kit which you can download and have a test of.

  • Once again we would like to give a massive thank you to Vicky Homewood for taking part in our interview!