Heather Peace star of 31 North 62 East

Best-known for roles in TV's London's Burning and Ultimate Force, Heather is also a talented jazz musician and theatre actor. She tells Jonathan Keeble about her foray into feature films with 31 North 62 East, made in West Sussex ...

How did you get into the film?Tristan (Tristan Loraine is the director, editor and producer) had this crazy idea that he wanted to make a feature film and he's one of these guys that just makes things happen. He has this almost teenage belief that anything is possible. He saw me in Ultimate Force, got in touch with my agent and gave me the part.

No audition?No. It is a very similar part to the one I play in Ultimate Force: the all-action girl, so he just offered me the part straight away.

So do you enjoy keeping fit?I love it, yes. I've run four marathons which I do for Leukaemia Research and I love getting out as much as possible. I prefer sports when you can forget you're training like football, tennis and cycling because marathon training can be hellish.

How is working on a feature film different to TV and the theatre?To be honest, it wasn't that different, mainly because we were doing it on such a low budget. Normally on a massive budget you'd be filming one or two pages a day but we were doing about as much as you would for a TV programme. So there wasn't as much pressure - it wasn't like we were filming on a set that had taken two years to build.

Quite a change from your first part: the lead role in The Pajama Game at the Bradford AlhambraWow, that takes me back. It's almost 20 years ago now. That was a huge thing for me back then because the Alhambra is a huge theatre. A friend of mine was appearing there recently and I asked her to pop her head round the door to dressing room one and say hello from me.

So why go and see your new film?I think that it's incredibly relevant in today's political climate. We tend to believe everything we're told by our own media but to question things that go on in other countries. I think this film wants to remind us to think again.

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Do you think the film will be a success?It deserves to be but it will always be difficult for an independent - I'm sure that Tristan will give it his all, though.

And what's next for you? I also sing jazz and I'm working hard on that at the moment and hope to get some dates in and around Sussex soon. The industry is incredibly tough at the moment and no one is making decent dramas any more. Reality TV has done its worst. I love good scripts and would rather not do soaps again. I recently appeared in The Chase by Kay Mellor and I would love to work with her again.

What brought you down to Brighton?I moved to London for London's Burning and did my time there - Brighton was the next best thing but turned out to be better. I really love the Sussex countryside and I'd like to find somewhere there to live. I have a good friend in Rusper and spend a lot of time there and you can't beat the cliff path from Brighton to Saltdean.

31 North 62 East in cinemas across Sussex from September 18. It was filmed in West Sussex and Jordan and created by the Horsham-based Fact not Fiction Films

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