Interview with Cherie Lunghi
beautiful, predatory, unscrupulous Zinnia Raggitt is an ex-porn
star turned "sexual educator", with her own x-rated website,
zinniaunzipped.com. Ostensibly on the scene to comfort her dumped
daughter Mia (Amanda Holden), she's more interested in ensuring Mia
gets a whopping divorce settlement, and meeting up with her soon
be-divorced son-in-law, Finn.
adventurer and risk-taker, Zinnia is extremely self-centred, but
also sexy," says actress Cherie Lunghi. "She's not inhibited about
sex, however; she has problems with emotions in terms of getting a
real connection with anyone and thinks sex is a great
"One of the funniest things that happened on set was the reaction I received when I wore my black PVC cat suit and was chained to a lamp post. I drew quite a large crowd on the opposite pavement!" confesses Lunghi. "It's so wonderful to play a character who has so many facets and is so richly painted. I found watching a lot of late-night Channel 5 to be a great source of research. Every night there would be something pertinent to this role!" she laughs.
"Zinnia's completely different to anything I've played before. The reason I chose to do this is that I wanted to play something a little less straight with a touch of comedy, which comes through the character rather than me trying to be funny. Zinnia is funny but she's also sad."
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, so it's easy to see where Mia Bevan gets her conniving ways from. Zinnia is an opportunist and an arch-manipulator a woman who has no qualms about relying on her daughter for handouts, even though she doesn't do too badly from her trade in manuals, videos, calendars and seminars.
what can I say? Although Zinnia is a bit of an embarrassment to
Mia, Mia's also a bit of an embarrassment to Zinnia, actually.
She's so straight and prissy she's also a bit frigid. I think she
developed her personality as a reaction to her mother!" laughs
What would Lunghi's own daughter think about her mothers exploits in Cutting It?
daughter goes through the lines with me on occasion and her
reaction is a bit like Mia's, really a bit embarrassed, and quite
rightly. I think it must be embarrassing to have a mother playing a
woman so sexually overt," says the Cambridge University
Lunghi explains what it was like being the new girl on set:
"The cast are great. At first it was a little difficult, it was a bit like joining school late when term had already begun. I wasn't able to fraternise a great deal or bond with my fellow cast members, because I would be on a train back home to London instead of going out and partying, but I did have a couple of nights out with them.They're a very nice, warm bunch of people."