This week, we've been following some of the stars of Skins, the MTV remake of the popular British TV show about sex, drugs, family, friends, and everything in between. The new series has been controversial in the U.S. because it shows underage actors taking drugs, having sex, and, in one case, running down the street naked with a full erection, which has parents everywhere clutching their pearls. Yet it's actually a toned-down version of the British Skins, which has displeased racier viewers and kept the show from achieving Jersey Shore-size ratings.
Regardless of where you stand, Skins' young stars are experiencing their turn in the spotlight. Meet James, Sofia, and Jesse, three actors who have the whole country a-Twitter right now:
- James Newman
Why You Should Follow: He plays charming, handsome Tony, the king of the school and leader of his pack of friends; he always has a scheme brewing, whether he's trying to get his best friend laid or trying to score some drugs for a party. On Twitter, James Newman - a first-time actor, like much of the Skins cast - has charmed his followers as well, sharing stories and pictures from the set, defending the show to its critics ("To be clear, if the acting on the show is bad, that was all satan. He edits as well"), and fielding questions, compliments, and complaints from his fans ("all 15 of you"). Though he may be living the sweet life, going to parties with "573 of my closest friends" and enjoying new notoriety as the star of one of MTV's hottest shows, Twitter proves he's still just a regular guy in the end - watching endless episodes of Arrested Development, looking at girls' pictures on Facebook, playing fantasy football... and okay, yeah, spending his days at work learning how to dance.
Best Tweet of the Week: "Where did everybody get these sweet new soapboxes? Not fair, I want one."
- Sofia Black D'Elia
Why You Should Follow: D'Elia plays Tea, one of the biggest changes to the Skins story in what has been a pretty faithful adaptation from the U.K. version. Tea, a lesbian, was written to replace Maxxie, a gay teen - so D'Elia has the challenge of developing a character that hasn't been portrayed before, without scenes from the British Skins to inform her acting. When the episode "Tea" aired, she spent the entire day on Twitter with her fans, getting them pumped up ("Two hours till 'Tea,' so get trending. Your voices are the ones that should be heard, we are #MTVSkins") and then responding to their messages afterward: "To everyone who generously tweeted such lovely (at times outrageous) things about the ep - you rock my world. Thank you so much." She's all about communicating with the Skins audience, just as long as they get their facts straight - to one anonymous heckler, she said, "Our producer ruined the legacy of Skins? Our producer CREATED Skins. Good one, though." She's also all about "burgers, beer, and football," so look out for plenty of tweets about all three this Super Bowl weekend.
Best Tweet of the Week: "Today would be all about Saturday morning cartoons and playing outside till the sun went down. #WhenIWasLittle... Instead, today is about waking up at noon and going on the internet till I get hungry. #IWishIWasLittle"
- Jesse Carere
Why You Should Follow: Sometimes a guy just needs to get a few things off of his chest. For break-out actor Jesse Carere - who plays troubled party animal Chris on Skins - this means tweeting embarrassing confessions about his addiction to The Bachelor, his crush on Barbara Walters, and his love for the online role-playing game Club Penguin. He encourages his fans to share their confessions as well - after all, as he put it, "Our Twitter relationship needs to be reciprocal... I embarrassed myself for an hour, now it's your turn." (He also urged @MTV to make a Carere-style confession, but something tells us he had a little less luck with that.) When he's not playing "Truth or Dare" with his followers, he's posting pictures of his adorable dog, humble-bragging about the cool swag he gets from MTV, tweeting his way through episodes of the British Skins (which just started its fifth season last week), and pondering whether or not a beard would help him "pass for 21." Bonus points: He thanks fans personally for their shout-outs, and always finds time to answer their questions when he's hanging out in green rooms or avoiding the snow outside.
Best Tweet of the Week: "Someone needs to teach me how to dougie."