Bustle Booth

I Hate You’s Melissa Saint Is All About Good Energy

And hard work.

Originally Published: 
Selfie of Melissa Saint while packing her home at West London

Melissa Saint’s life is about to change. She’s in the middle of packing when we jump on our call, preparing for her move back to West London from South. “I feel most at home in the West,” she tells me, “in neighbourhoods like Shepherd’s Bush, Notting Hill, and Ladbroke Grove. I grew up there, and love being surrounded by green spaces.”

Saint is on the brink of fame, too. In Channel 4’s new comedy, I Hate You, written by Friday Night Dinner’s Robert Popper, Saint stars opposite Sex Education’s Tanya Reynolds. “It’s about two best friends, their messy friendship, and the wacky things they get up to,” she explains. In it she plays Becca, a happy-go-lucky gal about town with free-flowing energy that Saint, naturally relates to. Unlike Becca though, Saint doesn’t think of herself as a big risk taker, and cares a great deal more for the consequences of her actions, and how they make the people around her feel, than her on-screen persona.

“The other day someone came up to me,” she tells, “which was exciting, and commented on how happy they were to see Becca’s hair styled in locks and braids.” This is her first major role (though fans will recognise her from BBC’s Ghosts) but already she is aware of the public platform she holds as a performer and is advocating for true-to-life portrayals of Black women in her roles.

Spreading joy, and good energy, is important to her, too. During lockdown she picked up skating, and has kept at it, documenting her progress on wheels via Instagram to the tunes of Jhené Aiko and Mahalia. “You have to put in a lot of work on skates and I like seeing how far I’ve come,” she tells me, gleefully.

Reminiscing on her road to acting, Saint fondly recalls roping in friends and family to learn new dance routines and to take part in her plays. “I never got to do naughty things with my friends as a teen because my Friday nights were already booked,” she chuckles, recounting how she and her mum would drive an hour and a half to the countryside so she could attend part-time acting classes at the Jackie Palmer Stage School. Her dream role? Well, there’s many, but she’d particularly love to be cast in an action comedy, for the “fun stunts.”

But first, lunch: Saint is heading to the kitchen to make a hearty roasted artichoke pasta. “It’s a really fun ribbon-shaped one,” she beams, “I can’t remember what it’s called but looks so interesting.” After a brief discussion on the virtues of tagliatelle and fettuccine, she’s away.

Get to know more about Melissa Saint in her Bustle Booth below.

In The Bustle Booth

What's your coffee order?

I love a good coconut chai latte or hot chocolate with extra chocolate. I don’t actually like coffee... but like give me anything with coconut milk ‘cause I love it.

What are the saved weather locations on your phone?

London, obviously, ‘cause I live there. Grenada, because that’s where my family is from, and oddly I still have the Netherlands saved on the list from when I lived there for a year, but it was yonks ago now so I really should just take it off.

What’s your sign?

Aries, baby.

Favourite overused movie quote?

I don’t really have one. Though, I love Shark Tale and Oscar’s rendition of “Three Little Birds (Don’t Worry About a Thing)”. It’s the beat boxing for me. I regularly sing thins in my head.

What was your favourite cartoon as a kid?

I used to love Rugrats and Arthur. And Lilo & Stitch. Absolute fave! I still watch cartoons now, to be honest. I love a good animation,

What’s one movie or TV show you're currently obsessed with?

Taskmaster. I watched an episode of the current series, it was the first time I’d ever watched the show, and I said to myself – aloud – ‘Why have I NEVER watched this before?!’ So now I’m marathoning it from season 1 and it’s brilliant.

Who is your celeb idol?

I’m a long standing Riri fan. I’ve mellowed out with age ,but the love is real and remains in my heart.

If you had to be on a reality TV show, what would it be?

I’d opt for something like Gogglebox because I’m a very expressive audience member.

Go-to karaoke song?

Scrubs’ “TLC.”

What’s something that’s inspiring you lately?

My friends are inspiring me at the moment actually. Sometimes our motivation dips and it’s great when you have people around you that can help you through those times. Everyone around is really trying to improve themselves and it’s beautiful to see how far we’re all coming together.

What is something you would want people to say about you?

Oh, I definitely hope to be good energy. #goodvibesonlyplz but honestly, I’d love to inspire other people to be themselves and go after what they want. Like, if people feel seen, represented, or inspired, then that’s always something that makes the grind worth it. But mainly good energy!

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