What The Cast Of Skins Is Doing Today

Out of all the iconic teen shows from back in the day, England produced some of the best. Whether you were into the supernatural aspect of "Misfits," the intense cringe "The Inbetweeners" brought, or the hilarious and romantic "Gavin & Stacey," the noughties brought some great entertainment from across the pond. Now that streaming services are bringing back some of these binge-worthy shows, you can take a trip back through time and spot several of the breakout stars that got their start on '00s British television.

E4's "Skins" was one of those shows that highlighted vicarious thrills and relatable teen problems, making it a favorite among young adults. It ran from 2007 until 2013 and had three generations, swapping out the cast every two years to spotlight entirely new circumstances within a group of Bristol-based teenagers who are always getting into trouble.

It was also a highly controversial show and often depicted sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and mental health issues of young people, which is partly why the American version of the show never took off. That said, the series that aired in the U.K. remains a captivating product of its time that launched several careers, so here's what the cast of "Skins" is doing today.

Nicholas Hoult became a leading man

Today, many recognize Nicholas Hoult as Beast in the latest "X-Men" movies, Tyler in "The Menu," or Dracula's assistant in "Renfield." Although he technically landed his breakout role in 2002, starring alongside Hugh Grant in "About a Boy," it would still be five years before he played Tony Stonem, the guy you just love to hate, in Series 1 and 2 of "Skins."

Speaking with NME in April 2023, Hoult admitted he had never watched the show but that he could draw similarities to a current HBO favorite. "'Skins' captured that moment — the way 'Euphoria' captures the moment now," he said. Just five years after he'd left the show, he landed "Warm Bodies," which allowed him to become a leading man with few words.

Hoult's career has continued to excel over the years, with his comical portrayal of Emperor Peter III of Russia in "The Great" landing him several award nominations, including an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. There's no doubt that playing Tony Stonem demonstrated his range as an actor and helped propel him toward more leading roles, and we can't wait to see where his career takes him next.

Mike Bailey retired from acting

Known for his beanie and glasses, Sidney "Sid" Jenkins was a leading character in the first generation of "Skins." Mike Bailey did a phenomenal job at portraying Sid, who always looked up to his best friend Tony and was hopelessly in love with Michelle (despite Cassie's affections). Sadly though, despite his co-stars' success following Series 2 of "Skins," Bailey didn't go very far in his acting career. His filmography following his time on the show spanned between 2009 and 2017, during which he appeared in a couple of shorts, the miniseries "1066: The Battle for Middle Earth," a film called "We Are the Freaks," and the television series "Hers and History."

Speaking with Radio Times in 2017, Bailey said, "I kind of thought, 'What the f*** am I doing with my life?' and ended up getting in a conversation with the wife a couple of years ago and decided that those who can't act teach." 

That's exactly what he did — and his students only just recently discovered who he is. A student of Bailey's posted a video on TikTok in 2020 of the ex-actor teaching a drama class and captioned it, "Sid from 'Skins' (Mike Bailey) teaches in my school."

Dev Patel is one of Skin's few breakout stars

Back in 2007, a young Dev Patel was encouraged by his mom to audition for "Skins." Playing Anwar during Series 1 and 2 was his first acting experience and a risky move, as Patel explained to The New York Times: "It felt like suicide in the community to put your kid into a TV show and let him drop out of school at 16. While everyone else's kid is off becoming a doctor or a dentist, I'm here on this TV show simulating sex and taking drugs."

The year after he left "Skins," Patel landed "Slumdog Millionaire," and he became practically an overnight sensation. Films began rolling in and he starred in the likes of "Chappie," "Lion," for which he was Oscar-nominated for his work in a supporting role, and "The Green Knight." 

In an interview with The Guardian, Patel explained how he no longer feels restrained to one type of role within the industry. "I feel like, instead of seeing me as 'the Indian guy,' people were looking at me as the everyman. And that was the place I always wanted to be," he said.

Hannah Murray and Joe Dempsie landed Game of Thrones

Hannah Murray played the soft-spoken and bubbly Cassie Ainsworth in the first generation of "Skins." Her co-star Joe Dempsie played Chris Miles, Season 1 and 2's loyal friend and party animal. Back when they were on the show together as teens, they never could have guessed that they would one day both snag roles many years later on one of HBO's most-loved series, "Game of Thrones."

Murray played Gilly while Dempsie played Gendry, and although their characters never crossed paths on the drama series, the actors were actually extremely close. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Murray said, "We joke about people talking about 'Game of Thrones' being a 'Skins' reunion, because we see each other every day, because we're like best friends. I've lived in the same house as him, so we see each other a lot, so getting to see each other on 'Game of Thrones' was an extra treat." 

The only thing that could've made it any sweeter would have been if their characters reunited at a house party in Westeros.

April Pearson started a podcast

Despite having continued working as an actor, writer, and producer on television shows, shorts, and movies since "Skins," April Pearson is still best known for playing Michelle Richardson in Series 1 and 2. However, she knows it and in fact started a podcast based around this concept, calling it "Are You Michelle from Skins?" and using it as a platform to interview other celebrities who have become known for one particular role. It has since become a podcast in which Pearson has interviewed several of the "Skins" alum, including Laya Lewis, who played Olivia "Liv" Malone in the third generation of the show.

In the episode, the two bonded over the fact that they felt unprotected by the crew while filming intimate scenes for the show at such a young age, with Lewis describing her experience as "f***ed up." 

Pearson said to her guest, "Laya, you're not the first person to have said you've carried some negativity from that experience. We're talking seven series of the same show and everyone feeling the same ... Nowadays you have an intimacy coordinator as a standard for nude, intimate scenes and that just simply wasn't a thing."

Daniel Kaluuya is Jordan Peele's leading man

It seems like Daniel Kaluuya is everywhere these days, having starred in films like "Sicario," "Black Panther," and "Judas and the Black Messiah" over the years. If you don't recognize him from Series 1 and 2 of "Skins," you're overdue for a rewatch because he absolutely smashed the role of Posh Kenneth. Despite playing a secondary character, Kaluuya was actually more involved in the show than many realize as he was a writer for "Skins" at just 17 years old.

Speaking of his time on the show with The Talks, he said, "I was just being creative in all kinds of ways and still having a life, still going to house parties, still just being 17. I wrote episodes of 'Skins,' and I was cocky as f***!" Now, nearly two decades since he played Posh Kenneth, Kaluuya has become Jordan Peele's leading man. After working with the actor in his movie "Get Out," Peele wrote the character in "Nope" specifically for Kaluuya.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, the director said, "Daniel is my favorite actor in the world. ... He doesn't need words to communicate his thoughts or emotions. In the scariest and quietest moments, you know exactly what he's feeling and experiencing just by looking at him, and that's so powerful." Now, having won an Oscar in 2021, it's only uphill from here for Kaluuya.

Kaya Scodelario is still acting

The ever-mysterious Elizabeth "Effy" Stonem, played by Kaya Scodelario, was the only teen character on "Skins" to bridge the gap between generations one and two, having appeared in the first two seasons as Tony's younger sister and continuing on into Series 3 and 4. She was just 14 when she first starred on the show and, like most of the actors, depicted sex and drug use. In 2022, Scodelario posted a TikTok and captioned it, "Watching 'Euphoria' for the first time thinking this is crazy for 17-year-olds then remembering what I was doing on TV at 14."

In the comments, the actor replied to a fan, saying, "It was a beautiful time but also the deep-rooted cause of a lot of my issues now. Still, it gave me the opportunity to do the job I loved." Thankfully, Scodelario has been able to continue doing this job and has acted in several shows and films over the years, like the "Maze Runner" trilogy, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," and Netflix's "Spinning Out."

Speaking with InStyle, Scodelario professed her love for making movies. "I really like that everyone gets to focus intensely for five or six months, and then this thing comes out, and it's quite contained in that sense that you visit a character and then you leave them," she said.

Jack O'Connell is set to play Amy Winehouse's ex-husband

Jack O'Connell had been on television several times before he played the role of troublemaker and criminal James Cook in Series 3 and 4 of "Skins." It was a character he related to, having been cast on the show at just 17, as he told The Guardian, "[Cook was] half created for me and half by me. Yeah, there were certain traits that bled into my own life for sure. Did I play up to it? Probably. And did I pay for it eventually? Definitely. You start thinking that really is your personality."

Soon after his time on the show ended, the actor went on to star in war films like "'71," "Shelter," and "Unbroken," where he played less abrasive characters. Now, it seems O'Connell is ready to take on another less than favorable role: Amy Winehouse's ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil. 

In the biopic "Back to Black," the actor will star alongside Marisa Abela, who plays the legendary singer, and they'll undoubtedly delve into the tumultuous relationship Winehouse and Fielder-Civil had more than a decade ago.

Luke Pasqualino struggles with intimate scenes

Fans of "Skins" generation two were split on who Effy should have ended up with; were you team Freddie or team Cook? Luke Pasqualino played the loyal and romantic Frederick "Freddie" McClair in Series 3 and 4, but ultimately met a tragic and gristly end. Today, the actor is known for "Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome," 2013's "Snowpiercer," and the series "Our Girl," but despite all of the experience he's gained since "Skins," Pasqualino still struggles with one aspect of filming.

Speaking with Metro in June 2023, ahead of his upcoming series "Rivals," he admitted that filming intimate scenes is still tricky for him. "It can be very awkward," he said. "A lot of it comes down to what your relationship is like with your fellow actor. I've been doing them since my very first job in 'Skins' and they don't really get any easier! But intimacy coordinators now help to make you feel slightly more comfortable."

While Pasqualino is still recognized most for his role in "Skins," he has several upcoming projects where he'll be able to demonstrate more of his range as an actor.

Megan Prescott became a bodybuilder

Katie and Emily Fitch were the redheaded twins in Series 3 and 4 of "Skins," played by real-life twins Megan and Kathryn Prescott. While Kathryn continued acting and went on to write and direct several shorts, Megan went a very different route, becoming a bodybuilder in 2016. She frequently shared snaps with her followers and kept them up to date on her incredible transformation, but it wasn't until 2022 that she spoke on the reality of bodybuilding.

In an Instagram photo of Megan in a bikini and holding a weight, looking absolutely ripped, she wrote, "I love these pictures but I was exhausted, dehydrated, hungry and, as I'm sure everyone that knows me will confirm, horrible to be around at the time. ... If you see photo shoots where the models look like this then just remember that a) they're probably just as miserable as I was here and b) even they don't look like that for more than a few days at a time." 

Now, no longer bodybuilding, Megan has an OnlyFans page and has continued to act intermittently on stage, television, and in shorts.

Will Merrick had a small role in Barbie

Playing the well-intentioned farm boy Alo Creevey in the third generation of "Skins" during Series 5 and 6 was Will Merrick's first role. Speaking with WhatsOnStage, he explained that he hadn't been planning on becoming a big actor just yet when the show rolled around: "Even after doing 'Skins,' I wasn't sure that acting would be a career. ... I went along basically to the audition to get experience for applying to drama schools, and at the time it was this cult thing where you saw the characters on screen and you never even connected them with real people."

Merrick went on to work in theater shows and had several small roles before he began to make it big. Today, you'd probably recognize his bright red hair in "About Time" alongside Domhnall Gleeson or in the sitcom "Dead Pixels" as Nicky, but he was actually in a much bigger movie recently. 

Blink and you might miss him in "Barbie," credited as a Young Mattel Executive, and marking Merrick's first big blockbuster movie appearance.

Sebastian De Souza is a talented writer

Sebastian De Souza played Matty Levan, the underachieving brother of Nick and love interest to both Liv and Franky, in Series 5 and 6 of "Skins." Although it was his first acting gig, he used his English charm to quickly propel himself into much-loved series like "Recovery Road," "Normal People," and "The Great." 

But De Souza is much more than a brilliant actor; he's also an incredibly talented writer, and he was able to use "Skins" to gain financial independence, which aided in his ability to write.

He cowrote the film "Kids in Love," adapted his 2021 podcast "Kid: A History of The Future" into a novel, and is an accomplished songwriter. In an interview with BriefTake, De Souza spoke of his writing process, saying: "I suppose I'm, like anyone really, get inspired by whatever I've got in front of me or around me. When it comes to the songs that I write, it's always been a huge delight for me to write music. ... I feel like also, I have this theory, that all actors want to be rock stars." With several projects in varying mediums already published, it'll be exciting to see what De Souza does next in his career.

Dakota Blue Richards is starring in a Hampstead Theater play

Francesca "Franky" Fitzgerald was presented in her first appearance on "Skins" as a shy, genderqueer protagonist of generation three, and was portrayed by Dakota Blue Richards. This wasn't the actor's first on-screen appearance, as she also played Lyra in "The Golden Compass," and went on to work on several more projects after "Skins." After starring in the 2018 series "Beecham House" as Margaret Osborne, it seems Richards has found her passion outside of television, as she's currently starring in a Hampstead Theater show called "Anthropology."

The play centers around Merril, who replaces her sister Angie, played by Richards, with an AI version, as her actual sibling has gone missing. Speaking with Lost in Theatreland, the actor described her unusual role as, "Entirely unlike anything I've ever worked on before. ... Much of the work for me has been about striking the balance between the technology and humanity of her character, and the story as a whole. That has occasionally felt like an overwhelming task, but she is a real delight to play."

Freya Mavor is an up-and-coming multi-talented artist

This Scottish-born actor's first role was as Mini McGuinness, the queen bee of Roundview College in Series 5 and 6 of "Skins," and she's been on the up ever since. Freya Mavor has demonstrated her range of talents, from her many television and film roles, including some French projects, to being named Fashion Icon of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards, and leading the band Collective Kingdom with her vocals and several instruments.

Speaking with Harper's Bazaar in 2017, Mavor elaborated on a project she was working on around poetry she'd written. "I'm about to start work on a personal project ... making little videos around poems I've written. I realize this all sounds very pretentious but as Julian Barnes says in 'Sense of an Ending' — 'Yes, of course we were pretentious — what else is youth for?'" 

While her "Skins" character may have rubbed many people the wrong way, Mavor has embarked on so many more projects over the years that Mini McGuinness is certainly in her rearview mirror and we can't wait to see what she does next.