Adele Silva is best known for playing Kelly Windsor in Emmerdale. Having been acting since she was a young girl, Adele has had roles in Doctor Who, The Bill, Eastenders and more recently The Real Hustle.
Adele spoke to Kim O'Meara about returning to Emmerdale, her latest film, Strippers vs Werewolves and the two loves of her life, Buster and Misty.
Tell us about your dogs - we'd like to know everything about them!
I have two dogs, Buster and Misty. They're like little and large! Buster is an 8 year old Yorkshire Terrier girl. We've always had Yorkies in our family, we've had four over the years but Buster was the first we've bought. She's a funny girl really, very lovable and she snorts all the time – she has a small windpipe so she's always making funny noises. She has the nicest temperament, people love her and she is so funny, sometimes when she gets over excited she'll wee a little. But she has a lot of health problems sadly so she's at the vets every two-three months.
Out of the two, Buster is the character. When anyone comes to the house she'll paw at their legs for fuss. She loves any attention!
Misty is 8 years old aswell and she's a Shar Pei. She's the complete opposite to Buster. She's very stand-off ish. I bought her with an ex-boyfriend of mine. When we got her I'd never had a big dog before, I'd always been used to small dogs. So we went through The Kennel Club route and found a breeder. Misty's very aloof, she's quiet and sticks to one person to the point she'll sit outside the bathroom waiting for them. She's a lovely girl, she has a great temperament. One memory sticks out in my mind when she got excited when getting ready to go for a walk, she screwed her face up, it went overly wrinkly and she was wiggling her bum around, it was so cute to see.
She's fiercely protective over the little one, Buster, aswell. If people come round to see us she'll sit and spectate for 5-10 minutes taking it all in, wheras Buster's all over everyone from the start happy for fuss and attention.
I think Misty's personality is just typical of her breed though. I have a friend who has a Shar Pei aswell and she said her dog is just the same.
When I go back home with them Misty is my dad's best friend, she sticks to him like glue – but I have a feeling that's because he's always eating and she knows if she stays around by him she'll get something to eat.
When did your interest in pets/animals begin and how long have you been a pet owner?
We got our first Yorkie, Goldie, on my 6th birthday. Then we had Dinky, her daughter and then Katie. By the time Katie was with us Goldie had passed away and Misty was home with me.
I think I really benefited growing up with our dogs over the years, my mum has always been really pro-animals. They were great family pets and being Yorkies and small dogs, good for travelling and good with kids.
You've probably best known on-screen for playing Kelly Windsor in Emmerdale on and off since 1993. What do you love most about Kelly and do you see her making a come back any time soon?
Well, Kelly couldn't be any more from me so when I first read about her in 30 seconds/1 minute I thought 'I really don't like her', she's so sly, a bit of a bitch and has no living parents but she has so many dimensions. In her most recent time back, I got a call and they told me a little about her plans for coming back with a kid, how she would shake things up with Jimmy and Nicola and they asked if I'd like to come back for a few months.
I started acting when I was 8 years old so I have a theatre background. I spent a lot of good years at Emmerdale and I enjoy playing Kelly, she always had great storylines. I get itchy feet and so that's why I took a break to try other things. At the moment I have no real ties apart from my dogs. I'm not married, I don't have kids and there's other things I'd still like to try so I can always look back and say 'well at least I tried'.
I think Kelly's a 'love to hate' character. I'm really open minded on it so I never say never. Emmerdale's always a fun place to be with a cast and crew I grew up with so it really feels like going home whenever I go back.
In your down time from Emmerdale you've appeared on lots of TV shows and films. Most memorably ITV's Hell's Kitchen where you came 2nd, what did you most enjoy about Hell's Kitchen? Would it encourage you to do more reality TV where there was something to learn from it?
I really loved Hell's Kitchen. I got to learn something genuinely useful from the experience that I'll always use and where else would you get to learn such a skill from a Michelin three star chef like Marco Pierre White! It was one of the best experiences of my life, I had a great time with some wonderful people on the show and I'll always remember it fondly. I loved working alongside Marco and Barry was just amazing. I didn't mind coming second to him
I think it was also good for people to see me as someone other than 'Kelly' from Emmerdale to see that I'm not her.
As far as other reality TV goes, I think the shows where you can learn a genuine skill always appeal. You can learn how to skate on Dancing On Ice and Strictly Come Dancing always brings out the girly side of me. Getting all dressed up week in and week out and learning a skill like dancing would be just amazing.
Most recently you've starred in a film, 'Strippers Versus Werewolves', tell us a little about the film and your character.
It's a funny British comedy/horror and I play one of the lead girls, Justice who's a stripper. She's a nice girl and unknown to her, her boyfriend is a werewolf. The film is a real journey for her, she finds out her friend has been killed and so she, with her girls, go all out for revenge.
The film's trailer looks really good and in fact the film's promo won an award from the AFM (American Film Marketing).
As soon as I saw the script and saw the title, I thought 'ok' so I read on and it's a really funny film. Sort of 'Shaun of the Dead' style. I'd never worked with prosthetics until this film so we had really early starts with 4.30am call times to get ready and it's really an amazing process.
What was funny was how afterwards when you were back to normal, how it wasn't easy to walk the same, my back had sort of curved over after filming and walking differently in character. It was a very good experience, really great to do something different. I signed up for the film last year before I went back to Emmerdale so I had a period of doing completely different roles.
If you hadn't followed your heart and become an actress, what career path do you think you might have taken?
I think I'd have gone down the academic route and done the whole university thing. I'm a Scorpio so I like the mysterious side of things. I read a lot of psychology books and I'm fascinated by the crime side of psychology.
At school I never sang, although I'm not a bad dancer. The thing is at that time in the West End you had to be a certain height, so I cancelled the dancing out.
Do you have a motto that you live your life by? What would you say Misty and Buster's motto might be?
I always say treat others how you wish to be treated. I'm a very positive person really, I think my glass is always half full even if there's only a drop left in it I think 'well at least it's something!', I know some people have more of an outlook that when something goes wrong they think it's typical that it's happened to them, but I'm the opposite.
(Laughs) But for the girls, well Buster's motto would probably be 'nothing's going to get me down' and Misty she's harder to think of. She's more cool, calm and collected so her's would probably be 'what, are you looking at me?'.
If you were to swap roles with either Misty or Buster for a day, how do you think they'd cope being you and what would you most love about being them?
Misty wouldn't cope, if I'm out on the tube for example and can see someone needs some help, I'll ask them. Misty would hate that because she's so quiet and shy. With Buster it's different though, I do wonder – you know how people say dogs are like their owners – well I do think Buster could be me.
Although I'm not sure how I'd cope being them. I'm a clean freak so I'd hate to get dirt under my nails!
For this question, we ask our celebs to match up the following people’s personality to a breed of dog, for example, Winston Churchill = Bulldog or J.Lo = Afghan Hound, Frank Bruno = Boxer etc. If the following celebrities and dog lovers were breeds of dogs, based on their personalities alone, what type of breed do you think they'd be...
Nicola Wheeler (plays Nicola King in Emmerdale) – (Laughs) Oh, she'd be a Jack Russell Terrier. A little dog, a bit yappy and they're the king of their castle.
Danny Dyer – He'd be a Staffordshire Bull Terrier I think. Very loving to his family and they have 'a walk' don't they!
Daniella Westbrook – Ah, she'd have to be a little Lhasa Apso or a Maltese. Very cute and always turned out spick and span!
Barry McGuigan – (Laughs) He'd have to be a Whippet because he's elegant and quick on his feet.
Which do you prefer and why?
Big dogs or little dogs – I love all dogs but I think because I've had more of them over the years if I had to choose I'd say little dogs – even if it's just for the reason of there's a smaller job to clean once they've gone to the toilet.
Pedigree dogs or x breeds – I don't have a preference at all. We've always had pedigree's but a dog is a dog. It's all about their personality to me.
Days off or days at work – Days at work definitely. I think you need the days at work to appreciate the days off.
Describe the last time you laughed outloud because of something you saw Misty and Buster, or another dog do.
(Laughs) The last time had to be at your photoshoot actually. Your photographer, Sharah, was trying to get Misty to look to the front towards the camera so we got up onto the bed and we were using some of your yummy Happy Dog treats and she just turned around and sat with her back to the camera. It was so funny, as if she was saying I'm not as stupid as you think I am – I know what you want me to do but look what I've done!
If you had the choice to arrange a dinner party taking three people (choosing from any era, past or present), who would you choose?
Oh good question! Firstly because of my love of crime books, I'd have to choose fictional writer Martina Cole. I think she writes such good books and would have some interesting stories to tell. Secondly I'd have to invite Marilyn Monroe. I think she's such an interesting character I'd love to have met her and thirdly I'd invite the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, to find out what he has to say.
What is your current favourite…?
TV show – I'm loving Brothers and Sisters, I'm just watching the box set.
Book – My friend Ali (Bastian) bought me 'Water for Elephants' by Sara Gruen for my birthday. I'm a bit of a book worm, I'm just reading 'One Day' by David Nicholls at the moment.
Film – 'We Need To Talk About Kevin', it's really different. But a really good, different. Really gripping.
Album – I make my own CD's so it's like having a car concert every time I drive somewhere. I'm really liking Ed Sheeran and Kelly Clarkson's new songs.
If you could sum it up, what do you think is the best thing about being a dog owner?
I think it's the overwhelming love. You're excited going home when you get back and see them at the door waiting for you. I just love it. I really do think dogs are intelligent. There was this one time when me and my mum were talking about going on holiday and getting the suitcases down, and we were only talking, we'd not moved, and the girls had gone to sulk.
Finish the following sentence, my dogs are... the best ever!
And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires a fair degree of thinking time but….If Misty and Buster had the ability to speak and answer one question and one question only, what would you ask them and what do you think that they would say?
I think I'd ask Buster 'do you understand why me and my mum are saying?' and she'd say 'yes'.
And I think I could ask Misty anything and she'd say 'whatever'!
Many Thanks Adele!
Adele Silva Speaking With Kim O'Meara