Live & Kicking, April 1996
An Intimate Conversation with Louise

"Hi, I'm Louise. I enjoy singing and I'm grateful for having the chance to do it..."

What's the best thing someone could say about you?
 That I've got a kind heart, probably. I'd like people to think that I'm a good person.
Without a bad bone in my body?
 Oh, I don't know about that! Just that I'm an alright girl.

You're more than alright - you're top of our list of Hot Female Stars!
 I am?! Thank you! After leaving Eternal, I was really nervous about how people would react to me, so it's brilliant to be appreciated! Things like this help build my confidence and give me even more reason to push on and work hard.

Leonardo DiCaprio's one of our Hottest Guys. What do you think of him?
 Oh, he's absolutely brilliant. I remember watching him in films when he was really young and I think he's excellent. He was so good in 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' I was really touched by his performance.

Would you describe yourself as Hot?
 No way! I'm still finding the route. You try different things out as you go along. At the moment, I'm enjoying being me.

Do you ever get sick of people telling you you're beautiful?
 It's really flattering - but embarrassing, too! I take it all with a pinch of salt, though I do get quite embarrassed.

Do you think you're beautiful?
 No, I think I'm just very lucky. I have a make-up artist who sits with me for two hours before I do a shoot. If I walked in and did the shoot there and then, I'd look a right state!

So would you pop to the shops without any make-up?
 Oh yeah. On a day off, I enjoy wearing no make-up. I just slap on a baseball cap and go out. I love getting up in the morning and sticking on a tracksuit.

How vain are you?
 I'm vain to the extent that if I'm going out for an evening, I like to make an effort to look nice. I do what's appropriate at the time. But I'm not so vain that I won't leave the house if I've got a spot or something.

Do you ever get spots?
 Yeah, when I have late nights! And I always get the ones which stay for ages. They last for weeks! And they always appear the day before you need to look good for a really hot date or something! You try to cover them up with concealer, but you end up just making them look worse. Then you have to sit with your hand over the biggest spot all night, just in case anyone notices it! Spots are a nightmare - they should be made a fashion accessory so that they become cool!

Which bit of your body would you most like to change?
 My legs. I've got footballer's knees. Real chunky knees. I'd like my legs to be really long.

What's the worst chat-up line you've ever heard?
 'Don't I know you from somewhere?' It's weird but guys try it on far less than before. They tend to stay away! They, like, say two words to you and go. Some are really shy and others are really brash in a nasty way. It's nice though, cos I'm at that stage where I don't get recognised instantly. I can just get on with my life.

Were you the most popular girl at school?
 No. I went to a stage school where everybody else was quite out-going and loud. I was quiet really. It was very competitive, but in a nice way.

When and how did you first learn about sex?
 My cousin told me when I was really young and I just could not believe it! I thought he was lying to me, so I had to go and check it out with my mum. She was a bit embarrassed cos I think she thought I was a bit too young to be asking about how babies are made. I've got a brother who's seven and he's just starting to ask those kind of questions on the sly. He even asked me to tape The Good Sex Guide for him. I was like, 'Excuse me?! No, I can't!'

Would you like to be as big as Madonna?
 As far as her popularity goes, yes. She appeals to so many different people. You can be, like, into hardcore rap and still buy one of her records. She's always one step ahead. I'd love to have her worldwide appeal.

Could you ever be as saucy as Mads?
 I don't think I've got that within me. It would be really false for me to try and be this, like, really sexy, 'I'm gonna shock you all' person. That's just not me.

Would you like to be a mum?
 One day, but not yet. And if I became a mum, I wouldn't want to give up my work.

Are you a good judge of character?
 I like to think I am, but you can never tell. You always think you know somebody, but it's really disappointing when you find out that you don't. I try not to judge people too quickly.

Are Upside Down any good?
 I think everybody's got this hang-up about groups which are put together, but I think they're alright. The documentary about them was a bit harsh and in-your-face - it made the whole pop business look really fickle, which it actually isn't. But all those boys are talented, so why shouldn't they be given the chance to go out there and do their thing? Good luck to them.

Which do you prefer - boy bands or Britpop?
 I like quite a lot of both! I love a bit of Oasis, but I also like a bit of Take That now and again.

Oasis or Blur?
 Oasis. I'm not really into the whole Britpop scene, but I really enjoy their albums. I sing along and have a great time! And Liam shouldn't do a thing about his eyebrows - they're him!

What's your bedroom like?
 It's really plain, with a double bed, a mirrored wardrobe and a big chest of drawers. Really simple.

When was the last time you completely lost your rag?
 Yesterday, when my mum's dog chewed up my favourite cap. I've got a really small head and can never find baseball caps which fit properly, so I went mad. My two younger brothers were both lounging around the living room at the time, but they didn't do anything to save my cap. They were just laughing, so I went mad at them.

But you seem like such a calm person...
 Oh, but I have a terrible temper. It takes a lot to get me riled, but when I do, I just let it all out and then I'm alright. I don't mope about very much - I'm just loud. This big, screaming, red-faced monster comes out!

Would you see a glass as half full or half empty?
 Half full.

How tough are you?
 I'm very sensitive. I can give it the mouth, but at the end of the day I'd probably run a mile! I don't like bad feeling, but I'd stick up for myself if I had to. I'd fight if I really had to, but not out of choice.

Do you ever get star struck?
 Not star struck, though we did a show with Whitney Houston last year and it suddenly hit me that I was talking to the Whitney Houston. I'd played her records for as long as I could remember. I was dazed, but it was amazing!

Does your hectic showbiz life ever get too much?
 I've been at the stage where I've thought I could really do with a week off cos I'm worn out, but not cos of people hassling me or anything.

Whose is the most famous number in your phone book?
 I don't really know. Have I still got Take That's numbers? (Coyly) Yeah, but it's not like I ever call them up or anything! I got them when we were on tour together, just as a goodwill gesture.

Do you worry about not being a singer?
 Yeah, I do cos I enjoy what I do so much and I wouldn't want it to end.

What hurts you the most?
 Cruelty to animals. I'm a vegetarian. People say that animals were put on the earth to be eaten, but they should be treated more humanely. The way they are killed is awful. I belong to Ban Export (an animal rights group). Sign the petition and send it off to the Prime Minister!

 Finally, this interview has been... Interesting. The questions were really different and I've had a lot of fun!