A lot has happened between Norma and Warren since she first arrived in the village, how would you describe their relationship now?

Norma and Warren have come a long way from when she arrived, when Warren didn’t even know she was his mother. He didn’t even know he has a mother who is alive or who she was, so his life was turned upside down. It was difficult because Norma had abandoned him and he couldn’t get his head around that but she didn’t tell him the full truth and then eventually he found out that Norma really was a great sacrifice to herself trying to protect him and his sister and had actually killed his father to protect him. So yes, Norma has had a very traumatic past as well and now they’ve reached a point where they can clear the deck and begin again, and try and be a son and a mother and neither of them know how to do this because they haven’t had any experience. So, it is quite rocky and they both are these quite dark characters so they don’t really know how to do it. They’re having a go it can get a bit prickly at times but I think Norma is really trying to learn and become a mother and she’s trying to embrace being a grandmother. She gets it a bit wrong sometimes but I do think that she is really trying to do it.

It’s a busy week for Norma this week both in her family life and working life, why is it so important for Norma to continue to grow her business?

I’ve always seen Norma as more of a business woman than a gangster and by that I mean crime and any of the dark stuff she does isn’t because she’s a psychopath and she enjoys it, it’s because she’s a business woman and making money. Being a business woman at top of the game is actually her prime motivation and that’s what it’s all about for her, she just happens to be in a rather dangerous and illegal business. I think that she has a lot of things going on that we don’t even know about and I think the things that she gets involved with in the village, like The Loft, I think she is trying to train Warren. He obviously has the garage but I don’t think that he’s been the biggest most successful business man and she’s trying to set him up because she has a lot of businesses that she wants him to take over. I think a lot of what we’re seeing is her grooming and in a way teaching Warren to be able to take over the helm at some stage.

Norma and Warren embark on a new venture this week with the help of Grace that doesn’t go down too well with Sienna and Ethan, what can we expect to see from this?

There’s not much to take over in the village, so they’ve decided to move in on The Loft. I think there’s lots of reasons for this. I think it’s convenient, it’s a convenient thing for laundering a little bit of money, and I can’t help thinking that Norma and Warren quite like playing and messing with Sienna and Ethan and let’s not forget Grace was meant to give them The Loft any way when they caught her out in basically trying to kill Warren by not telling him that Norma was a suitable liver donor. All of a sudden Ethan and Sienna were partners with Grace, so that was never going to be left to rest. I think that there are some old scores to settle here and we know that Sienna has always got a plan and there is nothing more fun than messing up Sienna’s plans.

Norma is profiting off Felix’s fights, something Warren knows nothing about – how do you think this will affect the relationship between mother and son?

Yeah, that is the problem with Norma isn’t it, Warren keeps saying ‘don’t lie to me, be honest’… but she just finds it quite difficult to just tell him everything. I think Norma is naturally secretive by nature, so I think she really tries, and she is really making an effort to be upfront but when there’s something that she thinks won’t sit well with Warren then she just doesn’t mention it. I think there’s always a danger when Warren finds out that Norma hasn’t been quite honest about something. He could get upset… but let’s see how this goes.

There’s some big family news revealed this week, why is family so important to Norma?

The development with Ella is a very interesting one… Norma finds out that Ella suspects Warren might be her dad. It is interesting how Norma reacts, without knowing for certain if she is a part of the family, she embraces Ella quite quickly. One may wonder why she does this and I think it’s because she is trying to create the perfect family and the concept of adding Ella to the mix is interesting. Ella is at sea as she doesn’t really have any family and you know to bring someone in from scratch sort of like herself gives her an opportunity to mould Ella, to make her part of the family and I think she’s got this little perfect image in her mind of what a family can be like and I think she doesn’t expect to but in all her manoeuvrings I think she becomes quite fond of Ella in a funny way. It’s quite interesting I think the way Norma reacts to all this, and of course Warren’s not having any of it.

The exciting news about Rita joining the cast of Hollyoaks has been announced, you played her onscreen mum in EastEnders how happy were you to find out she’s joining Hollyoaks?

Yes! Rita Simons who was my daughter in Eastenders is joining Hollyoaks and I am absolutely thrilled. She’s a great girl I love her, she’s a friend of mine, she’s great fun with a great energy and I think there’s going to be some very exciting times ahead… There’s so much potential of storylines that could happen with Rita coming in. The big questions are, what will those storylines be, and where will they go with this. I’m just hoping it’s going to be something that involves Norma…

What’s your favourite thing about playing Norma Crow?

Well the reason why I was drawn to this part is because she’s a gangster, I mean who doesn’t want to play a gangster? Not only is she a gangster but she’s a woman and she’s a woman of a certain age and that’s quite unusual and I love that. I love the fact that a woman in her 60’s could walk into a room and literally terrify everyone in there, without raising her voice, without pointing a gun, she can scare the life out of people and as you can imagine that’s great fun to play and it’s also quite empowering. I also loved the evolvement of Norma from scary gangster threatening everybody to evolving her into an actual human being where she develops a motherly bond towards Warren and she actually does want to try and be a mother. She has absolutely no idea how to be a mother so that journey of hers is exciting to play. Obviously Norma is a character who’s never been able to show vulnerability so having those moments where she is vulnerable and to try make her a fully dimensional character rather than just a person who is coming in threatening everybody, I’ve really enjoyed that challenge.

Hollyoaks airs at 6:30pm, weeknights, on Channel 4

By Eastieoaks

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