How are you finding it working on the show?
I have to say it is one of the happiest jobs I have ever done. I sincerely mean that, it’s great coming into a place where I had some friends here already, I know Tony Maudsley and Jodie Prenger which is lovely. And working with Alan and Maureen and those fabulous kids as well is just really, really great. So I feel very lucky that I’m with this family. Working with Maureen is just like a master class and Alan is so good as well. And to top it off I have such a great storyline.
What was the reaction like to your initial short appearance?
It’s been great. And some people didn’t think it was me as I Iooked so different to how they are used to seeing me. I had that baptism of fire with the 14 page two hander with Maureen Lipman as my opening scene. And people really invested in them I think at that point. The reaction was great. It was really positive. It was nice as you never know what to expect coming into a programme that means so much to so many people.
So this week, they return. Can you tell us where they’ve been and what has been happening whilst they’ve been away?
Basically Evelyn took Cassie away to get her clean. She went cold turkey and Evelyn got her clean and looked after. Despite all the bad blood between them there was one line in that big scene that stopped her in her tracks and when she just whispered ‘I love you’. There’s this relationship there where there is a deep rooted love. As tough as Evelyn can be she took the time to stay with her indoors and get her clean. Evelyn has also got the dilemma of having the nice set up with her grandson and her great grandkids and she doesn’t want anything rocking the boat. She knows when they return they will have all those things to deal with. She needed to get Cassie away and sort her out before it came to that. They have been living in a flat above the precinct and she has basically kept her locked away.
Can you tell us about what happens when Cassie finally gets Evelyn to let her out of the flat?
She had gone cold turkey and Evelyn has been looking after her 24/7. We can only sort of imagine what that’s been like for both of them in stuck in that flat it with that situation Cassie has done it and for now she is clean. She’s very grateful to her mother for being there and making her do it but she just feels literally holed up in this flat and she wants to get out just for a coffee or a bit of fresh air or a walk. Evelyn is a bit worn down with it all and there is an element of them reaching a plateau and she gives in, she thinks that she can finally trust her but really she can’t. Cassie has kind of abused that trust and she even takes money out of her purse again!
With Cassie is there still an underlying anger. With Evelyn and about her lying to Tyrone and also lying to her about how much she’s been involved in Tyrone’s life.
There’s a lot of anger there. And it’s not just about Tyrone, it goes back to childhood. There is a scene coming up where she talks to Tyrone about why she is the way she is and about her childhood and about her relationship with her mum, who was very cold, never hugged her, never told her she loved her. It was quite a cold relationship really, she even kicked her out when she was a teenager. And so there’s a lot of resentment. You know, fundamentally she does love Evelyn, she’s her mum after all but she finds it hard to forgive the things she’s done to her as a teenager growing up then ultimately even as an adult, she’s she’s continued to lie about about her and she abandoned Cassie;s baby on the steps of a police station. Cassie believes they could have worked something out to keep Tyrone in the family. And then Evelyn has gone back and reaped all the benefits of being a grandma without Cassie.
Does Cassie have there must be regrets about what her life could have been instead of how it turned out?
Without a doubt, Cassie wants family and to be loved. You will see that as things develop and you see the joy of her getting to know these grandchildren. I did a scene yesterday. We were just walking to the bus stop and it’s like the best thing she’s ever done in her life.
What happens when she turns up at the concert? Did she plan to go there to tell Tyrone who she is?
No it was not premeditated. But once she is there it is an impulse. She’s watching and them she just can’t help herself. It just comes out. She wants the truth to prevail. I don’t think she’s doing it from a place of causing harm and problems, or from a place of wanting to get one over on her mum. She just wants the truth to come out. She wants him to know, she wants a family and the only way she can get that family that she’s not had for all this time is to tell the truth, even if people get hurt along the way, I guess. She would have told Tyrone last time if Evelyn hadn’t whisked her away and Evelyn knew it was only a matter of time.
Do you think that also she feels some jealousy about what Evelyn had with this family when she’s been kept away from that?
Absolutely. She’s just never had that loving environment or the family. She’s had bad men, she had a mum who didn’t want to know. All she wants is to be loved and be part of a family. That’s evident in scenes, simple things just like sitting having a cup of tea and watching the kids get ready and stuff. You know, she’s never had any of that. But she wants part of it. And the fact that Evelyn has had that and kept it from her and then told him she was dead is alot for her to deal with.
Has she thought about how that might affect Tyrone and what his reaction might be?
I don’t really think she’s thought about the consequences. She blurts it out, I think she just wants to tell the truth. And she wants him to know. And she hasn’t thought about how it might affect everyone involved. She isn’t too worried about how it affects Evelyn as she blames her anyway and she knows she is tough but obviously it is going to be a huge shock for Tyrone, but she is prepared to take that chance.
Is she also prepared to be able to stay clean to build her relationship with her son and grandchildren?
She is determined to do her best to try and stay clean but at the end of the day she’s an addict. Addicts fall off the wagon sometimes. And she would do everything she can within her power but it’s an illness. Yeah. And she can’t always control it and it isn’t going to be easy for any of them
Are you excited for what’s coming up now the way this character is going to develop?
I am looking forward to seeing her grow. What’s been important for me to is to try and find the vulnerabilities because she does some pretty awful things. I need find the vulnerabilities within this character so people understand her and I’m trying to find those moment so she’s not just hateful and annoying. I think the writers have done that as well brilliantly. There’s moments where she’s completely vulnerable. And she explains why she’s done things.
Do you like Cassie as a person, as a character?
Yes I do. I feel sorry for her. It is really great and satisfying to play such a character that has so many sides. She’s got the feistiness with her mother but she’s also got the vulnerability with her. Then she’s got the love with Tyrone, and then the newness and the wonderment of being a grandma. But then she also loves to party and there is a moment where she’s in the Rovers and she really lets her hair down and causes a bit of trouble.
How do you think she’s going to fit into Weatherfield? Do you think maybe her and Abi’s paths are gonna cross?
I think Cassie and Abi will naturally gravitate towards each other. And I think it might take a bit of a twist and a turn in an unexpected way.
Who else have you enjoyed Cassie getting to know and playing scenes with since you’ve come back?
Cassie has some great scene with Kevin as she wants to work in the garage, Michael Le Vell has been great to work with. I have also had some fantastic scenes with David Neilson, that was a real pinch me moment to get to work with him, just watching how he works. When you work with him, and are chatting before the scene he’s highly articulate, really intelligent, really funny, really witty, and then he just becomes Roy, the physicality and everything changes.
So how is Evelyn and Cass’s relationship going to be last question just you know, as we go forward?
At the moment they are not in the best place andI just love the arguments and the fights, they flare up with each other all the time, they know how to press each other’s buttons so we can expect fireworks for the time being. I am really looking forward to ore of that.
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1