Once more, in mid –February, I was in the newly furbished Coronation Street Bistro, at Media City. This time I had the real pleasure of interviewing the lovely, warm, friendly and chatty Debbie Rush.
What struck me in particular about Debbie, is best described by employing a phrase my mum used to use - ‘There’s no side to her.’ Which means that someone is absolutely natural, no airs and graces, no pretension. Exactly so for Debbie Rush.
Debbie will be involved in a massive storyline soon concerning the birth of Faye’s baby, so read on below to see what she has to say about that and her role as Anna Windass.
How does Anna feel in that moment when she learns that Faye is pregnant?
Well, she doesn’t actually found out that Faye is pregnant until Faye gives birth, so the whole thing is a complete, massive shock.
So has Anna failed Faye?
Well, she will definitely feel as if she has failed her. She will feel the repercussions for sure. We don’t know whether or not Faye was having periods. In the show, she has got to the age where she doesn’t want her mum in the bathroom with her anymore. She’s been quite private and her periods have never been mentioned.
How did Ellie (who plays Faye) feel about the storyline?
We have a brilliant writing team here. I say it all the time. They approach things with great care so I knew it was going to be done well. We are certainly showing that teenage pregnancy is no walk in the park. Ellie has been amazing.
How does Anna react?
Instantly she wants to throttle her as any mother would, but because there’s another human being now, the relationship between Faye and Anna will change. Anna will be supportive, always, but she will feel under huge pressure and needs to help Faye. There will be no preparation though because the baby just arrives.
Where does the birth take place?
The birth takes place in the flat above Dev’s shop. Anna and Owen are out at the pub, thinking everything is alright. Linda’s gone, it's time to relax. Then, unbeknown to them, the big storyline is just round the corner.
How does it unfold on the street?
Well I know how Sally reacts! As we know, Sally is the best mum ever! There’ll be a bit of rivalry between Anna and Sally about who actually is the best mum. Tim will be really proud actually, and happy to be a granddad.
Will she have any common ground with Gail, who went through this with Sarah Louise?
I’m not sure but I’d like to think so. What we’re all really keen to get across is just how difficult it will be. The baby and the birth won't be glamorised at all.
How would you personally have felt in Anna’s shoes?
I would have been devastated. Absolutely devastated. All the things they would miss out on would worry me.
Does Faye want to keep the baby?
I don’t know. It’s a big mixed bag of emotions at first. She doesn’t realise what’s hit her.
Is Anna upset that Faye never told her?
We’ve just now (as at Feb 16) filmed the first words that are spoken when Anna sees Faye. She just says, 'I’m sorry mum'. She loves her mum, Anna, very much. Faye is terrified that she’s going to be sent back because she’s adopted. There is no way Anna would do that of course.
How do Gary and Tim react?
Gary is gobsmacked! She’s his little sister. Tim is devastated at first but loves the idea of being a granddad.
Are Social Services involved?
Yes because she’s under age and the police are involved too.
And the father?
Immediately Anna wants to know who he is. All fingers point to Craig. Anna is very concerned that Faye was forced into sex. Craig tells Anna that it is someone at school. It turns out to be just a little boy.
How did you help Ellie prepare for the role?
Well she listens to absolutely everything – she’s like a little sponge! Her mum’s great, her chaperone is too. We’ve all just chatted as we’ve gone along. But Ellie has been absolutely amazing! It is hard for her as she has schoolwork to do too. But Ellie is a complete joy!
Does Anna reprimand herself?
Anna feels she has taken her eye off the ball. Linda turned up, we lost the house, Anna is working two jobs.
How do you feel about Owen leaving?
I’m gutted! We were worried about his exit so soon after the birth, but actually it is done really well. It is heartbreaking though. It is tied into Linda and the birth and his reaction. But Anna will cope. She always does what she has to do.
Is it nice working with a baby?
We’ve actually got three babies – triplets. They’re gorgeous, so tiny! They are as good as gold too. Sometimes we have scenes where the baby is crying and crying but actually the baby is just lying quietly in my arms! The baby will be a girl and she will be called Miley. The name is Faye’s choice though she takes a while to choose it.
Do you get itchy feet?
I love Corrie. I’m very lucky to be here. I get great drama and I have to pinch myself. It’s the nation’s favourite and I’m very happy.
When you were given this storyline were you taken to one side?
Yes, we were taken to one side, which is rare. It was because of the sensitive nature of the story. We had Ellie’s parents in too. We had a midwife come in too to talk about the birth. I was thrilled for Ellie though. I want people to see how brilliant she is. She gets it, she sees it and away she goes! Brilliant! We don’t actually see her give birth but we do hear her!
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