Saturday, 22 July 2017

Coronation Street Blog Interview with Nicola Thorp

(This post was originally posted by Jordan Lloyd Beck on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

“It is a privilege to be in a show like this” says Nicola Thorp on her new role as feisty Nicola Rubenstein in Coronation Street...

Hiya! It’s just Jordan with another write-up of an interview with a cast member. This time, it’s newcomer Nicola Thorp, who plays a careworker named Nicola Rubenstein. She is joining the cast as the long-lost daughter of established character Pat Phelan and I was lucky enough to be invited to a press conference with the actress herself, a perfectly poised and well-spoken lady who I am sure is going to shake up the Street.

“It’s mental. Two months ago I was watching Corrie with my family shouting at Phelan. We have a saying in our house – “Zip it, Corrie’s on”

The first thing Nicola cleared up was that the character of Nicola is in fact Seb’s careworker, not his mother, which dispels rumours that Seb was Phelan’s grandson. This is something I am glad of; there is only so much long-lost rubbish I can cope with! So, how will it all start for Nicola and Phelan? Well, Nicola gives him her contact card when they initially meet. Her surname, as well as the distinct resemblance to her mother, set alarm bells ringing in Phelan’s head.  She is the result of an affair between Phelan and her mother which has been covered up until now. With Nicola believing until now that both her parents were dead, this is a discovery that is sure to rock her world.

“She grew up locally, was born in Liverpool but moved to Manchester shortly after she was born. We don’t know too much about her past at the moment other than her parents brought her up telling her never to live life with any regrets.

Nicola Thorp also went on to explain the impact this sudden revelation will have on Phelan.  It is possible – or rather, inevitable – that we will finally, at long last see a softer side to Phelan. Once he gets a hint of the truth, there is no doubt in his mind that he wants to make the effort and get to know the daughter he has just met.  And while Phelan has gained a daughter, Eileen has acquired a stepdaughter, who welcomes her with open arms, glad to – as Nicola explained – have a girl around after bringing up two sons.  
“Connor [McIntyre] is my set dad and Sue [Cleaver] is just wonderful”

As a new character on the show, much of the interview focused on Nicola Thorp herself. She is a native of Blackpool and is a family of candy rock makers.  She spoke of her enthusiasm upon bagging this role:

“Any Northern actress will say to you “All you ever get asked is “Are we gonna see you on Corrie?” and it’s so nice to finally say “Next Monday. Watch out”

A jobbing actress since graduating from the prestigious ArtsEd in London, she has played small roles in programmes such as Doctors and Doctor Who and even auditioned for the role of Kate Connor in Corrie. To most people, however, she is currently best known for starting a successful campaign last year when she was sacked from her temping job as a receptionist for not wearing high heels. She discussed the media frenzy at length in the press conference, and as brilliant as that campaign was, I am not going to talk about it in this blog post. I don’t want anything to diminish the fact that Nicola Thorp is a hard-working traditionally trained actress who has plugged away for years before landing her dream job.

“I am very proud of what I did with that campaign but as an actress, I was very worried that people would not want to go near that. But actually, Coronation Street’s got an incredible history of really strong, feisty women”

A life-long fan of the show, Ms Thorp is still finding herself in awe of the place. The interview took place in the Bistro, and she even admitted to being a little starstruck as she came in as she hadn’t been on that set before. I always find it rather endearing when an actor who is a fan of Corrie ends up working there. A proud feminist, Ms Thorp spoke of her love for the strong female characters and highlighted Raquel Watts and Tina McIntyre as particular favourites of hers.

“I loved watching working-class women on TV because it just didn’t happen on any other show”

One other interesting titbit about Nicola Thorp: she’s followed in the footsteps of Corrie’s Martha Fraser and has recently bought a canal boat, which she bravely manoeuvres round the country in all weathers.

It seems that Nicola is set to be a new feisty girl for Corrie, a type of character Corrie should always have in stock. Feisty women are what Corrie is built on and what it does best.

A brilliant interview with a thoroughly eloquent actress, who I think has a huge Corrie future ahead of her.

Thanks for reading!


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