(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog October 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)
How is Rana feeling as her and Zeedan's civil wedding draws closer?
Rana is somewhat confused and trying to convince herself that the civil wedding is just a formality as she tries to brush off the sentiment behind it. However her internal struggle and trying to cope with her feelings for Kate are at the forefront of her mind.
What's things like with Kate and Rana at this point? Rana comes home to find Kate there who has been helping Zeedan decorate the house for the wedding. Rana questions Kate and they end up having a bit of an argument. As Kate is about to leave, there is an intense moment between them and Kate kisses Rana. Rana responds to the kiss and the heated moment is interrupted as Zeedan comes downstairs. Kate abruptly exits leaving Rana very confused.
How hard has Rana been finding it, having feelings for Kate?
It has been a great struggle for her, as she has always been in control of her emotions and relationships. She is trying everything within her power to push her feelings for Kate away by suggesting her and Zeedan try for a baby.
Does she still love Zeedan?
She does love him and married him for all the genuine reasons, but is now struggles with the fact that she has feelings for Kate and is trying to fight them.
Does she feel guilty about what she is doing?
Absolutely! It’s crushing her as she’s riddled with guilt. Rana has always admired Zeedan’s loyalty and it breaks her heart knowing she has feelings for someone else, let alone a woman. Zeedan has been through so much with losing both parents and the last thing Rana wants to do is break his heart.
Does Rana feel like she has been hiding behind the wedding preparations and telling Zeedan she wants to have kids?
Yes, she’s trying to do the right thing but is thrown when Kate kisses her. This sends her deeper into a state of confusion. The last thing she wants to do is hurt Zeedan. She believes throwing herself further into their marriage will help suppress any feelings she has for Kate.
Kate tells Rana to stop messing with her head, what's Rana's reaction to this? Rana questions Kate about the kiss and asks her if the feelings are mutual. Kate tells Rana it would never work but doesn’t dismiss or deny having feelings for her too. This becomes a pivotal point for Rana as it’s the first time she openly questions her own sexuality whilst in conversation with Kate and almost admits she might not be straight. However, this is immediately slammed by Kate as Rana says she still loves Zeedan. At this point, Rana is left feeling deflated and torn between her feelings for both her husband and her friend.
What does Rana hope Kate will say when she confesses she wants them to be together?
At one last push, Rana turns up at Kate’s flat on the morning of the wedding in the hope that Kate will ask her to stop the wedding. All she needs is for Kate to give her the green light and she won’t go through with it.
Do you think it truly is Kate that Rana wants to be with?
Yes, Rana does not want to label herself as gay or bisexual as she thinks the person she has fallen for just happens to be a woman. She’s tried fighting her feelings by investing further into her marriage but it doesn’t make her happy anymore. Kate is who she really wants to be with.
How would Rana feel if people on the street found out?
I think she would be mortified if people on the street were to find out as she is about to make her marriage official with the Civil ceremony. The last thing she wants is to be judged by anyone and fears how her parents would react if they were ever to find out.
What was your first thoughts when you were told about this storyline?
I was so excited and instantly on board! Having the extra element of the cultural aspect of the character, I knew this was something I wanted to explore and support.
What advice would you give Rana if she was your friend?
The best advice I could give to Rana would be ‘to be true to herself- the sooner the better’. There is nothing worse than suppressing feelings, any kind of feelings. Everyone has the right to be who they are- regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation.
What's the reaction been like from viewers so far?
Hugely positive. It’s so humbling to see how supportive the viewers are of Rana’s journey. Also, social media has gone wild for #kana.
How important is this storyline to be shown on Coronation Street and why? What do you hope this storyline will achieve?Coronation Street is a hugely successful show, which reaches a wide audience and is a great platform to tackle difficult subjects. Being from an Asian background, I feel incredibly passionate about Rana’s storyline as it is still such a taboo subject within the Asian community. The more I researched the struggle the LGBT community are faced with, the more I wanted to support it. Kate Oates was so supportive which gave me the drive to make this storyline work. I really hope Rana’s journey sparks conversation- especially within the Asian community and breaks the silence.
What's the best thing about working with Faye Brookes?Faye is a dream to work with! We have the same work ethic and I love how we feed off each other’s energy. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to share the screen with.
Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter