(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog February 2018, reposted to this blog with permission.)
How afraid should Nicola be of Phelan?
I know she should be very afraid of Phelan because of what he is capable of but they have a very unique relationship which is not like any of the other characters on the street… she is his Achilles Heel!
Even though she is in a unique position she is still very brave, why has she decided to go against Phelan?
She is so brave! She is such a strong, feisty woman - a proper justice warrior - and she knows that Anna is wrongly imprisoned, she knows that Luke is dead and that Phelan is responsible for that. She cares so much for Seb and now Anna, who is the grandmother of her child, so she has chosen to put herself in that position. She isn’t thinking about herself, she just wants the best in the people involved.
Tell us what happens when Nicola takes a call from the police.
Nicola is told there has been a burglary but she takes the phone call from the police when she is with Phelan so she plays it cool. But when she turns up at the flat she is panicking because she doesn’t know what has happened to Seb - this is a moment where everything changes for Nicola. She doesn’t know for certain but she is fairly sure that it must have been Phelan.
What are her first thoughts?
It is terrifying because if it is true he is a very, very dangerous man. But she's not stupid, she is a smart girl and she know show to play him and his weakness… she does that very well.
How confident is she that her plan will work?
She is very confident because knows that there is no way that Phelan would do anything to hurt her or harm her unborn child but she does know that he needs to trust her in order to let his guard down and let something slip.
Do you think she still has feelings for Gary?
I don’t think she has any feelings for Gary romantically. Certainly, he is the father of her child and there’s a strong emotional connection with that because she does really care about him as a person. They are really good friends and Nicola can see how much he loves Sarah still and she knows that she has got in the way.
Tell us what happens when Nicola calls to talk to Sarah.
Nicola has got really good intentions and wants to put things right so she goes round and talks to Sarah, telling her that she is the one for Gary. Sarah is very suspicious because Nicola and Gary have been spending a lot of time together but Nicola can’t tell her why that is because obviously it’s a massive secret.
Just as she is about to put things right, what happens?
Nicola collapses in agony and she panics because she is worried that something is going to happen to the baby. She has a massive pain in her stomach and Sarah rushes her to hospital.
What happens when Phelan visits her in hospital?
Phelan asks to be left alone to talk to her and she agrees because she thinks she is in a hospital, a seemingly safe place. But she is not very well at all so she is in a really vulnerable position. Nicola is very wise to him, she knows that he is a good actor and that he is a very good liar. But this throws her because she can see that he is telling the truth this time, he is genuinely very upset...
What has this storyline been like to film with Connor McIntyre?
It is such an interesting story to play as an actor because there has been loads of scenes where Nicola and Phelan have been together where they both know or suspect what the other one is up to but because Eileen is there, they pretend as if everything is fine. It’s really subtle but it’s been so much fun to play with Connor. Who knows what? The stakes are really high at this point.
What did you think when you read these storylines?
Phelan is always the one playing other people so it’s so much fun to be playing the daughter that is on to him! I’ve loved how much the dynamic has changed, it’s been so much fun to play.
What has it been like working with Tina O’Brien?
I have watched Tina since I was a teenager so it was really lovely. I was very nervous doing my scene at The Platts even though I have been here eight months! Tina is such a pro, she knows exactly what she is doing but she is really gracious as well. I hope Nicola and Sarah get more scenes together because too often women are set against each other and in this situation, Nicola is not fighting over Gary, she wants Sarah to be happy. But whether they can play happy families, we have yet to find out...
Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter