Next up in the trio of blog interviews at Media City, in the Bistro, is Tina O’Brien, who plays Sarah Louise Platt.
Before Tina can say anything beyond hello, someone blurts out, ‘You look like Bethany! Tina takes it all in good part and replies, ‘It’s really good. People keep going, woah! It’s the cheeks, I thiknk!"
So what’s it like to be back?
So what’s it like to be back?
It’s lovely! It’s been weirdly normal. I thought I was going to walk in and feel very much like the new girl, but actually, I did a scene in the Platts’ house the other day and it was strangely normal, almost like someone was going to pinch me and say, ‘You’ve been in a coma for seven years.’ It was odd but really nice.
How did you feel about the whole place being changed?
I think for the better and because I have been gone, I have lost any nostalgia for the old building, so coming here has been a nice experience for me.
How did it happen, your coming back? Did you have any reservations?
Well I’d been to see Stuart Blackburn and then I was in the process of having a baby. After I’d had Beau, the subject was brought up again. I said I’d love to. There are things, relationship issues, which are unfinished with David, Gail and Jason. Also, now there is the whole new dynamic with Bethany. I jumped at the chance and I’m very excited about it all.
You had just given birth so presumably you like a challenge!
It was nice actually because it meant that I could spend really precious time with my little boy, but I also knew something was coming up too.
Is it hard coping with a baby and working?
It’s like any mum - it’s a juggling act. I wouldn’t be able to do it though if it wasn’t for my partner Adam. He’s been amazing. I had an early start today so he did the night feed. He is a personal trainer and has flexibility. He can stay at home on Mondays and looks after Scarlett, who is 6 and baby Beau.
Does your partner make you work out?
Well I did go to the gym and I asked him to send me some exercises but he said he was too busy looking after the children.
You only had a few months to get back in shape.
I’m not back in shape at all yet. I’ve been asking for bigger trousers!
Have you been looking back at old episodes to get back into Sarah’s character?
I was nervous at first but then I got a few scripts and it all came back to me. When I did the scenes with Jack and Helen (David and Gail) they were great with me.
How has Sarah changed?
She is older and wiser. She has mellowed, though is still outspoken. She now thinks Weatherfield is more than a little beneath her. She struts in and says to David that he is still living with his mum! She has a softer side and there are some sweet scenes with Bethany, her daughter.
What do you think of Sarah’s mothering skills?
Well she was young when she had Bethany. I suppose she did the best she could. She is misguided though and is more of a friend than a mother.
What is the age difference?
Sarah was 12 when she had Beth. I am 31 and came into the show when I was 16 though I was playing a 12 year old. Lucy who plays Bethany is perfect for the part.
Bethany amuses herself doesn’t she?
Yes she does. In fact, she tells Jason that Sarah has built a shrine to him and that she is still in love with him.
Sarah has a relationship with Callum. What will that be like?
It is really nice to be working with Sean (Callum). I’m sure people will think it’s funny that she walks in and hooks up with the hottest guy. Her family are dead against it, especially David who tells her she must stay away from Callum.
What have you been doing since you left?
I did Call the Midwife, The Secret Diary of Ann Lister and Strictly.
You haven’t changed. What do you say to that?
I feel about 102! We’re usually in bed by 8pm! Not very rock ‘n roll!
How does Eileen respond to Sarah’s return after all the history with Eileen’s boys?
Well Sarah is having a catch up with Jason and he is trying to let her down gently because he believes Sarah is in love with him after Bethany tells him she is. Eileen is very straightforward, asking, ‘What are you doing back?’ Eileen has no fondness for Sarah!
Have you had a good reaction from the fans to your return?
Yes I have. But of course, when I left there was no Facebook or Twitter and you only got a reaction from people as you walked down the street.
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