Saturday, 9 July 2016

Strong Young Thing Interview

Check out this fabulous interview Faye did with @Georgiejourno for

Having been one of a handful of cast members signing new contracts in recent months, Coronation Street’s Faye Brookes AKA Kate Connor looks ready to take the reins as the matriarch of the Connor family. In a short space of time she has found out about her Dad’s affair, acquired a new family member, planned and cancelled a wedding … oh and a sneaky kiss with Sophie Webster. But with her FiancĂ©e’s lies set to be exposed very soon, the future for the perky factory worker is to become quite dramatic. We caught up with Faye Brookes recently to ask her all about her recent marathon, playing Kate and the power of social media.

SYT MAG: Congratulations on completing the marathon yesterday, have you recovered?  
FB: I am off today so I am going to get a massage. I properly went for it. It’s a cause that means to much to me. I like to keep fit, it’s a part of my daily routine so I thought I just need to go for it. But the competitive inner Faye was wanting to beat the best time and was saying “GO GO GO”, it’s like I left my body behind. I did 10k in 55 minutes. The atmosphere was unreal. I am so glad I took part.

SYT: I guess when you are surrounded by all those people the adrenaline kicks in and you just got for it?  
FB: There were 36,000 people in the race yesterday. It’s mental to think about. I was trying to get my head around it this morning from people telling me. I didn’t absorb it at all yesterday, it was all a bit of a blur.

SYT: Did you read a lot of the feedback on Twitter? You are quite together with social media.  
FB: I am totally loving the power of Twitter and how much money we did raise for The Royal Children’s Hospital, it means a lot to me. My brother went there when he was diagnosed with Leukaemia, I really wanted to give back and we did. Reading everyone’s comments they were just so excited for me and some of them were there, some were supporting through Twitter. That’s the amazing thing about social media these days is that it can have that effect on people.

SYT: Did you meet many fans whilst you were there?  
FB: They were all there. Some of them came to the tent when I was having my physio done and of them were at the parade on different parts. A map has been set out for the races so you end up meeting some of them along the way. There was a bus set up for the Royal Children’s Hospital and they were all dressed up, they didn’t know who I was, I was just wearing their t shirt, running past them and they are all cheering and shouting. It got me through. It was amazing.

SYT: Did you do much preparation beforehand or are you just a natural runner?  
FB: I did. I made sure I built up to a good kind of mentality for it. I was nervous on the day, I was taking my training to the point where I had to give myself a day off whereas usually I would be like ‘Oh let’s make sure I get a good fitness work out today’ and that is where I go to. If I don’t do anything I get a little bit twitchy. I’m a dancer, trained in theatre, if I don’t do something with 100% of me just going “YEAH YEAH YEAH” for about an hour then I am just no one’s. I’m just rubbish, I have no personality. So I was twitchy when it came to the actual 10k. I was ready to go and I had built up in my head that I was ready to do it. I think it was mind over matter at the end of it all.

SYT: So you were in Theatre, what made you do the jump from stage to screen?  
FB: It wasn’t necessarily a choice of doing a jump. I always wanted to be on TV and the right job came at the right time.

SYT: Did you know much about Kate before you auditioned for her?  
FB: Kate was a brand new character and I was in the middle of performing for Shrek the musical playing Princess Fiona. I got the call from my agent saying they want to find a new character, this is what her background is, are you interested? I said absolutely. I didn’t know what was in store for me. They were going to have her played as a lesbian, it was going to be her secret then there would be a big reveal, then they changed their mind. The writers were two-ing and throwing. I thought ‘This is what it is going to be like!’. I just didn’t know what to expect. I got down to the screen test with Kim, met the most amazing director and that was it. The rest is history. I am now a Connor and loving life.

SYT: You have acquired quite the fan base since being on the show. Did you realise how massive it would be?  
FB: No, I really didn’t and I am so grateful for the support absolutely. Like I said the power of social media these days is far beyond what I thought it was going to be.

SYT: Now Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster) also has acquired quite the following in the past few years. Did you realise how much of a stir you would cause?  
FB: I love being associated with Sophie Webster because wherever she goes I am loved as well. That’s how I feel. The likes of Brooke have been there since she was young, she has grown up on Coronation Street, so hats off to her she is like … a Corrie Princess, through and through. I have to basically follow in her footsteps so if I get to be associated with her even better.

SYT: Well you have some even bigger shows to fill with the departure of Carla Conner …  
FB: I know, I am gutted she has left.

SYT: Before joining the cast, did you have any worries? It is quite a big family to take on.  
FB: Oh I know and because I am from Manchester as well it is even better. I just relished in it. Not wasting a second. I have a massive support group behind me, my family, my friends and Gareth.

SYT: Well you are certainly have the social media side sorted. You are very good at it I have noticed.  
FB: I don’t know if I am good at it you know, I am just getting on with it. I speak to Richard Hawley and he is just getting in to it, he is so oblivious to how it works. We sit there, we talk about it, it gets to the end of the week and he is like ‘I think I need to take a break from this, it’s too much’. I think there is a way of just doing it, if you make it a part of your life then it is a natural way to reach out to fans and it is just the norm. It doesn’t have to be put on this pedestal. Yes we always have to think about what we say and do, naturally, it happens in everyday life. We all have our flaws. When it comes to social media I think there is a strong powerful outlook on it, that’s exactly what I take from it. I am just so grateful for the fans, I hope they keep following us and I will always be open to them, if they are happy to receive what I put out there.

SYT: What kind of things do they say to you?  
FB: I answer to fan mail too so it isn’t just Twitter I’m listening to. I listen to a lot of girls who have struggled coming out to their family and that is really interested for me because everyone knows I am playing a gay character but I’m not actually gay. So if I can help them in any way through the Kate Connor character that’s just a really lovely feeling, to walk away and know I have helped people not just playing a character then going home and having my dinner. Hopefully being a positive influence.

SYT: It’s great that you realise something like that because a platform like Coronation Street has a big impact in that way, if people can see it played out it then it gives it less stigma.  
FB: We need to keep the authenticity of Coronation Street which means we are real and people can relate to us.

SYT: How would you like to see Kate develop as a character?  
FB: I would love her to be the new Ali King but there is no point trying to be her. There is only one Carla Connor and that’s ok. I can be her little sister who hopefully gets to carry on in her footsteps in working at the factory and being a Connor.

SYT: Well you still get to wear awesome clothes …  
FB: Everyone loves her wardrobe!

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