Friday, 6 January 2017

Metro Interview

It’s weird to think that the expanded Connor clan are still considered Coronation Street newcomers – they have settled in to Weatherfield so well that it’s as if they have been there for years. And Faye Brookes is taking the baton in the Connor newcomer award relay from Shayne Ward at this year’s NTAs.

With Kate having proven popular with fans, we caught up with Faye to talk about being nominated in the National Television Awards, what the future might hold for Kate and her family and whether sparks could still fly with Sophie Webster.
Here is what she had to say:

Kate seems extremely settled as a Corrie character – do you still feel like a newcomer?

I still feel so brand new! I thought I’d missed the boat as I came  into Coronation Street a couple of months after Shayne (Ward, who plays Aidan) and obviously he won the Best Newcomer at the 2016 NTAs and I was so proud of him and so happy. But I just didn’t imagine I would be in the shortlist this year, I am so grateful for everyone’s support and it’s unbelievable.

What is it about Kate that you think fans have taken to?

I think it’s because she’s a bit different; I don’t think she is too eccentric that she will be one of those characters that you will remember forever and ever but she’s certainly someone that you can relate to, particularly the younger generation. I didn’t realise how many teenagers watch Coronation Street – it reaches so many and it’s obviously something they enjoy and something that reaches them and that they can relate to.
Obviously Kate is younger than me but for that playing age, people have obviously been able to take to her. Also, she’s fun, she says it like it is, she’s a bit of a drama queen sometimes but she also wears her heart on her sleeve and that might be what engages viewers.

After Shayne’s win, it’s now over to you to fight the Connor corner…!

Always flying the flag for the Connors, yeah! They’re a strong family, so absolutely!

What has been the highlight of your first year?

I loved filming Carla Connor’s wedding! The cast here have done their fair share of weddings but it was my first one. And I think the drama over that previous Christmas and Kate knowing that Carla is her half sister was the cherry on the top for me as I didn’t know that was going to happen when I first came into the show.
Having the scenes and stories with the family makes me feel like I am part of Corrie history a bit and it helps to give you roots and let you settle in. I think every character always wants to have that personal attachment to Coronation Street.

Coronation Street seems to have a big buzz around it at the moment – is the atmosphere exciting on set?

Oh, yeah, absolutely – especially as we’re going to six episodes this year, everything has to have a  positive energy – if you didn’t, why would you even be here? Everyone loves their job and is getting on with it and we all become like a family with our good days and bad days. The energy is strong because there are so  many fresh faces coming in and we are meeting so many people and we are all working with each other differently now – I am not just with my family now, but have also had scenes as Kate develops friendships which is great as you can explore the character more and there is more of a community feel on screen and off.

Would you like to revisit the potential romance between Sophie and Kate?

Oh, secretly I am always wanting Kophie to happen! The fans definitely do and I always appreciate their support with that. Brooke has been in Coronation Street since she was a little girl and has grown up in this world so to have her by my side makes me feel like I’m a good place. I love Brooke to pieces – I can see Kate and Sophie, maybe and eventually falling for each other. But I do think it’s nice to tease the audience with that so as much as I wish it, it’s not happening any time soon, that I know of. I just wish love for both of them – both of them deserve a happy ending!

What would be your dream 2017 storyline for Kate?

I would love Kate to become a little mini Carla – maybe a bit more responsibility at work or with the family. Maybe it’s not her picking up the pieces but can be her story. It’s nice not to know as well but I do wish more for her because I think there’s more to her than we actually see at the moment.
I could never fill Carla’s shoes but I think Kate can at least be a little, mini her.

And are you planning to stick around on Corrie?

I’m loving my life here – I hope they keep me on for as long as they want me! I am here for another year which is contracted so we’ll see what happens but I’d love to say.

Have you had a sit down with producer Kate Oates about her plans for Kate?

It was brilliant that when she came in, she sat down with every one of us and it was very personal. We talked about our characters before she’d even taken over – she did her research, the girl knows what is happening. She looked at old tapes and reminded us of stories that maybe even we had forgotten. She definitely got me excited about the Connors in general – I love that they are building up the Barlows and that there might be some family rivalry coming up. Watch this space!

Have you kept up with the work of the other nominees in the category?

I am definitely aware of Emmerdale as they are our sister show and we always support each other but there’s no Emmerdale in the Newcomer category this year. I do know of Duncan (James, Ryan in Hollyoaks) and he definitely seems to be one to beat but I don’t think anyone is competitive. We’re all newcomers and happy to be where we are. For fans to vote a newcomer, it’s getting their seal of approval so hats off to everyone to make it into the category as there are so many new faces coming into soaps right now and soaps are hard work. I have done the transfer from theatre, Duncan has done it from music and Tilly (Keeper, Louise in EastEnders) is so young and you can forget how hard it is.

Everybody is just excited to be a part of such a fascinating industry. We’re really proud to fly the flag for Coronation Street and we see the same atmosphere with Emmerdale, EastEnders and Hollyoaks. It’s just all the more reason to just get together and celebrate each other.

You can vote for Faye and Coronation Street in the NTAs by following this link.

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