Mandy can’t resist Darren…
AS HER CHARACTER VOWS TO PUT HER AFFAIR BEHIND HER, HOLLYOAKS’ SARAH JAYNE DUNN RECKONS THAT’S EASIER SAID THAN DONE…
If we discovered at our wedding reception that our new husband was already married, and had a teenage son he’d failed to mention, we’d be furious and want revenge – but sleeping with your husband’s best mate is not the answer!
Yet that’s exactly what Hollyoaks’
Mandy did on her wedding night, after finding out that Luke was a bigamist. And although she and Darren agreed to put their secret night of passion behind them, it seems they just can’t keep their hands off each other…
“This kind of thing does go on in real life, doesn’t it?” muses actress Sarah Jayne Dunn, aka Mandy, as we grill her on her character’s extramarital shenanigans. “You often hear about people who have reconnected with an old flame – either online or when they’ve bumped into each other again after years apart. So what I like about this story is that the affair is happening with someone who Mandy has history with. I think that makes it believable.” We can certainly see how the lines have become blurred between Mandy and Darren, who first dated back when they were teenagers. But that doesn’t stop the whole situation from being incredibly messy – particularly as Mandy has chosen to forgive Luke for lying and give their relationship another go. “Mandy is committed to Luke – they’ve been together a long time, and she’s stuck with him through thick and thin,” Sarah tells us. “Luke was Mandy’s first love, and I think she almost feels like she needs to be there for him, because he will fall apart without her. She knows that what Luke did was wrong – but if she leaves him, what will happen to him? There’s a sense that they need each other, but at the same time they’re probably not right for each other.”
To add to an already strained relationship, Mandy and Luke now have Luke’s son Oliver living with them! And dealing with a teenager and his mood swings is taking its toll.
“Again, Mandy is standing by Luke, because he’s taken her daughter Ella on as his own,” Sarah reminds us. “But bringing a teenage boy into the equation is a big responsibility – it’s not like them having a baby. This is a young adult, someone who has his own ways and his own mindset. Also it’s not something that Luke discussed with Mandy – it’s just been forced on her. So it’s definitely causing a bit of friction between them.”
With all this tension in her romance, it’s no wonder Mandy is looking for a bit of light relief from Darren. And when his dad Jack suffers a heart attack this week, it seems he needs a little TLC, too…
“They just bump into each other, and Darren is in pieces,” explains Sarah. “He
and Nancy are bickering at the moment, and Mandy is starting to think that she shouldn’t have gone back to Luke. It’s not an intentional thing – the chemistry is just there between Mandy and Darren, and I think that’s what they can’t resist. They just can’t help themselves.”
But after the pair share another passionate moment, Darren has a crisis of conscience, and tells Mandy that they have to end things. Mandy agrees – but that doesn’t stop the green-eyed monster from rearing its head when Leela makes a pass at Darren (see p29)!
“Mandy really has no right to be jealous,” reckons Sarah. “But I think the fact that she is shows there are deep feelings between her and Darren. She knows that stopping their affair is the right thing to do, yet she’s sad about it ending. She doesn’t want there to be any more lying and cheating – but whether she actually believes they can control themselves is another thing!”
Something tells us that this isn’t the end of the story. And Sarah certainly hopes not, because she’s loving being stuck between her two leading men – Gary Lucy who plays Luke, and Ashley Taylor Dawson, aka Darren.
“I love everyone, but it’s nice to be working with people I’ve known forever,” she grins. “It’s like going back in time, yet we’re old with kids now! Gary and I have been back for months, but we’re still going, ‘Do you remember that night out we had?’ and ‘Do you remember when we went to that place?’. We’re constantly reminiscing, and it’s lovely.”
Luke how similar they are: Hollyoaks chiefs did a good job of casting Oliver!
Bubbly’s on the tray: Mandy fizzes with excitement when she sees Darren