Ni­cola is ‘Phe­lan’ the heat

AS NI­COLA’S CAM­PAIGN AGAINST HER OWN DAD HOTS UP THIS WEEK, NI­COLA THORP IS LOV­ING HER CHAR­AC­TER’S CRU­SADE…

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he’s a proper jus­tice war­rior,” ex­claims Cor­rie star Ni­cola Thorp, as we dis­cuss her char­ac­ter Ni­cola’s an­tics this week. But we reckon it takes one to know one! While Phe­lan’s daugh­ter is coura­geously plot­ting to ex­pose her dad, her real-life name­sake is a vo­cal sup­porter of and cam­paigner for women’s rights and equal­ity. And as we set­tle down for a chat, the ac­tress tells all on her char­ac­ter’s fight – and re­veals why she loves that the Street is a place where women thrive…

How did you feel when you learned that Ni­cola was go­ing to try to ex­pose Phe­lan?

Well, Phe­lan has al­ways been the one play­ing other peo­ple, hasn’t he? So it’s great fun play­ing the daugh­ter who is on to him! I’ve loved how the dy­namic has changed over time.

Ni­cola is no cow­ard, play­ing Phe­lan at his own game. Why is she so de­ter­mined to fight the fight?

Oh, she’s so brave! But she isn’t thinking about her­self, she just wants the best for the peo­ple in­volved. She is such a strong, feisty woman – she knows Anna is wrongly im­pris­oned, she knows Luke is dead and that Phe­lan is re­spon­si­ble for that. Ni­cola 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.

How con­fi­dent is Ni­cola that her plan will work? That Phe­lan is one slip­pery cus­tomer!

Well, she’s con­fi­dent be­cause she knows there is no way that Phe­lan would do any­thing to hurt her or harm her un­born child. She should be very afraid of Phe­lan, be­cause of what he is ca­pa­ble of, but they have a unique re­la­tion­ship which is not like any of the other char­ac­ters on the Street.

She is his Achilles heel, re­mem­ber!

While she deals with her dad’s wicked crimes, Ni­cola also has dra­mas of her own to deal with, since she’s car­ry­ing her neigh­bour Gary Win­dass’ baby. This week, she tries to clear to air be­tween her­self and Gary’s ex, Sarah...

Why does Ni­cola go to see Sarah?

She has re­ally good in­ten­tions. She wants to put things right be­tween Gary and Sarah. She tells Sarah that Gary and her are meant for each other, but Sarah is sus­pi­cious since he and Ni­cola have been spend­ing a lot of time to­gether. Of course, she can’t ex­plain why – it’s a mas­sive se­cret!

How have you en­joyed work­ing with Tina O’brien, aka Sarah?

I was very ner­vous do­ing my scene at the Platts’, even though I’ve been here eight months! I have watched Tina since I was a teenager, so it was re­ally lovely. I hope Ni­cola and Sarah get more scenes to­gether, be­cause too of­ten women are set against each other – but 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.

Okay, spill – do you think deep down Ni­cola has feel­ings for Gary?

No, I don’t think it’s ro­man­tic. Cer­tainly he is the fa­ther of her child and there’s a strong emo­tional con­nec­tion there, be­cause she cares about him as a per­son. They are good friends, and Ni­cola can see how much he still loves Sarah.

She knows that she got in the way.

Off-screen, star Ni­cola is well known for her sup­port of gender equal­ity, hav­ing cam­paigned against dress codes for women in the work­place af­ter be­ing asked to wear high heels on a temp­ing job. So she’s de­lighted to be on Cor­rie – a show known from the start for its strong women…

We pre­sume you’re a fan of your char­ac­ter’s feisty na­ture?

Oh, it’s great that we’ve got strong, pow­er­ful women on Corona­tion Street – in­clud­ing Kate Oates, our pro­ducer. And my God, it’s great to be play­ing this part, telling Pat Phe­lan that what he’s do­ing is evil and he can’t get away with it!

And soaps can send out a strong mes­sage like that to peo­ple, too.

That’s what’s great about them – you can have many generations of a fam­ily watch­ing to­gether and then talk­ing about these things. I’ve had that with my grandma, who is 65 years older than me. When we talk and say, “Well so-and-so off Cor­rie did that,” and we un­der­stand the moral­ity and ethics around it. That is a great thing to be part of.

Throw cau­tion to the Win­dass: Ni­cola re­grets her night of pas­sion with Gary

A step in the right di­rec­tion: Ni­cola cam­paigned against work­place dress codes for women

Pat on her back: Can Ni­cola fi­nally out­wit her dev­il­ishly wicked dad?

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