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…
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?