TALK­ING TO: Sally Car­man

(Abi Franklin in Coro­na­tion Street)

RTÉ Guide - - Soaps -

As Abi strug­gles to gain ac­cess to her chil­dren, and her friend­ship with Tracy falls apart, we chat to Sally Car­man to find out how Abi’s sad but grip­ping sto­ry­line de­vel­ops.

The twins seem to be the cat­a­lyst for Abi’s down­ward spi­ral, but what makes her turn to the vodka this time?

Abi’s kids are her heart and her weak­ness and she knows that she has let them down, so it’s a mix­ture of her shame, her guilt, her fear and her lack of trust in her­self that are al­ways the cat­a­lyst for her spi­ralling out of con­trol. It’s also be­cause she hasn’t got the sup­port, or the means, or the strength to over­come that, which is a shame be­cause it wouldn’t take much.

Why does Abi so of­ten turn to drink and drugs?

Abi can’t deal with her prob­lems and so she blocks it all out. That’s as much as she can do be­cause she doesn’t know any bet­ter.

Tell us how Abi re­acts to the news that her con­tact with the twins has been sus­pended be­cause of her drug re­lapse…

That’s a dif­fer­ent kind of blow be­cause it’s that thing where some­one can’t quite be­lieve their luck, so they think that some­thing will go wrong and it’s a self-ful­fill­ing prophecy. That’s what has hap­pened with her: when she gets that news she is dev­as­tated, but she knows it is com­ing.

What makes Abi reach out and con­tact Tracy for help?

Abi has al­ready had a drink, so at that point she knows she is min­utes away from tak­ing some­thing else and she knows that once she starts, there’s no go­ing back. She man­ages to ring her only real friend in the hope that she will help her like she has done in the past but it just doesn’t work out. That is the cat­a­lyst for her go­ing un­der be­cause she feels she has been let down and she hasn’t got that strength within her­self.

Does Abi see Tracy as a good friend?

She does. She has thrown all her eggs in one bas­ket with Tracy be­cause she ex­pects her to treat her with full loy­alty. That’s the thing with Abi; if you get her loy­alty then that is it, for­ever. She thought she got that with Tracy, and ac­tu­ally, she did, but be­cause Tracy is also very flawed, she pan­icked and made a bad de­ci­sion and that just hap­pens to be at Abi’s ex­pense.

What is Abi’s re­ac­tion when Tracy re­veals that it was her who got Abi into trou­ble with the po­lice?

It’s the last thing Abi would have thought about Tracy. She can­not be­lieve it. Abi re­acts in a way that seems to be anger, but ac­tu­ally, she is so hurt and dis­traught.

You were orig­i­nally cast for just a few episodes, did you ever think that you would get such a big sto­ry­line?

I feel priv­i­leged. I can’t quite be­lieve it be­cause I have not been in the show very long and when I get the scripts and read what I have, it’s just jam-packed with such lovely stuff. I’ve been so lucky with the peo­ple I have worked with and I know I keep say­ing it, but I do feel lucky! I am de­lighted that the writ­ers feel they can write for me and hope­fully, I will keep giv­ing them stuff so they feel they can keep writ­ing for my char­ac­ter.

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