As a lonely Stella finds herself getting attention from an unexpected admirer, Michelle Collins talks about how she's enjoying working with Ryan Thomas, who plays Jason and Stella's latest love-life developments. (Warning - interview contains plot spoilers!)
Question: What would you do in Stella's shoes and how do you expect viewers to react?
Answer: Corrie is a matriarchal sort of programme and women seem to love it and love the female characters in it and get behind them. People seem to like Stella now that she has been there a while. I think women of a certain age can relate to her and I think that even if they don’t approve they might be thinking ‘ooh good on you.’ Jason is the sort of guy that people love so hopefully they will be rooting for them.
Q: Are you enjoying working with Ryan? What’s it like filming the saucy scenes?
It is very funny, I am really enjoying it. The romantic scenes are not very romantic. One day we clashed heads and he ended up with a nose bleed and I ended up with a swollen cheek. They were supposed to bring some ice and they brought out a cold potato as it was the only thing they could find so he was there with a bleeding nose and I was holding a potato on my cheek! But I don’t generally mind kissing scenes, you just have to get on with them, I don’t find them awkward.
Q: Turning to Stella, has she been missing having a man in her life?
A: I think Stella is the sort of woman who can actually cope very well on her own. Because she is a pub landlady she is in a man’s world in a way, there are more landlords than landladies so she has to sort of behave like a man in a way. Otherwise I don’t think other people in that world would take her seriously. She is very strong and very independant and she has got all her family problems as well with her daughter and her mum. She is one of those people who is everything to everybody, without being a do-gooder she does want to help people, especially family.
However, although she seems very strong on the outside, like a lot of women who are assertive when they get home, behind closed doors they can be lonely and she would possibly quite like to have someone around and have some intimacy. Behind closed doors she is very vulnerable and a little bit lonely. But she isn’t the sort of woman who would put up with anything rather than not have a man. She would rather be on her own than be with someone just for the sake of being with someone. She has had a few wrong’uns in her life so she is at a point where she isn’t prepared to do that.
Q: Has she missed Karl? Will she ever be over him?
A: I think she probably thinks she is but maybe in reality she isn’t. When you have been with someone for that long it is difficult to get over it when they have done something like that to you. She is hurt and the hurt has turned to anger and she has tried to hide her feelings. If she was advising someone else she would say there is no way they should go back with him, but at the end of the day no matter what someone has done you can’t just stop loving them like that.
Q: How has she coped, seeing him with Sunita?
A: No it doesn’t help that he is with someone right on her doorstep and that anger of how he did it and what he did have taken over. She probably thinks she hates him but there is a very fine line between love and hate. At this moment in time she thinks she hates him and if you asked her now if she would get back with him she would say no way! But who knows in the future?
Q: How does she react when Karl sends her a bouquet?
A: He comes to the pub and he has got the wrong end of their stick - he has started to think that she does want him back. He has turned up at the restaurant when she is having the blind date and he thinks he might have a chance but they have a showdown and she tells him there is no way she would get back with him in a million years.
Q: Where does Jason’s kiss come from and has Stella noticed him before?
A: She made some comments when he went out with Eva for a bit, she said she thought he was really nice, not the sharpest tool in the box but a lovely guy. But she has never really thought of him in that way at all. It would not be something that would enter her mind that he would even notice her. She is a bit shocked when he comes on to her.
Q: How does she feel after their night together? Does she think just a one-off?
A: In the beginning it is all playful banter really and she does think it would just be a one off. she is a bit embarrassed and mortified when people start saying things. She even apologises to him and says it was just a one off and she is surprised when he says he wants to see her again. Then she finds it all quite liberating and she even makes an announcement in the pub!
Q: What’s Stella’s reaction to being caught out? Does she mind Karl knowing?
A: Not at all she doesn’t think she has anything to lose and she likes the idea of him knowing she has got herself a younger model!
Q: Can she handle being the subject of gossip? Would she spend more time with Jason?
A: She is not the sort of person who enjoys being the subject of gossip. She is one of those people who would rather say ‘ok if you have got something to say say it now. she tackles things head o which sometimes is good but other times can be bad as well but at least with her what you see is what you get. She is tough but she is not a bitch. So yes she would.
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