When the Rovers goes up in flames with a terrified Stella trapped inside, her life flashes before her. Michelle Collins reveals how Stella really feels about Jason and Karl, and what it was like to film the dramatic fire scenes in this exclusive interview.
(Warning, this interview contains storyline spoilers)
Question: How does Stella feel about the way Karl has become obsessed with her? Does she find it quite scary?
Answer: He becomes very obsessive to the point that she starts to worry a little bit. She does feel quite threatened by him at this point and is starting to worry about his behaviour.
Q: She’s asked Jason to move into the pub with her. What are her feelings towards Jason? How serious is their relationship?
A: I think the cracks are starting to show in the relationship that are making her realise that he’s not just young in terms of age, but he’s also quite young maturity wise too. In a way, Karl scaring her has made her think that she doesn’t want to go into another relationship like that again, and she jumps quite quickly into moving in with Jason.
She does still have quite strong feelings for Karl even though she’s pretending that she doesn’t. She’s having fun with Jason and finds him physically very attractive, so she might as well have him around at the minute.
Q: When she discovers that Dev and Sunita are back together, why does she interfere by telling Dev he’s making a terrible mistake?
A: Basically she thinks Dev is making the wrong decision and that Sunita is totally untrustworthy. Actually Stella and Dev get on really well, she certainly feels for him and doesn’t want him to get hurt.
Q: Sunita goes mad when she finds out Stella’s words have resulted in Dev dumping her. How does Stella react when Sunita rages at her and hits the bottle?
A: She gets quite upset about it. She’s embarrassed too, as Sunita throws a drink all over her in front of everyone in the Bistro, so she leaves and goes home. She just doesn’t want to get involved in this all over again.
Q: When does Stella realise that the pub is on fire?
A: Well she’s left the Bistro quite upset after the palava with Sunita, so she just wants to relax and de-stress so she goes back to the Rovers for a nice bath. The lights go out first of all before she starts to see and smell smoke. At that point I think she genuinely believes she’s going to die. She tries to open the window, but it’s jammed. She can’t get down the stairs either.
Q. How does she feel when Karl comes to the rescue?
A: He is her knight in shining armour! But then they start to think they’re going to die together, there is that point where she just thinks: this is it.
Q: What was it like to film these scenes?
A: It was quite frightening. I didn’t think it would be as scary as it actually was! I tried not to think about it, which was a good idea. I spent my time talking to the special effects team instead. I did feel very protected by everyone there. There were lots of firemen there and lots of people safeguarding. And of course I had the rest of the cast and crew with me too. Everyone was really supportive, but it did feel like a real fire.
Q: Early investigations point to an electrical fault in the cellar. Does Stella blame Jason for this?
A: Initially they do think it’s Jason, and many people are pointing the finger at him, so it’s difficult for her not to think it too.
Q: Karl is being hailed as the hero, does this change the way Stella feels about him?
A: Oh yes, absolutely. As far as she’s concerned, he saved her life. There was always love there between them but when he does this and nearly dies for her it definitely brings them much closer together.
Q: Any memorable moments from filming these dramatic scenes?
A: I was very worried about my pyjama pants falling down when I was being thrown over Tony Hirst’s shoulder! Very glamourous I know.
More features on the website
See the exclusive Rovers' fire pictures
Keep up with all the Price family affairs on their storyline page
Watch episode spoilers of all the unfolding drama.
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