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Coronation Street

Our Chat With Elle Mulvaney

How has Amy been coping since her rape ordeal, we’ve seen her trying to focus on university and resuming a normal life with her friends. Is she managing to have that focus or is she still very distracted by what happened to her?

Amy's still very distracted by what happened. Even though she's trying to put as much effort into her uni work as possible, things keep getting in her way. And I think as well, even though her friends mean well, telling her to focus on her work, Amy's left with a feeling that she could be doing much more. In having this feeling she's then feeling like she isn't doing enough, both in uni work and externally in terms of helping other people, hence why she starts setting up the drop in sessions.

Do you think being involved with the counselling is helping her or do you think Amy's still not really dealt with her own grief?

I think Amy thinks initially that it is really going to help and she thinks that putting all of her energy into something else is a good thing. But as we discover, through various conversations, as she starts to get deeper and deeper into the counselling sessions, she realises that actually this isn't a healthy way of coping, and that she actually hasn't dealt with anything at all. Rather than dealing with what happened to her, she's just been masking it by helping other people and putting her energy on to other things. So ultimately, it causes a bigger crash than if she was to just sit and deal with it herself.

How does she react when the girl comes into the drop in session who's had quite a similar experience to her? Does that trigger something in Amy? 

Amy really struggles to listen to her and to hear what she's saying because her story is so similar to Amy's story. Obviously, it's not identical, but there's lots of similarities with the fact that the girl was asleep, they’d been drinking and they were friends. It brings back all of those memories and also makes Amy feel so helpless because she's watching this girl who's so brave in telling her story and Amy's watching her thinking I could never do that. She's hoping that she can help the girl but doesn't even know how to help herself. I think that's when she realises how out of her depth she is.

She’s already in quite an emotional state when they go to the anti spiking march, which is obviously something that she feels really passionate about. How does Amy feel when Mason and his mates start making remarks? 

This goes back to Amy feeling like she isn't doing enough. She decides that she's going to go on this march and that she's going to really campaign for women's rights and anti spiking so she goes wholesale on it. She's trying to get other people involved and she's putting all of her energy into it. So I think when she's met by somebody who's got a complete opposite energy, who's trying to bash her down, she just loses it because she doesn't know how to cope with the fact that it isn't all going to plan. She's built it up so much in her head, that this march has to go well, she has to do something, she has to help people and now somebody's stopping her. She takes that as a personal battle against him and that's why she lashes out. 

The police see her lashing out and try to put a stop to it, which normally Amy would abide by, but not this time. Tell us how she's feeling when they try to put a stop to her?

I think she's just very triggered. She's seeing the same thing happen again, where a boy is being misogynistic and the police are getting involved yet they're just telling her off. So that gets her back up immediately because in Amy's mind, she hasn't done anything wrong. In Amy's mind she believes that she was going to a march peacefully, some idiot boy has tried to stop her and now she's getting the blame. So whilst obviously all of us can recognize that Amy's actions are wrong, she shouldn't lash out in that way, Amy can only see red because she's seeing a police officer fail to help her again. The same thing is happening again,  it's almost like she has been triggered once by the conversation with Kate and then she's getting triggered again by the police. This is just building up all of her emotions till eventually she implodes. 

Did you actually get to spray the paint on the car? Was it fun?

It was very fun, a lot of people commented on how good I was at it, which is worrying but yeah I enjoyed it. 

So Amy gets arrested, how does she feel then? Is she worried or is she just in too much of an emotional state to care because she thinks she's in the right?

She's in too much of an emotional state to care, normally Amy would be worried to be in trouble with the police, but because in her head she's on this spiral she can't even stop to see that what she's done is wrong. It's really difficult to try and reason with her and that's what Summer is coming up against. Summer’s trying to talk to her because she recognizes that there is a downward spiral going on but it's very difficult to get through to Amy because in her head she's in the right, she hasn't done anything wrong and she's willing to stand up for what she believes.

We see Amy later telling her family that she's going home to focus on her uni work but then we see her change her mind and head off into the night, what makes her change her mind?

I think it's just this feeling of not doing enough. When her friends are trying to help her, Asha says she has to prioritise and that really makes Amy think because in her head although Asha means you should be prioritising uni work, Amy takes it as she isn't prioritising this. So it's that feeling of she's not doing enough, and after Mason winding her up it’s that feeling that she still could be doing more. That's when she decides she’s going to the club.

She also has a conversation with Dylan that plays into this doesn’t she?

We see her friends try to calm her down and she is actually going to go home, then in the street she sees Dylan and he's walking without any shoes on. Amy can tell somebody's stolen his shoes and she has a conversation with him where he tells her that some people are just victims and that they're always going to be victims and that he just has to be okay with that. Amy is not happy with that at all and Amy then thinks to herself, I'm not being a victim anymore. She doesn't want to just accept that. So that's when she decides actually I am going to go out again, because I was right the first time. It's almost like she's getting two steps forward and then three steps back. Her friends had calmed her down and then she sees Dylan and It all goes downhill again.

She’s been to the club before hasn’t she, can you tell us a little bit about what she's doing there and what happens with this man ‘Dan’?

Amy is setting out to catch men who are predators. She thinks there's a lot of men who go out just to prey on drunk women, so she decides that she's going to go out and see if she can catch anybody in the act. Also after listening to Kate, who was spiked at a club, she then decides that she's going to go try and find out who did it basically. So she decides to go to the club and scan the room. She's looking for anybody who's a bit suspicious or anybody who she thinks might have an ulterior motive for being there and that's when she spots Dan.

She sees him spiking a woman’s drink, what does she do?

She decides that she needs to try and get the woman out of the situation, because she's the first priority. So Amy pushes the drink out of Dan's hand and covers the woman in drink so that she can have a minute with her to explain in the bathroom. At first, the woman's really difficult to get through to because she's drunk and she thinks that she's just scored, she thinks she's got a hot date for the night. So it's really tough because Amy’s trying to explain to her what consequences there could have been if she hadn't stepped in. Eventually she gets through to the woman and the woman leaves, then we see Amy decide to take matters into her own hands with Dan.

Do you think we’re about to see an unravelling of Amy after she’s been fighting to hold it together for so long? 

Everything's going to implode, because I think as Amy starts to realise that she actually hasn't got her things together, she realises that she's on a downward spiral and she doesn't know how to stop it. So in a way she's just now flowing with it, seeing where it goes, but by . the end of the episode with Dan we see her have a mental breakdown essentially, and then after that we’ll see Amy try and piece the puzzle back together.

Throughout all of this we see her Aadi being really supportive of her. Do you think there could be something more between them?

I think we all hope so. As a viewer watching, we're all rooting for them because everyone can see that they've got a great friendship, they're so similar and share a great sense of humour with their one liners. The McDonalds and the Alahans are both iconic families so I think as viewers, everyone wants them to get together, but whether or not it's the right time for Amy, is another question. I think as much as Amy has fancied him for quite a long time, the challenging part will be how a rape victim overcomes the fact that she has been raped and how she discovers a way to be intimate with people again. I think that will be something which is really interesting to explore on screen because anybody who has read anything about rape or knows any rape victims knows that it's no straight path to recovery. I think it's very difficult for people who've had something like this which is so traumatic happen to them, to become fine again and become okay with being intimate with somebody. Even the idea of being in a relationship with somebody again is really, really challenging.

Have you been pleased that we’ve continued to play out Amy’s journey after the rape?

Definitely. I think that's the truth of it and it wouldn't have done the storyline justice if she had been raped and then she was fine because that's not what happens to people. People don't get raped and then are fine again a month after, that’s not how it works. Every person who we've ever spoke to about rape, every person I've ever researched, every single one has said that there's a person before the rape and there’s a person after and they're two very different people. That's not saying that she can never have an intimate relationship again, that's just saying that she's going to have to rediscover how to do that. She’s going to have to find that comfort again, so we might see her taking a lot longer to get into relationships than before. Hopefully that will get easier over time, but I think definitely initially that's the truth of rape victims and to do stories like this we have to be true to the victims.

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Coronation Street