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Coronation Street

Rachel Leskovac On Her Emotional Last Scenes

We spoke to Rachel Leskovac about her emotional last scenes with Ben Price and Jude Riordan...

That was a heartbreaking episode, how emotional were those scenes to film in the hospital with Jude?

I’d done a bit of filming with Ben Price before Jude came onto set and I was already feeling quite emotional but because it was my last scene filming with him from the moment I saw Jude I just started crying and I didn’t stop till they said cut. It was really emotional to the point I couldn’t look at him in between takes because I just found it too difficult, it was pretty much non stop crying. I’m a very emotional person - or some might say a right softie! The bond I have with Jude is very strong and I hope that’s come across on screen. 

Was it hard to say goodbye to Jude because you formed such a close bond with him?

It was a really emotional day for both of us, because it was our last day of filming together. We'd got each other little gifts so we ended up cheering each other up in the car park after we’d finished. He’s got a really special place in my heart, from the first time I Facetimed him before I met him on set I just knew that we would get on really well and it’s been an absolute joy to film with him. I’m going to really miss working with him but we’ve said hopefully at some point in the future we’ll get to work together again.

Do you think Natasha knew as she went into surgery that she might not come back, was she saying her goodbyes?

Yes that’s the way I felt it was with the writing but obviously Natasha doesn’t want to be so direct with Sam being so young. There is an element of her wanting to protect Sam but certainly it felt like she knew it was unlikely that she’d be seeing him again so that was another reason why that scene was particularly tough to play. 

Sam is obviously going to hugely struggle with losing his mum, do you think Natasha would have faith in Nick now as a father?

She doesn’t really say much to Nick but there’s a moment where she looks at him and she just says his name, hopefully in that moment what will come across is that feeling of knowing. The way she looks at him and his response is basically letting her know that he’s going to be alright. I think she does trust that he will be a good dad to Sam despite what they’ve been through. I don’t think she’s ever doubted his love for him but perhaps sometimes his priorities. But sometimes it takes something really big to happen for people to step up and she doesn’t doubt that he will. 

What’s it been like returning to the show this last 18 months and working with Jude? Also Ben and Jane?

It’s been an absolute pleasure to be back. I feel really honoured to be a part of Coronation Street and although this time it’s been in the new building that felt like the only new element about it because there are so many of the old crew still there. I was absolutely welcomed with open arms, people often talk about a sense of family on soaps and it does sound pretty corny but it is true. You’re in this bubble together, it’s very intense but despite it being 10 years ago it very quickly felt like I’d never left. It definitely has that sense of family and I was really lucky to be working with Ben and Jane who are both really generous actors and were really excited to bring in this whole new dynamic to their storyline and explore the possibilities.

Have you enjoyed being part of Coronation Street again and getting to return to the cobbles? It must have been strange returning during Covid?

It’s been bittersweet, I’m hugely grateful to have worked during this period of time unlike a lot of my peers but on the other hand it does feel like there was so much more we could have explored with the character had times being different and Covid not so restrictive. I think that’s what I’ll miss the most, having that opportunity to watch her branch out and form relationships with different characters on the street. On the positive side of going in during a pandemic because the crews were stripped back it felt quite intimate which is always nice. There was more opportunity to do two handers and I like the intimacy of that.

Natasha’s had a lot of big story moments over the years. What will you miss most about playing her?

Just exploring the character, she came back as a mum and Sam is such a massive part of her life, but I would have enjoyed exploring other relationships on the street. 

What was your favourite storyline during all your time on the show?

I can’t pinpoint one specific storyline but what I’ve enjoyed the most this time is getting to work with Jude which has been a real pleasure, also getting to have some scenes with Sue Nichols and Helen Worth who I just look up to so much. The fact that I’ve got to work closely with those two has brought me a lot of pleasure. 

What are you planning to do next?

Part of the joy of being an actor is the prospect of new work, new beginnings, having the opportunity to challenge yourself creatively over and over again, whether that’s on stage or screen we shall see but I’m very much looking forward to spending Christmas with my family. 

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Coronation Street