Alison King discusses the battle for the factory, life after Aidan and Carla's disastrous love life - especially where Peter's concerned...
How has Carla been feeling since Aidan’s death because she had kept it together for so long and been everyone’s rock?
She was trying to be strong but she needed to have that meltdown and fighting Alya for the factory was her denial and when it looked like she had lost it all, it was a release, everyone told her it wasn't her fault and she knows that but she still believed she had played a part in his death.
What was it that was making her feel guilty?
It was the fact that like all of them she couldn’t help and she didn’t know how he was feeling. She tries to help everybody and fix everybody and she feels has done so many things wrong, she was out of control and she couldn't do anything to fix it. She was able to grieve at the funeral and she was able to cry but she still felt as though she had played a part in it, coming back to Weatherfield, giving him the factory.
Does seeing the DVD help her?
It was a bit of a shock for her, but it does help the guilt a little because he says in it he would do anything to save her life and also to realise that he was perhaps going to kill himself then but didn’t because he wanted to help her. Hearing him say that and getting a chance to hear him say those words helps.
Is the factory a good place for her to be? Does she need that focus?
She needs a focus that is what she does when she is in a hole and she does care about the girls who work there, it is her thing. As soon as she found out Alya had been left it she fought for it, she admits to Johnny it wasn't so much about the fight for the factory it was about having something to do to take her mind off Aidan, rather than sitting on her own admitting that she was going through pain.
In my head she is also in turmoil hearing Johnny fight for his granddaughter when he never fought for her, but she can’t do or say anything about it gets on top of her, all these things add up and the factory is her self medication.
Why do you think she struggles to admit her feelings to people and open up?
She has got many different layers, she is soft on the inside and she cares but it is the way she was brought up, you get on or you get out. Nothing in her life has been constant, either she has pressed self-destruct or the person she is with has pressed self-destruct, so she is not used to being happy.
The nearest she got was Nick and he was not in a good place at that point so the rug is always ripped out for under her but she feels she can control things at Underworld.
Peter is her other achilles heel but this time she has managed to stay away from getting drawn into his orbit up till now. What is it about those two that keeps drawing them back to each other?
I think essentially they just love each other and it is a very kind relationship under the surface not matter what has gone on, even when they say they hate each other they actually know that they don’t, that is something in their chemistry, it isn’t something they can do anything about because they have similarities.
Do you think they are good together?
No I think they are better apart but I like working with Chris so much that I don’t want that to be the case. I think they are great as that on off relationship, that will they won’t they.
Is her worry about him investing in the factory because she of that connection?
Absolutely and also she is angry, how dare he try and ‘get into bed with her’ financially and try to be her saviour and think she is just going to roll over just like that. But she does protest too much really, when she says to Toyah she wouldn’t go near ‘That’ again and it is that thing of hitting a boy because you really like him and that is how she is with him.
How does Michelle feel about it?
She is worried about her, she is sticking her oar in everywhere, following her and asking her what she is up to. She is so against him. Michelle and Cala have such a great relationship and for them both it is the most important relationship, forget the men they will alway have each other’s back. It is fun and they get each other, they have a laugh and I love that comes through, even when they are screaming at each other there is unconditional love.
Would you like to see Carla happy in love and happy generally?
Yes!! It would be far easier to play, I’ve had a lot of drama it is nice to get a balance and play the lighter stuff and some comedy!
Do you think if she decides to go into business with Peter she will try and keep it all above board and business like?
I think she will want to try and do that but she is a swan on top of the water with her feet going like crazy underneath. She knows it is not ideal going into business with Peter, she knows it would be disastrous because she knows her heart is flipping but she needs him and she hates that she does.
Do you love being part of the Connors?
Yes I do, they have got their fingers in so many pies now it is like ‘Connornation Street’ there are so many different and complex characters and they are all brilliant, Kate who is crazy and impulsive and caring, Jenny thinking she rules the roost and Michelle and Carla who are more like sisters than real sisters. Johnny and Carla are closer than ever, when he held her hand after the inquest she was made up , she needs that father figure in her life and now she has it.
Is this a different Carla this time around?
I think she is wiser, there is an element of her being calmer, she takes things a bit more in her stride and is more in control of her reactions to situations.
How do you think Nick’s return will impact on the dynamic of Carla and Peter?
It will be interesting to find out, I hope it does have an impact. Nick was the love of her life and he was the calm one, he is the calm grown up, the one that would have been good for her and then there is Peter who couldn’t be more different. There is a lot there to be explored.