With Gina set to blur the lines between friendship and feelings, we spoke to Connie Hyde to find out if this could rock the boat on Tim and Sally's marriage.
How does Gina feel when Dev starts flirting with her again, is it too little too late?
Gina was very deeply hurt when it became clear Dev was embarrassed by her and she doesn’t see anyway to change that, because that’s who she is, if Dev can’t see past that and accept her for who she is then there is no way forward.
Coming on the back of a fallout with Sally, what are Gina’s feelings towards Sally at the moment?
She misses Sally terribly, she doesn’t want her to be in prison, but even though she’s in prison Sally's still trying to tell Gina what to do and how to live her life. Sally seems to be more bothered about bossing everyone around in prison, while Gina’s priority is now with the family and she doesn’t want Sally to cause any more upset for Tim. Gina’s grown very protective of Tim, he’s gone through enough and if Sally starts kicking off in prison then Gina thinks that’s going to have repercussions and cause more upset for Tim.
Despite their falling out, Gina’s doing a lot for Sally isn’t she...
Absolutely, she’s keeping her family together, she tells Sally to just keep her head down and bide her time because she’s keeping it all going at home for her.
It’s falling on Gina and Tim to try and get Sally out of prison. Gina’s moved into their house and is helping keep an eye on Faye and Sophie. Is Gina trying to step into Sally’s shoes?
She’s trying to, it’s a ready made family for Gina and something she’s never had, a functional loving family - so Gina embraces it and starts to enjoy it, maybe a bit too much.
Gina and Tim start spending a lot of time together, when does Gina start having feelings towards Tim and seeing him a different light?
It’s as basic as that, he’s kind to her and she hasn’t really experienced that with men in her life; her father was very abusive, her two marriages broke down, so I don’t think she’s ever had that stable loving environment. It’s simply that he’s kind or gives her a hug, these are things that she can misconstrue.
Fiz cottons onto that and makes a comment to Gina about them being like an old married couple, is Gina aware of her feelings at that point?
She denies it to herself, she feels secure for the first time in her life, she accepts they are mates, they like the same things, things which Sally doesn’t like. Tim embraces that fact that Gina seems to be on his level.
If Sally was out of the picture, or things were different, do you think Gina and Tim would make a good couple?
Gina would think so! Tim is quite basic so as long as he’s fed and his shirts are cleaned, I’m not sure he thinks much past that. I don’t think he would be particularly attracted to Gina, she’s a bit too volatile for him, but the stability she’s found at home has calmed her down and she’s showing a different side. Gina becomes quite the matriarch of the family, she’s very stable, she’s cooking for them, is very good with Faye and is keeping the household going. I think it would be chaos without her and for that reason Tim has become very comfortable living with her, she’s keeping the family going while he deals with what’s going on.
Does Gina feel any guilt towards Sally over her growing feelings for Tim?
She will do later, when it becomes something that she can’t control anymore and she realises that she’s falling for him. She’s tries to do everything she can to avoid falling for him, she goes on dates, she tries to make her own life. She knows fundamentally that it’s wrong but it’s hard to fight those feelings.
Does Tim encourage the internet dating?
Yes he does and Gina’s a little bit perturbed by that because he’s actively encouraging her to date other men. Gina does try but I’m not sure how successful it will be for her.
So is that the end of it for Gina as far as her feelings for Tim go?
It should be but it’s hard for Gina because he still makes comments like ‘you’re great’, ‘thank god you’re here’, he hugs her, he unwittingly encourages her feelings and it’s mixed signals for Gina. She’s a very volatile character and not so effective in reading the signs, the signs she reads are that he hugs her because he has feelings for her, not just because they are friends.
How far do you think Gina will go in pursuit of her feelings for Tim? Should Sally be worried?
Yes, because Gina’s volatile and she’s vulnerable, so Sally should be worried by the fact that what’s out of sight is out of mind for Gina. She’s quite literal and she could well be misreading the signs.
Gina’s quite a complex character, what the best thing about playing her?
She’s quite child like, there’s a certain innocence, she lacks in conscience and she does irrational things without thinking. Gina acts impulsively and I love that quality in her, it can get her in a lot of trouble which is also very interesting to play. Her foremost quality is to dive in there and regret later.
Do you enjoy playing the comedy and the drama with Gina?
I love that there are both sides to her character, she’s multi layered. She’s complicated, but I love the fact that we can also find the comedy in there.
Are you enjoying working more closely with Joe Duttine?
Yes, he’s a great actor, he’s passionate and wonderful to work with. Also Sally, I’ve never met an actress who’s been in the job so long and is still so passionate about it, wants to rehearse and is just brilliant. I’m missing her while she’s in prison!
What were your first thoughts when you heard about this storyline?
O-oh! Gina absolutely loves Sally, she’s the only person in her life that she can rely on so I’m really worried about how this could end. They came from the gutter together. Yes, Gina harbours a bit of resentment that Sally escaped that and she was left there, but she’s more than made up for it by taking her in. Gina is sometimes a reminder of where she came from and Sally doesn’t always like being reminded of that.