An Interview With Paige Sandhu
Once again, Meena finds herself at the centre of all the drama. Do you enjoy playing such a character?
I really love playing Meena. She’s a dream part and I love playing on the fact that she’s a psychopath and she doesn’t feel emotions the way the rest of us do. I’ve loved figuring that out, doing the research into it, understanding what that would feel like. Also, I love her relationship with Manpreet as there’s a lot of history between them, they’ve got a really interesting relationship. It’s interesting that she’s not able to feel love for people but the one person she can feel any semblance of love for is Manpreet. It’s fun to dive into that and to go to these places that you wouldn’t ever do in normal life. Murdering someone, murdering someone without feeling any guilt, doing everything you can to get what you want. The manipulation is a fun thing to play and the fact that she’s constantly wearing a mask. The only time that mask is taken down completely is when she’s about to murder someone and then the victim is the only person that gets to see the real Meena.
And how does it feel to be involved in such an ambitious week of drama?
It’s like a dream come true. It’s so much fun, the stunts, travelling to the different locations, the well-written scenes, all the different aspects involved, the cast. I’ve been really excited for weeks and now we’re doing it, it is so exciting.
What's the atmosphere been like on set?
Everyone’s been mucking in and enjoying it. They’re long days and difficult terrain makes it difficult for the crew but because it’s so different from our usual day-to-day, everyone is really enjoying it and grateful for the chance to be involved. Also, for over a year we’ve had to be two metres apart but because we’ve isolated and created a bubble we’ve been able to have so much fun and be near each other. It’s been incredible. I got to hug Rebecca for the first time ever so that was really nice as well.
What do you enjoy the most about working on location?
It makes it easier to act. With all the cliff sides and the river, all the surroundings make it feel so much more real. In a studio, you have to imagine the fourth wall which you don’t have to do on location. Plus the weather has been great too.
We’re filming some of our biggest stunts, do you enjoy being in the centre of all the action?
I absolutely love it. It has been my favourite time on Emmerdale so far and I think that has been the general consensus with all the cast and crew. We have all loved it. We finished filming on Monday and everybody was just really sad to be returning to normal filming as it's been the most special, incredible, fun, amazing time ever. Everyone has brought their A game and we have all just been really grateful to be a part of it. I am looking forward to seeing it, I don't generally like to watch myself but because the stunts are so incredible and we've had all the fancy camera equipment I think it is hopefully going to be epic Emmerdale to see. So I will definitely watch it. From the clips I've seen so far it's going to be cool and exciting.
Did you have a stunt double?
I had a few stunt doubles throughout this project. In fact one was a man and he was quite a tall man too. He had to wear a brown wig with plaits in, as Meena has plaits for this week of filming. It was strange to see this tall man walking around half looking like me. When we were doing white water rafting the cast did it on a green screen but the stunt doubles did it for real in the river. It was great to see them working.
Meena has her sights set on Victoria and will do anything to get her out of the way. Can you tell us what she has planned for Victoria?
Meena doesn’t like Victoria as she’s so meddlesome and won't leave David alone. When Meena finds out they’re in love, it triggers something in her. Meena doesn’t set out to kill for the thrill. Even though she does enjoy it, she doesn’t need to kill for the excitement. However, when it comes to someone standing in the way of what she wants, she will kill. Victoria is standing in the way of what she wants, which is David. She really doesn’t like Victoria and will do anything to get her out of the way. She tampers with Victoria’s abseiling pack and is really excited to start the survival challenge because she gets to watch Victoria die. Plus she wants to see David suffer because he’s essentially cheated on her and seeing Victoria die will do just that. Her number one priority is to get rid of Victoria anyway she can so I’d say Victoria is in a lot of trouble.
We know Meena holds Victoria down in the water. Tell us about filming that bit of the sequence.
There is a sequence where Meena holds Victoria down in the water to drown her. We filmed in a waterfall at a special watercourse place and it took 2 days to film. We were spending all day in the water. We were drenched, soaked through, our shoes, everything. But it was amazing. It was so fun, so fulfilling. I loved the surroundings, the location as they were so beautiful. The second day was really cold so everyone was shivering especially Isabel who plays Victoria and her stunt double as they were in the water much longer. But it was so much fun.
There are many twists and turns this week but the first thing the audience will see is Meena lying motionless in a maize maze. Will Meena find herself in danger and could her reign of terror end this week?
Through all of the carnage that happens, Meena could find herself in mortal danger. She’s so caught up in her plan and enjoying the kill that she may find herself caught up in a situation where she could potentially die.
Keep up to date with all of the drama on the ITV Hub.