Sunday, 27 May 2018

Coronation Street Blog interview: Kym Marsh & Tristan Gemmill

It’s been a turbulent time for Michelle and Robert in the last year where they have been seen to lurch from one disaster to the next. As Phelan storms the Bistro, will Michelle and Robert get to say "I do"? And when Michelle is caught in the crossfire and injured, will she survive?

As soap weddings go, it’s not bound to be all plain sailing for the couple as their day goes from bad to worse. The big day doesn’t begin without a hitch, as Steve makes an ill-judged move on Michelle. “He’s always going to be a plonker isn’t he?” says Kym Marsh, who plays the troubled bride. “[Steve] overhears bits of conversations which he then thinks that she’s having doubts about marrying Robert.” Upon Ali letting slip to Steve about Robert’s health scares recently, Steve is concerned about Michelle and as he leans in for a kiss, Robert walks into the Bistro and “misreads the whole thing”, according to Tristan Gemmill, who plays Robert Preston.  “He overreacts massively”, laughed Kym, where Tristan agreed.

With Steve’s attempt to kiss Michelle, Kym was asked if fans believe that Michelle and Steve should be together. “There’s always going to be misguided people!” joked Tristan. Kym went on to discuss whether Steve is the love of Michelle’s life. “Simon (Steve) and I always say they’re the Ross and Rachel of Coronation Street”, she said. “They always do that ‘will they, won’t they, are they going to get back together?’ and then they do get back together, and then he messes it up again, and ‘we were on a break!’ which we were laughing at because actually that did happen with Leanne.” Kym suggested that Corrie may follow the Steve and Michelle route again as they have an “emotional attachment”, but went on to say “that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s going to go anywhere.”

In the midst of everything happening to Robert in the last year, Tristan spoke about how much he has enjoyed Robert’s shift in character. “It’s been great for me. I think it always takes a bit of time to bed in… it takes a while for the audience to get used to you, for the writers to get a feel for where they want to place you. I think what’s really been interesting for me as an actor in the last year, year and a half, a part from obviously working with Kym Marsh, is this side of his addictive personality that he’s been addicted to steroids and addicted to exercise – he hasn’t got an off button and I think that’s an interesting place sort of psychologically to explore. So yeah, I’ve really loved it.”

If this amount of drama wasn’t enough for Robert and Michelle’s wedding day, Phelan arrives in true Corrie style and stages a siege in the Bistro. Taking Michelle as a hostage, she is caught in the crossfire and injured. When asked about how they feel about being a part of such a major storyline, Kym said “It’s absolutely brilliant, isn’t it? To be so involved in such a huge week for the show.” Kym went on to express her pride over Coronation Street. “I think we are touching on some really big issue based storylines, really important subject matter and we’re being talked about all the time.”

Tristan said “That’s a testament to the producers and the writers because they take that sort of things very seriously and they want to do it right and to send the right messages across, but at the same time, you know, dressing it up as a dramatic story and I think they’ve done that really well, and the response to the Aidan storyline certainly has been really positive.”

Despite Michelle and Robert’s wedding day not going quite to plan, they both agreed that it was good fun to film. “It was quite tiring but also really quite fun because it’s something I’ve not done before and it’s always great to add something else to your CV!” said Kym. She also said “It was quite physical. You’ve got to put everything into it to make it look good. I was a little bit kind of bruised and battered – emotionally quite draining as well.”

After filming scenes like this, Tristan said “some people can just switch off and just go home and carry on their normal day and some people need a bit of wind-down time.” When asked which one he was, Tristan admitted that he was the latter, but doesn’t “take that much wind-down time.”

Talking about the public’s reaction to these thrilling upcoming episodes and the Phelan storyline, Tristan said “I think they’ll be blown away by it.” He went on to say “They’ve (the writers) made him so slippery, they’ve made him get out of situations that you time and time again think, ‘right, bang, you’ve him, this time we’ve got him’, and he manages to wriggle out of it.”

Away from the dark drama, Tristan and Kym had a laugh about what it’s like working with each other. “We have a lot of fun filming it, and it can be tiring sometimes, but then whose job isn’t?” Kym said. Tristan continued “And sometimes when it is really dark, it’s good to just have a bit of a giggle about it, and that’s what Kym certainly is very good at doing.” “Making you laugh?” joked Kym. “Yeah, he does have to rein me in sometimes as I do get a little bit giddy. As soon as I start messing about he’s like, ‘have you had coffee?’"

As well as Michelle and Robert’s wedding day going awry, Michelle has also had to deal with the return of Ali (James Burrows) and Ryan (Ryan Prescott). I asked Kym if she’s been enjoying the dynamic of Michelle with both of her sons. “It’s great” she said. “They’re both such brilliant actors. Their characters are chalk and cheese and they really don’t like each other. It makes me laugh because there’s always a shot of James scowling at Ryan all the time!”

It was a pleasure to interview Kym and Tristan, and Michelle and Robert's future remains to be seen...

Sophie Williams

Read some more of my general natterings on Twitter @sophie_jw26.

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