Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Sally Carman interview: Abi arrested - and it's Tracy's fault

The twins always seem to be the catalyst for Abi’s downward spiral, what makes her turn to the vodka this time?
Abi’s kids are her heart and her weakness and she knows that she has let them down so it’s a mixture of her shame, her guilt, her fear and her lack of trust in herself that are always a catalyst for her spiralling out of control. It’s also because she hasn’t got the support, or the means, or the strength to overcome that which is a shame because it wouldn’t take much. It would take a couple of good friends and a bit of stability but she doesn’t have quite enough of that to give her the strength to fight for her kids. 

Why is that the first thing that Abi does, turning to her vices like drink and drugs?
Abi can’t deal with her head and so she blocks it all out and that’s as much as she can do because she doesn’t know any better. 

What makes Abi realise she needs help when she tries to contact Tracy?
Abi has already had a drink so at that point she knows she is minutes away from taking something else and she knows that once she starts, there is no going back. She manages to ring her only real friend in the hope that she will get her and help her like she has done in the past but it just doesn’t work out. That is the catalyst for her going under because she feels she has been let down and she hasn’t got that strength within herself. 

Does Abi see Tracy as a good friend?
She does, she has thrown all her eggs in one basket with Tracy because she expects Tracy to treat her like she treats Tracy and that is with full loyalty. That’s the thing with Abi, if you get her loyalty then that is it, forever. She thought she got that with Tracy, well actually, she did get that with Tracy but because Tracy is also very flawed, she panicked and made a bad decision and that just happens to be at Abi’s expense. 

What is Abi’s reaction when Tracy makes her confession?
An actor reacts to the emotional trigger points in a script so when I read that script, it was like someone had chucked a bucket of cold water on me. When we did the scene, I remember Kate saying the lines as Tracy and I couldn’t speak for a few seconds and it’s because Abi cannot register what she is saying. It’s the last thing Abi thought of Tracy, she cannot believe it. Abi reacts in a way that is anger but actually she is so hurt and distraught.

Did that make it a hard scene to film?
It was actually a great scene to film because all the emotions are there and as upsetting as it is, it’s great because it is something to get your teeth in to.

Did you enjoy Tracy’s and Abi’s friendship? How do you feel about it potentially coming to an end?
Kate and I are absolutely gutted because we get on so well! I love Kate to absolute bits and we have really enjoyed all the funny stuff we have had to do. We clicked instantly and we are really good friends now so it is really gutting for us. We keep saying we hope the writers will make Abi and Tracy friends again because I have all the time in the world for Kate.

Tell us about when Abi gets the news that contact with the twins has been suspended due to her drug relapse.
That’s a different kind of blow because it’s that thing where someone can’t quite believe their luck so they think that something will go wrong, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy and that’s what has happened with her. When she gets that news she is devastated but she knows it is coming.

Is this one of the reasons that pushes Abi to protect Seb when he trashes the flower shop?
Abi is trying to do her best and the best thing she can do for the twins is giving them a life where they are happy, with stability and love and money. With Seb, the best the she can do for him is to protect him from a life like hers so this is her way of doing that. She doesn’t want him to go down because she has been to prison herself. She can handle it and she does not want that for her son so she feels she is doing the right thing.

How does Abi feel when she is arrested?
After everything that has gone on, she is so down anyway so she is not bothered. Part of her feels like she deserves it for being such a bad mother and doing what she has done because she doesn’t think much of herself. But the fact that she has saved her son from being arrested is keeping her on the right side of it.

You were originally only cast for a few episodes, did you ever think that you would be given such a big storyline?
I feel privileged, I can’t quite believe it because I have not been in it very long and when I get the scripts and read what I have, it’s just jam-packed with such lovely stuff. I’ve been so lucky with the people I have worked with and I know I keep saying it but I do feel lucky! I am delighted that the writers feel they can write for me and hopefully I will keep giving them stuff so they feel they can keep writing for me.

Do you like Abi? Would you be friends with Abi?
Yes I do like her but I would want to look after her, I would like to support her and give her a decent meal and a bed to sleep in. I would like to give her emotional support to get her on her feet and then maybe we could be friends.

What advice would you give to Abi?
Take it one day at a time and know you are enough.

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