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Thursday 1 April 2021

Jane Danson interview: Is there a way out for Leanne?

Leanne is currently fearing for hers and Simon's lives after getting tangled up with drug dealer Harvey. As Leanne puts herself at risk to save her son, Jane Danson spoke to us about Leanne's plan, as well as how she puts her relationship with Nick into jeopardy.
Leanne has been dragged into this underworld by Harvey and as she gets deeper, she starts to realise the gravity of her situation. "I think it's all happened relatively quickly in the grand scheme of things," says Jane. "She's still very much grieving for Oliver and is now at risk of losing her other son. I think that's what kind of pulls her out of the grief a little bit. It's still there obviously, but she just decides quite soon that she's not prepared to lose another son. She realises that obviously Harvey's not one to be messed with- he's quite frightening, so she's got herself into a bit of a hole." 

When one of Harvey's dealers turns up at the flat to start weighing and distributing drugs from there, Leanne is left terrified. "It's awful because she's kind of become a bit of a recluse, in recent months anyway, and just as she was sort of starting to feel she could face the world a little bit, she's entered into this dark world. She feels incredibly vulnerable again and scared and has absolutely no control over what's going to happen."

Leanne has had an extremely difficult time over the last year, but she will always have a bit of the Battersby spirit in her. "She's had probably the most exhausting time ever," Jane told us. "She's just physically and emotionally exhausted. The whole Oliver story was enormous, and she was emotionally drained, but what I do love about what the writing does is they keep the Battersby inside. 

"She's not incredibly likeable at times, and people do get a bit frustrated with her, but I quite like that because it's staying true to character. They're keeping the essence of what Leanne would do and her go-to is defence and she shouts a lot. A lot of it is bravado because inside she is quite vulnerable. I feel they have stayed true to character in that sense, and I've always got to remember that she has always had that fight, even when she's hardly got anything left- there will always be a little bit in the tank."

While Harvey goes around making his threats, he doesn't quite realise that he's dealing with a Battersby! "I had this great line the other day and [Leanne] said: 'You might do this, and you might do that, but I will fight you back!' and I was like, Leanne just shut up- just do as you're told! She's always got that fight. That is something that as a character trait, I feel really strongly about because that's who she is- she's a fighter."

At the heart of everything going on, Leanne's number one priority is keeping Simon safe, and Jane explained how Simon's behaviour is quite similar to Leanne's at the same age. "She'll do everything she can to protect him, and also, they've been through many struggles over the years," Jane said. "As children, they were both kind of left to their own devices a little bit. The Battersby's were a bit rough and ready, and she got herself into a few scrapes. 

"We've got a history of Leanne's childhood which kind of mirrors Simon's in some ways. Leanne's got involved in drugs some years ago now, probably about the same age which makes me feel really old! In a sense, history's kind of repeating itself which I think is quite clever."

Recently, we saw Leanne go to the police over her dealings with Harvey and was soon recruited to help them take down Harvey's operation. She wasn't keen at first, but soon learnt that it may be her only way out. 

"Simon has got in quite deep- he's very scared. She sort of takes the reins and tries to deal with it, but the more she tries to deal with it, the more she realises that whichever way she turns, there's always going to be somebody looking over her shoulder. However, she does go in cahoots with the police as she sees that's the only kind of realistic way she's going to get out of this."

In the background of all of this, Nick has desperately been trying to repair their relationship, but Leanne is keen to keep him at arm's length for now. "She's trying to protect him by pushing him further away, when actually all she really needs is for him to wrap his arms around her and tell her everything will be OK. There's that avenue as well that we're exploring which is great for us because there's a lot left to be told with Nick and Leanne, so hopefully they'll come back together at some point."

As Leanne struggles to keep Nick at bay, is she prepared to lose him completely? Jane said: "I think she feels like nothing really can be as bad as losing Oliver, so she will do anything to protect Simon. If that means that she pushes Nick further towards Natasha, then sadly that might happen. [Leanne] still loves him and she still wants to be with him, but she realises that he has a son that he has to put first, and she has a son that she has to put first. But that said, I think she does need somebody to look after her and he does love her. I want them to be together!"

As part of this story, Jane has been working closely with Will Mellor, who plays Harvey, and she told us it's been nice to work with different people on different parts of the set. "It's been nice for us all, really, because I suppose we've been in this sort of Covid bubble for the last year or so, and especially with the Oliver story, it was very much contained into the hospital most of the time. 

"We can't go on location at the moment, but we've utilised space to be at different streets within our sets. It's taken a completely different turn to what I was doing a couple of months ago and it's always nice working with new actors. We've had some great guest artists coming in, and obviously Will as well. It's been really positive."

The light at the end of the tunnel seems far away for Leanne right now, but does Jane see Leanne's future as a happy ending with Nick and Simon? "I hope so, I really do," she said. "I love working with Ben [Price]. We've kind of worked together for ten years now, and we know each other so well. He's a great friend and I love our relationship. Given what they've been through, I just hope they can survive... otherwise if we split, then I think we'd have to split for good because we've split up too many times, so I'm hoping we will come back together."

Sophie Williams 

I'm on Twitter @soph_writer

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

1 comment:

C in Canada said...

I feel like we've been living the Leanne show for the last year.
It just seems to be one ridiculous decision after the other, and it's wearing thin.
Having said that, I too hope that this isn't the end for Leanne and Nick. There's just too much history there for them to split now.


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