Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Tuesday 27 April 2021

Mollie Gallagher interview - Seb and Nina's hate crime attack

Coronation Street have a hate crime story planned which will star Nina and Seb. 

Read more on that here. 

Here, we have an interview with Mollie Gallagher, who plays Nina, who tells us about the storyline.

Tell us a little bit about you and what got you into acting? Where did you grow up? 
I grew up in Swinton in Manchester and I don’t live far from where Corrie is filmed. I have always wanted to be an actor, I think it started from enjoying being creative and having a big imagination. When I was younger I was always playing with a dolls house and I loved how I would give the dolls their own personalities and I would flick between performing as those dolls. My favourite doll was always the doll that was going to go off and be an actor so I knew from then; and of course that was the doll I called Mollie. When I got to my GCSE years I did GCSE drama and after that I went to college and I did it full time. I was lucky enough to get into drama school after I left college. I studied at Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) in London, so I made the big move when I was 18. I loved living in London, it gave me a lot of experience. I was really lucky that when I graduated I got the part of Nina in Corrie, so then I moved back to Manchester. 
Did you get involved in productions at school? What is the first role that you remember playing?
The first production I remember doing in high school was Blood Brothers, then the production the year after that was ‘Annie’. I played Miss Hannigan and I absolutely loved it. I already knew it, but after playing Miss Hannigan, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything other than performing. I loved the character that much that I chose to play her when we did solo singing at drama school years later, I am not a singer but I love character singing and acting through song.
Have any members of your family been involved in the performing arts?
My mum has always enjoyed singing in her spare time and we would have little karaoke nights in the living room when I was growing up, she was definitely always better than me at singing! She also would have loved to do acting, so she loves the fact that I am doing something that she would have loved to do. She’s really happy and so proud.

Your family must have been super excited when you got the part in Corrie?
Yes, my mum, dad, and all of my family love Corrie so they were absolutely over the moon when they found out I was going to be on Corrie and everyone is really proud. 

Were you a fan of Corrie growing up? Who were you excited about having the opportunity to work alongside?
I grew up loving Corrie and one of my favourite character was always Carla Connor so when I found out I was going to be working alongside Ali King I was really excited and nervous. It’s like I’ve watched all these people on my tele and now I am working with them. When I found out I was going to be Roy’s niece, I was so happy. I thought, “wow what an amazing person to work alongside”, I still can’t believe it. Even now I still think wow I’m actually on the set of Coronation Street! 
What sort of fan reaction do you get on social media or out and about?
Everyone is really lovely and I get a lot of nice comments online. The response on social media has been lovely and I enjoy reading it. I am very grateful that people really like the character.
Do you get any people saying that they are really pleased that they feel they are being represented on screen?
Yes, I have definitely had comments about how the character is a good role model for people which I agree she is, and I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to play a character like Nina. 

Tell us about your look and how it has evolved.
I have always liked being creative and just like whatever I like I guess. I'm a very expressive person, and I love fashion and physically expressing myself through what I wear. I love music and lyrics and I think that’s always influenced my style, because I love the stories that songs tell, and music has always stimulated my imagination and creativity. I love detail and I think that has influenced my style also.  

Did you have any pressure at drama school or were you put under any pressure to have a more mainstream look?
No, I suppose I have just been who I am and always followed my intuition,  I guess I knew that being authentic would hopefully lead me to the right path. 

Have you ever encountered any bad experiences in person or on social media about how you look or how Nina looks?
No, not that I personally know of. I love that Nina is well liked and understood by the other characters on the show. She has so many layers and I love that different sides of her come out with each character she interacts with. I think I’m similar to Nina in that way. I love it when I’m reading a scene and I’m like, ‘Right, what side of Nina do we have today?’ and I’ll be like ‘Okay we have a sarcastic Nina today’ or ‘We have a sassy Nina today’ and so on, I love it. 

How did you feel when you heard about this storyline and that Nina and Seb were going to be attacked because of how Nina looks?
I was told about the storyline and obviously what happens is absolutely awful and so sad. I was told about the connection to what happened in real life with Sophie Lancaster which was absolutely heartbreaking. From the get go I did lots of research, and we have been working with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. I was so grateful to be doing this storyline on an issue which is so important to highlight, I wanted to do it justice. Knowing this has happened and does happen breaks my heart. It is so important to raise awareness on the issue and I hope the storyline does this. 

What research are you doing for this storyline?
We are working with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Harry and I have been having  zoom calls with Sylvia Lancaster and the team at the foundation which I’m really grateful for. 

What do you hope this storyline achieves?
I hope this storyline raises awareness and educates. I hope it sends out the message that we should be free to be who we want to be, and that we should all be accepted in society for being ourselves, and that we shouldn’t feel like we have to hide for being who we are. Everyone should feel free to express themselves. 

Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
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