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Friday 29 December 2023

Claire Sweeney interview: My New Year's wish for Cassie on Corrie


Cassie seems to have got her feet under the table with Tyrone and is settling in. Is she starting to feel like she belongs somewhere?

I think for the first time in her life, she feels part of a family because she didn't have a good family set up with her mum when she was young.  Her mum chucked her out. I think Cassie’s  favourite thing is sitting on the sofa with the hustle and bustle of the kids getting ready for school, Tyrone getting himself sorted and just being part of this family. That's all she craves. And her biggest fear is losing that. She tries to do things to help people like fix her mum up with Roy, or take Roy on a joyride to get Evelyn the present. Everything starts off from a good place and goes wrong. When things go wrong she thinks she is going to lose that family setup and she will do anything to protect that.

Over Christmas we even saw a thawing of relations between her and Evelyn, how would you describe their relationship now?

I do think there's a love there between them now and I love that. They've come together over the dogs. Evelyn loves dogs, Cassie likes dogs, but she loves Evelyn and it's kind of like a little girl wanting to please her mum, it’s the first kind of thing that they've had that's been almost like a shared thing. There's real affection there in certain moments, just a look between them or Evelyn backing her up on something. I loved the scene where they were  dressing the Christmas tree and it is great playing those scenes with Maureen.

How do you feel the character has developed in the past 7 months?

Well she's become part of the family. As a fan of the show and an actress, it's been a joy doing family scenes but also with the other actors stepping away from the family, such as the stuff with Roy or scenes in the Rovers and in the corner shop and of course the garage. That's been lovely. She's kind of integrated into this society now on the cobbles. She's started mixing with people, which is great. Thank goodness, her addiction is at bay at the moment and she's part of a family now, that's all she's ever wanted. She does some awful things but I always try and find redeeming features and redeeming things with Cassie and reasons why she's doing it. 

Do you still want to see that harder side to her though? 

It’s important  to never lose sight of Cassie; she can turn on a penny. Yeah. And I love that side and she will do anything to protect her family now so I am sure we haven't seen the last of her unpredictable behaviour.

What about her relationship with Abi? On paper you would think they would be good friends with their similar history but how does Cassie feel about Abi?

I think it's exciting to play because I see elements of single white female, which is a film that I love. Cassie just wants Abi's life. Does she fancy Kevin? I don't know. I think she just wants that structure of stability. She's seen how Abi has sorted itself out. I think it was awful when she blamed Abi for the scratch on the car, but then coming from it logically Abi was never going to get sacked whereas Cassie would. She just wants to keep the job. She loves working there. She just stepped over the line. It;s interesting because Cassie wanting Abi's life is not so far-fetched. It's not like she's looking at someone who, you know, has got a completely different life like Real Housewives or even looking at someone like Maria who's never put a foot wrong. Abi is someone who basically has had her life.  
You see so many similarities between Abi and Cassie. You can see why she believes she could have what Abi has got and even start to believe she has feelings for Kevin.

One thing that has bonded Cassie and Evelyn is their fight to bring Terry to justice. Can you tell us what happens this week when Cassie secretly goes to Terry’s house?

So Cassie wants to please her mum. She also knows Terry's a danger to them all and to the puppies. She just wants to do the right thing. But she doesn't always go about things in the right way. And it always goes a bit wrong for her. So she breaks into the house to rescue the puppies with great intention. But he returns and she finds herself in a potentially dangerous situation if he finds her. But then she sees the money and knows it is from illegally breeding the puppies and she decides that she could use that money to treat her family, to help her family, she's got to make a decision very, very quickly.

How does she feel when Evelyn is arrested? 

Now this is a tough one. She also knows Evelyn hasn't done it and she convinced herself that she won;t go down as no one can prove Evelyn was involved.  Personally, I would have to stand up and say it was me. I would have to do that. I couldn't stand back and watch someone I love take the blame. I’d like to think that maybe if it gets to the stage of Evelyn being charged Cassie would step forward and confess.

Hope is on to Cassie when she sees her with the money - do you think Cassie has met her match in Hope?

I love their relationship. I love working with Isabel. They have both met their match. And there's a respect for Hope as well. She realises Hope knows about the money and she says to her ‘Okay, how much?’. She realises she's been busted and says right, let's do a deal. And it's just like two adults stripping a deal. Hope is fabulous. 

What was it like working with the puppies? 

They were absolutely adorable. It was fantastic working so closely with the RSPCA who were there to make sure the puppies were well cared for at all times. Those dogs were so looked after and pampered during that shoot.. Although I was dosed up with antihistamines. I am really allergic to dogs but I was determined to give them a cuddle, who gets to go to work and play with adorable puppies, I wasn’t missing out on that, allergy or no allergy.

We have talked about Cassie having her feet under the table. But Fiz is due back. So how do you think that's going to work out? 

I don’t know how Cssie is going to feel but personally I'm really excited to work with Jenny. I love Jenny. But it's going to change the dynamics in that house. You know, I would say you've got three strong women in that house. Hope included? Yeah, three strong women and there is another one coming into the mix, it is Fiz’s house and Fiz’s family. Tyrone believes in Cassie, forgives her and protects her in his own way. Will that change when Fiz comes back, Cassie will try her best I am sure but there will be an element of competition. The dynamic of Fiz and Evelyn’s relationship could upset Cassie. It's going to be so interesting to see. 

So in the middle of all of this being so busy you are doing Dancing on Ice , how is the training going? And how are you fitting it all in?

Lots of juggling, for example, I've just done two scenes this morning, gone skating for an hour, come back and I've got another two scenes to do. I'm fitting it in when I can. I've just had two weeks off. So I did three hours every day. Five days a week for three hours. 

Are you a very disciplined, very focused person? Have you always been like that? Because you've always seemed to be really busy. 

I've always taken my work seriously. I turn up on time and while I'm there, I will work and concentrate and I'll do my best. It's a funny thing with skating because one day I can be enjoying it and loving it and feel progression then the next day out the blue will get gripped by fear .  I need to be less cautious but you don't bounce back as quick as you get older. I think the younger you are the less scared you are. I used to be fearless and I'm not fearless anymore.
It’s been a great year for you. How do you feel about your life right now?

I mean if you'd have told me a year ago I would be on Corrie and doing Dancing in Ice I would not have beloved you. I really appreciate it.I had this moment today as  I was leaving the building with my skates to go skating. And I thought I'm leaving Corrie for few hours  to go skate and train for Dancing On Ice. Things got a bit quieter for me a while ago. I was keeping busy but I thought maybe I’d had the best years of my career but actually they were yet to come. And during that moment this morning I really just stopped and savoured that feeling of real appreciation. 
So you are excited about 2024 and what it holds for you and for Cassie?

Absolutely I mean I just love being in the show and I feel incredibly lucky to be working with Maureen, Alan, Mike, Sally and all the family so I can't wait to see what next year brings for her.

Would you like her to have a romance with somebody?

It'd be nice for her to get into a relationship and find love and find stability and put a bit of lipstick on it. That'd be lovely. To get a snog and a bit of lippie that would be my new year’s wish for Cassie.

Glenda Young
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