Coronation Street’s Lucy Fallon has admitted she was nervous when she was handed a sex abuse storyline which has seen Bethany Platt groomed by an older man.
Bethany has been seduced by Nathan who has been working his charms on her for weeks. Next week she spends the night with him as the storyline takes a sinister twist.
Lucy, who plays Bethany, says she’s honoured to have been handed such a difficult storyline but hopes she can do it justice…
How does Bethany feel her relationship with Nathan is going?
She definitely considers him to be her first real boyfriend. As far as she sees he’s very protective of her, he shows a real interest in her, he’s helping her to make her online beauty tutorials and because Bethany is young and in a vulnerable position at the moment she’s latched on to the attention he’s showing her. In her eyes it’s her first real relationship.
What is it about him that she’s attracted to?
He’s a lot older than her and she finds the fact that he’s interested in her very flattering, it makes her feel really grown-up. He’s really nice to her, he makes her feel special and acts like he really cares about her. He tells her that she’s got loads of talent with her videos and that she’s special and that’s something Bethany hasn’t had in her life before. He was her knight in shining armour when he picked her up off the floor at Christmas but maybe the audience can see that he saw that as an opportunity.
Why is she reluctant to tell Sarah about him of her own accord?
Because it will be obvious to Sarah that Nathan’s 20 years older than Bethany and she knows that like any mum Sarah will see that as wrong. She doesn’t want Sarah to get involved because she feels that this is her thing and something that’s going right in her life for once. She doesn’t want her family to ruin it just because Sarah might be overprotective due to the age gap.
How does Sarah react when she finds out Bethany spent the night at Nathan’s?
Sarah goes mad, she wants to know where Bethany has been and why she stayed out all night. At first Bethany lies and says she stayed at Mel’s and slept on the sofa, so when Sarah finds out from Rana that she went off with Nathan she goes mad about Bethany lying. But then Sarah doesn’t want to push her away, so even though she tries to ban her from seeing him she’s forced to backtrack and try and talk to Bethany more in order to get through to her.
How does Bethany feel when Sarah bans her from seeing him?
Bethany says ‘well you can’t stop me’, she’s really angry and she tells Sarah to stop interfering in her life. Sarah realises that if she keeps trying to stop her from spending time with him then she’ll just push her further into Nathan’s arms.
How did you feel about taking on this story at the start?
I was excited because it’s such a gritty storyline, I’m really flattered to be chosen to play it and I hope we can do it justice. But I was also quite nervous because it’s such a sensitive subject matter and not something that a lot of people openly talk about. It’s about how vulnerable people can be in relationships and how controlling people can be, especially if you’re a young girl.
How do you think viewers will respond when it comes to a head?
Already on Twitter people are telling Bethany to stay away from Nathan. I think they’re going to hate watching the way he manipulates her, it’s an uncomfortable watch but it’s an important issue to tackle.
What advice would you give to Bethany in this situation?
It’s hard to tell a friend to stay away from someone but I’d try and encourage them to take a step back from the situation and try and look in at how they’re being treated, especially if this person is trying to isolate you from your friends and family. With Bethany I also think it’s a case of trying to look at the age gap and think about why someone who’s 20 years older might be interested in a 16 year old.
What has been like working with Christopher Harper on this story?
He’s really nice, it is quite strange because he’s playing a horrible character and he plays it really well, but off screen obviously he’s not like that at all and we get on really well.