Hollyoaks are to air a special self-harm episode called Three Mothers Three Daughters featuring Lily Drinkwell, Yasmine Maalik, Peri Lomax, Diane Hutchinson, Misbah Maalik and Leela Lomax.
Lily has been self-harming in secret since July but when Yasmine and Peri find her in the toilets with her cutting kit, they decide to tell everyone her secret.
Hollyoaks High is running a writing competition for a lucky winner to secure an internship and Yasmine decides to use her article to expose Lily and her self-harm story.
When Mrs St. Claire discovers the article, she is immediately worried and gathers the three mothers and three daughters together to try and help find out who the article is about but Peri covers for Lily and claims it was a fictional piece.
Later in the episode, the mothers and daughters gather together at Diane’s flat but as the mothers discuss the day, the three girls are forming a pact of how to keep their secret.
Here Lauren McQueen, who plays Lily, talks about filming this special episode and how important it is for Hollyoaks to tell this story.
Hollyoaks will show a special self-harm episode featuring Lily, Yasmine and Peri – what was it like filming this episode?
Filming the self-harm episode was a challenge and a big responsibility, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to do it. It was great to work with Haiesha and Ruby on something so powerful and emotional, and our director Tracy Rooney and the crew were so supportive.
You are reasonably new to Hollyoaks; did you know this is what Lily was going to go through before you took on the role?
When I took on the role I had no idea what my character’s name was, or even what family I was in! I had the chance to work with the writers and was involved in the process of creating Lily through workshops with some of the cast. I feel so lucky to have been given these incredible storylines. I feel proud that we are able to tackle important issues like self-harm for our younger audience, responsibly.
How do you get into character to play a teenage girl who self-harms?
From Day One I’ve had a lot of emotional scenes, so I’m used to playing Lily’s vulnerability. I’ve learnt so much from Alex Fletcher, when it comes to emotional scenes she’s given me a lot of confidence. I try to completely zone-out from everything else happening on set, and take myself to that dark place in Lily’s head by relating to her as much as I can.
Have you had any help or done any research to prepare and understand Lily’s self-harm?
Before I was given the scripts for Lily’s self-harm storyline, I had the chance to work with researchers and two charities; The Samaritans and Mind. I met a young woman who had experienced self-harm, which gave me a real insight into what Lily was going to go through.
Why do you think this episode is so important to show viewers?
This episode is so important to show our viewers because it focuses on the different perspectives of a mother-daughter relationship and the reality of a struggling teenager. Our intention is to highlight the consequences that self-harm can have on a person’s life and their family. We want to bring awareness and encourage people to talk about their struggles openly to family members or charities like The Samaritans and Mind.
What has it been like playing the role of Lily?
Playing the role of Lily has already been a whirlwind. As an actress, it’s been amazing to go on such an emotional journey and I hope the younger viewers can understand what Lily is going through.