Elaine Cassidy on Katherine Glendenning and The Paradise’s new power couple

The woman behind the hot-headed owner of Moray's department store reveals all about series two, Katherine's marriage to Tom Weston and the feelings she harbours for her ex-fiancé

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So, the last time we saw Katherine she was attempting to force Moray to the altar. Now she’s married to an entirely different man. What’s going on?!

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Her father brings her off travelling because of the shame and also because she would have been in bed for about two weeks after, completely distraught, heartbroken, distressed, so he takes her away. On her travels she meets Tom [Weston, played by Ben Daniels]. Like meets like or attracts like. They have a lovely, dysfunctional, unhealthy relationship but I do think they love each other in how they define love which is probably not love at all – just negative, intense energy. But they do find something that works where she looks after him at times and he looks after her and he has a daughter that she finds out about after they got married. Tom hasn’t seen her since she was two so Katherine’s got an instant family and she then gains everything that she’s really ever wanted.

Quite the power couple… 

Yes, but also for Katherine she has to be careful and manipulative as to what outcome she wants for The Paradise because if Tom wanted to sell it and she didn’t want to sell, she’d have to find ways to manipulate him into not selling. He’s quite headstrong as well so she has to dance a bit harder to get what she wants.

Did you know Ben Daniels before? 

No, but my husband had worked with him and I had worked with his partner so I’d never met him. I only ever heard great things and when I heard he was cast I was delighted because he’s such a good actor. So our scenes are just so much fun because on the day you find new stuff and he just plays him brilliantly.

Will there be another love triangle when Moray comes back? Does Katherine still harbour feelings for him? 

It’s always a weird one, exes. How does anyone ever feel about an ex? There are the minority who become friends and are really good friends but how often is that? So I think it’s probably along the lines of they’re exes and they’ve shared a history and they’ve had intimacy and it’s then how you try and move on from that if you do. There’s definitely a lot of chemistry in whatever way that is between the two of them – well from Katherine’s side, anyway.

You were six months pregnant during the end of filming the last series. Did they have a hard time trying to camouflage you?

There was stuff like that. I had a friend watching it the other night and I was seeing glimpses of chairs in front of me by the end. They were really clever and I did feel really bad but these things happen sometimes.

And you met your husband, Stephen Lord, when you were working together on the same drama?

It was called The Truth – a film that we shot up in Scotland and he was playing a lying, compulsive sex addict. I was playing a girl in a wheelchair and his character abused my character and we fell in love. It’s like Romeo and Juliet without the death at the end. Nice and dark. But we’ve worked together a few times since. We’ve played brother and sister which oddly enough wasn’t weird – that was the weird thing.

What did you make of the reaction to The Paradise?

I was really shocked that men seemed to like it as well…

What do you think made it so popular?

I think the fact that it’s such an ensemble. Denise is more the protagonist and it’s her story at the beginning but because there’s so many people in the shop, on so many different levels – you’ve got Miss Audrey who’s the head and everyone contributes a completely different colour to the whole spectrum so I suppose everyone will have their different favourites. People will be rooting for Denise and Moray, some people might be rooting for Katherine, so I think people can identify with different things because it is so vast and also it is just escapism. You can come home and just put on the TV and it’s not going to upset you, it’s not going to give you bad dreams, you can just switch off from whatever’s going on in your life at that moment. And then the costumes are delicious.

Have you watched yourself back?

Yes. The first two episodes I was like, “Oh my god, is that what Katherine’s like?” I was really shocked. Because I’m in her, I don’t really think about how she comes across and it irked me. It took me a while to get used to seeing her.

What didn’t you like about the way she came across?

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She’s brazen. She’s in your face and I just hadn’t thought of that because we were still filming so it’s not my job to think about that, it’s to be true to her. I suppose I was still in the world of creating her because we still had a good few weeks to go until we finished so it was a shock.