Rovers landlady Stella Price has been on her own ever since Karl did the dirty on her with Sunita. But in the coming weeks, we’ll see some definite male attention headed her way – and there are no prizes for guessing which good-looking builder is at the front of the queue. Actress Michelle Collins fills us in on the details:
So is Stella missing having a man in her life?
She seems very strong on the outside but, like a lot of women who are assertive, when they get home behind closed doors they can be lonely. She would possibly like to have someone around and have some intimacy. But she’d rather be on her own than be with someone just for the sake of it – she’s had a few wrong’uns in her life, so she’s at a point where she isn’t prepared to do that.
Do you think she’s missed being with Karl?
She’s hurt and the hurt has turned to anger and she’s tried to hide her feelings. At this moment in time, she thinks she hates him and if you asked her now whether she’d get back with him, she’d say no way! But who knows in the future?
And now we have Mandy trying to fix her up with a blind date. What are Stella’s thoughts on that?
To start with, she’s pretty horrified but she goes along with it. And then the date doesn’t go well at all! He’s completely the wrong person for her. He’s a bit of a plonker, really. The actor playing him was brilliant, very funny. So Stella ends up walking off, but she bumps into Karl at the same time. It’s all really bad timing because, after the date she’s just had, Karl doesn’t seem that bad!
So what happens when Karl sends her a bouquet?
He’s started to think that she does want him back. He’s got the wrong end of the stick. But they have a showdown and she tells him there’s no way she would get back with him in a million years.
Has Stella noticed Jason before, do you think? Would she have considered making a move?
She made some comments when he went out with Eva. She said she thought he was really nice, not the sharpest tool in the box but a lovely guy. But she’s never really thought of him in that way at all. She’s a bit shocked when he comes on to her.
And how does she feel after their night together? Does she think of it as a one-off?
In the beginning, it’s playful banter and she does think it would just be a one-off. But she’s mortified when people start saying things. She even apologises to him, so she’s surprised when he says he wants to see her again. Then she finds it all quite liberating and even makes an announcement in the pub.
Does she mind Karl knowing? And can she handle being the subject of gossip?
Where Karl’s concerned, she doesn’t think she has anything to lose and likes the idea of him knowing she’s got herself a younger model. But she’s not the sort of person who enjoys being the subject of gossip. She’s one of those people who would rather say, ”OK, if you’ve got something to say, say it now”. She tackles things head on, so what you see is what you get.
And how do you expect viewers to react?
Corrie is a matriarchal sort of programme and women seem to love getting behind the female characters in it. People seem to like Stella now that she’s been there for a while. I think women of a certain age can relate to her and I think that even if they don’t approve, they might be thinking ‘ooh, good on you’. Jason is the sort of guy that people love so hopefully they will be rooting for them.
And finally, what’s it been like filming those saucy scenes with Ryan Thomas?
It is very funny, I’m really enjoying it. The romantic scenes are not very romantic. One day, we clashed heads and he ended up with a nose bleed and I got a swollen cheek. They were supposed to bring some ice and they brought out a cold potato as it was the only thing they could find. So he was there with a bleeding nose and I was holding a potato on my cheek! But I don’t generally mind kissing scenes – you just have to get on with them. I don’t find them awkward.