Faye Windass (Ellie Leach) is to be caught up in a ‘home alone’ drama after dad Tim (Joe Duttine) takes on a job with Jason (Ryan Thomas) away from Weatherfield. Thinking that Faye is staying with Anna, he’s unaware that his daughter has opted to live by herself and is actually growing hungrier by the day. Surviving with little more than a roof over her head, she begins to feel that maybe the grass wasn’t greener after all. Here, actress Debbie Rush explains how Anna reacts when she discovers what’s been going on.
So, Debbie, how does Anna find out that Faye has been living by herself?
Anna comes home from work one day and sees Faye sat on the couch looking slightly worse for wear with greasy hair and an empty belly. It’s Owen that’s been and found her in Tim’s flat all alone, so when Anna sees her she tries to keep very calm while she gathers all of the information. It’s then that she finds out Faye should have come across to stay with her but Anna understands that she is an 11-year-old child and it was therefore Tim’s responsibility to sort out her care while he was away. So Anna is absolutely furious with Tim by this point.
How does Anna react when she finds out Tim has extended his trip to stay with a woman he has met?Anna goes off her head. She’s absolutely livid. She thinks he’s completely useless and that he obviously doesn’t care about anyone else but himself and that he’s completely selfish. He’s obviously just gone off on his trip and thought Faye would be absolutely fine without him. He hasn’t even rung to see if she’s doing OK, which really winds Anna up! As far as Anna’s concerned, he has no idea how to be a parent.
What happens when Tim returns to the Street?
As soon as Anna realises he’s back she goes straight across the road and she gives him what for. She tells him he’s completely useless and that by leaving Faye home alone he’s actually committed a crime. Basically Anna gives him a piece of her mind!
How hopeful at this point is Anna that Faye will decide to live with her again?
Well Anna doesn’t give her a choice – Faye is back with her mum regardless. Faye does want to go and see her dad when he gets back, which Anna reluctantly agrees to. Deep down in Anna’s heart she knows Faye still adores her dad and that, if given the choice, she’d still want to be with him. But Anna doesn’t give her the option this time. Anna knows Faye isn’t safe at Tim’s so she’s brought her back home.
So even with all the trouble Faye’s caused in the past, Anna has no reluctance to have Faye back with her?
No none at all. She adopted Faye and has given her all the love and care she deserves. Faye was a little girl who had been passed through the system and so, if anything, Anna feels as though she has let Faye down.
Will this mark the start of a new Faye?
I think Faye will begin to understand that she is very well loved and looked after by Anna. I think she’ll begin to see where her bread’s buttered best, but she’ll always love her daddy.
What, if anything, will Anna do differently this time?
I think Anna needs to continue to give Faye all the love she’s been giving her, but she needs to be just a little bit more in control of the situation and let Faye know who is boss. Until Faye’s 16, Anna has to be in charge and will need to start being a bit firmer with her. This storyline has been great – it’s given viewers a chance to really get to know Faye and Ellie a chance to grow as an actress.
What’s Ellie like to work with?
Wonderful. She’s really mature and she always knows her lines. She never sulks or moans and always runs up to the tutor room as soon as she comes off set.
You’re a mum in real life too – does that help with storylines such as this one?
As an actor, different life experiences help you create different roles, so you can always draw on personal experiences to help you get into a part. You can always bring the truth to the table.
What reaction do you get from the public?
Everyone is so lovely! I’m glad I don’t play a baddie. I’m lucky because I play a mum so a lot of people really relate to her.
You’ve also been involved in the surrogacy storyline too. Have you worked much with the new arrival?
He’s tiny and he’s gorgeous! Hopefully he’ll be as well behaved as the two little boys that play Joseph.
Would you like Anna and Owen to get married?
Definitely! In Barbados, and we’d have to film there for three weeks with all of our families. That would be ideal [laughing]. No, on a serious note, it would be brilliant if they got married, especially with both of them having been married before. It would make good TV.