So, how is Maddie finding life at the factory?
What Maddie’s enjoying is that people are starting to recognise her hardworking streak – everyone presumes she’s a good-for-nothing, volatile teenager, when in reality she’s used to being a responsible adult and bringing up her brother. It’s her defensive, mistrusting nature that lets her down. I think Maddie enjoys working there because, ultimately, she’s proving a lot of people’s initial assumptions about her wrong. Carla has a soft spot for Maddie because she sees the same feistiness that she has. Carla is also about the only person who is not afraid to put Maddie in her place, so Maddie has a lot of respect for Carla for that reason.
On the face of it Maddie could be regarded as a trouble-maker but actually she seems to have a real heart and care for people. Why do you think she still puts up a facade?
The reason she still has trust issues and still has her guard up is because she’s expecting something to go wrong. Things seem too good to be true – she has a girlfriend that supports her and has put up with her difficult personality, she’s been welcomed into someone’s home, she now has two jobs and is starting to make acquaintances… She’s never had even a fraction of what she has now and I think the sheer speed with which everything has happened is a lot for her to deal with. She’s gone from nothing to… well… certainly ‘something’ anyway!
How would you describe Maddie’s relationship with Sally?
There’s always going to be some friction between the two characters because of how things started between them. Dunking your mother-in-law in a trifle within the first five minutes of meeting her is never a good first impression! And I think the new friction between Maddie and Sally comes from Maddie’s growing popularity within the factory. It’s strange to think, considering, but maybe Sally is actually a little jealous of Maddie! Although, of course, she would never lower herself enough to admit it.
Is she worried about Kevin coming back?
This time, she’s not so worried. The first time, there was the classic pressure of meeting your girlfriend’s dad, which is never an easy thing. But because Kevin has given her a chance and welcomed her into his home and given her a job, Maddie feels more at ease with him. Maybe she is a little nervous because she still feels like she has a lot to prove, but Kevin was one of the first people, after Sophie, to actually see something in her worth putting faith in.
You’re coming up to your one year anniversary on the show – how are you enjoying life at Corrie?
I can’t believe it’s been a year… it’s gone so fast! I can’t even begin to explain how much I feel I’ve grown as a person while working at Coronation Street. I’ve learned so so much and I still love it just as much as when I first started.
Do you feel Maddie has changed since she first arrived on the Street?
Oh goodness, yes! Her life has changed so so much and that has forced her to adapt as a person – it’s been a reality check for her.
What sort of reaction do you get from people out and about?
A lot of people just whisper as I go past, but every now and then you do get people who stop and ask for a picture. As it’s my first professional acting job, it’s been a lot to get used to, but I do feel miles more relaxed now and it’s nice that people do feel they can approach me because, after all, I’m just a normal person at the end of the day!
Who are your mates on the show?
I love Brooke Vincent [Sophie] to bits – she’s looked after me from day one and we share a lot of inside jokes. And I get on really well with Georgia May Foote [Katy] – I think we’re really similar as people, so that’s nice.
Would you like Maddie to mellow a bit or do you think she should keep her feisty side?
It’s important she keeps her feisty side to a certain extent because that’s just who she is; it works for Carla and that’s because it’s all about how you use it – you can be feisty and respected and have a lot of friends without people automatically thinking you’re a bad guy. I think it would be a real shame if she completely chilled out because her unpredictable nature is what makes her a joy to play and fun to watch.
How has Maddie and Sophie’s relationship developed over the past year?
A lot has happened for them as a couple and it’s been a real test – Sophie had so many opportunities to just walk away through alienation, but she stuck by Maddie, and that’s been a massive step for Maddie because she never had the support from her own mum, let alone a partner. Their relationship is a very complex one, and one that a lot of people don’t understand, but for whatever bizarre reason it is, they just work so well together.
Maddie and Tim seem to have a nice connection – why do you think Maddie gets on with him better than some other people?
Maddie and Tim have a lot of things in common – a lot of people doubt them and they’ve both, at certain points in their lives, had absolutely nothing. Maybe Tim feels like he can look after Maddie because he sees similarities between them both, and Maddie hasn’t been as hostile with Tim because she can trust him not to make her feel small.
Maddie’s relationship with Simon and Eccles is really cute – people say never work with children and animals but how have you found it?
Alex Bain is such a lively young lad and there were so many times that me and Brooke tried to calm him down before filming – he’s just so full of energy, as kids obviously are. The storyline was really great because it’s the first time, since we saw her with her brother Ben, that the viewers get to see Maddie’s soft caring side.
You juggled working at Corrie with doing your A Levels – how did you find that?
It was a real challenge! A lot of blood, sweat and tears! February was definitely the hardest time because the first unit of my art and photography coursework had to be handed in for marking, and I had to learn a monologue and write a play for my theatre studies course. And at the same time, we were filming the massive storyline where Maddie and Sophie were homeless in Manchester. Everyone at work was so great with it – they wrote me out for the whole of April so I could do my exams and I used to bring boxes of art stuff to my dressing room so I could work in between scenes!
I remember I kept getting colds because I was so tired but, honestly, if I could go back, I wouldn’t change it – I know it sounds cheesy, but the challenge of coping with both has helped me grow up so much as a person and the sense of achievement I’ve now been left with is huge – I got three Bs! None of the staff at my sixth form doubted me, which was such a brilliant feeling, and I’m so lucky to have such an understanding group of friends who put up with my comings and goings from school and gave me the time I needed to deal with this huge life change, which I am so grateful for.
And obviously it was my mum who saw me at my worst and had to scrape me up off the floor when I was collapsing saying, “I can’t do this anymore!” and she kept convincing me that, yes, I could, and I’m so glad I listened to her!