Sarah’s strange behaviour raises eyebrows next week when she has a meltdown at baby Harry’s Christening and flees the church.
Prior to the shock cliffhanger, Sarah will be seen promising her newborn that the Christening will be a chance to renounce the devil, a remark overheard by a concerned Kylie, who begins to fear that the service is becoming more like an exorcism.
But when Sarah loses control, it’s vicar Billy who ends up rushing to her aid. But can he get through to her? Here, actress Tina O’Brien reveals all about next week’s drama…and why she’s also looking forward to seeing the corpse of Callum Logan finally dug up…
So Sarah has a bit of a meltdown at Harry’s Christening, doesn’t she?
Yes. She’s had no sleep for 37 hours because of the baby and she’s not thinking straight. She’s overwrought and it’s too much and I think she wants the christening to be perfect. When it isn’t she thinks something’s wrong but I think a lot of this paranoia is down to her being tired.
Do you sympathise when that over tiredness?
Absolutely! I have a baby myself. Sarah’s also been through a lot. Obviously I don’t know what it’s like to have the father of my child buried under my mum’s floor. But Sarah does and it’s all getting to her.
It sounds that Sarah is going to think that the baby is being influenced by the devil – are you playing it as though Sarah has a psychosis?
Not so far. Instead I’ve been playing it from the angle of a woman who’s just given birth and who is incredibly tired. She’s been through a nightmarish six months, stuff to do with Callum and covering that up. So I’m coming at it more from an angle of fear and worry about the future. It could become a form of psychosis because of everything that’s happened to Sarah but right now it’s centred more on her own anxiety.
Now, at the Christening, it’s Billy who notices that something is wrong, isn’t it?
They have a connection and it means I’ve been able to do more scenes with Daniel Brocklebank, which I love. He is so different to his character! He’s so funny. But, yeah, Billy can see that things aren’t right with Sarah.
Sarah’s very determined to get Billy Christened immediately…
Yes. Sarah’s on her own with the baby in the house in which Callum was killed and where he’s now secretly buried. All these thoughts are racing through her brain and she gets fixated with thinking that if she gets the baby Christened, then everything will be all right and they’ll all be able to move forward. The Christening will be perfect and they’ll all be making a fresh start. So when the Christening isn’t perfect because Harry cries a lot, it sends her head into spin.
Does Billy try and talk to her and get through to her?
Everyone does but I don’t think she’s able to hear it.
That body’s going to get dug up at some point – are you looking forward to the day when all the secrets come out?
I think for any actor working on the show, it’s more fun when there’s lots of drama.
What will Gail’s reaction be like when Callum’s body is eventually dug up?
Amazing! Poor Gail. Her extension flat is her pride and joy and to find out what’s been lying beneath it all this time will really devastate her.
Any chance they’ll do the digging and find no trace of a body?
I don’t know! A lot of people have asked that question. I can’t see how that could be. Callum was definitely dead.
What effect will Paula Lane leaving have on the Platts?
Selfishly, I’m gutted. I absolutely adore her and working with her. I think for her it’s the right thing to do – she’s ready to go and I completely understand why she’s leaving. She’s a fantastic actress and will do great. But for me, personally, I’m like ‘Nooooooo’.
How have you found it as your second time back? Is it a different experience for you?
Completely different. It’s strange. . .when I first returned a year ago and did my first scene in the Platts, it was really odd how normal it felt. I hadn’t been there for seven years yet it felt like yesterday. But then I’m coming at it from a different angle. I have a family now and I think your priorities change. I can notice the difference more because I left when I was 24 – and I had no kids or responsibilities. Now I’m nearly 33 with two children. It all needs a lot more juggling and I get far more tired.
How do you handle the juggling?
My partner Adam just has my back! Honestly – he’s such a good’un and I’m so lucky. My family live nearby plus we also have a fantastic nanny. She hasn’t been with us very long but she’s the best. She looks after my son and daughter just as you want them to be looked after. In fact, she kind of makes me want to step up and be a better mum because she is so good. She’s brilliant and we’re very lucky.
Has having kids given you more experience to draw on as an actress
Life experience in general is very good for this job. It’s not a standard job – at the end of the day we’re putting on different clothes and pretending to be other people. We’re not saving the world. But what we do get to do is try and portray something in as believable way as possible. Learning the lines is easy – it’s trying to make it real that’s the hard bit.
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