Trouble touches down in Hollyoaks next week when minxy air hostess Martine Deveraux jets into the village. As the younger sister of Simone Loveday her face is familiar to some of the locals, and the fact Martine is played by Kelle Bryan, best known as part of 1990s’ girl band Eternal, means viewers will also recognise her.
Martine makes a spectacular entrance and delivers a bombshell to former brother-in-law Louis set to rock the family – keen to find out more, RadioTimes.com spoke to the singer-turned-actress about swapping pop stardom for soap stardom, and what we can expect from her cunning character…
Martine sounds like trouble, what can you tell us about her? She’s a firework, she comes in and blows things up. Martin does and says things I would never dream of, but with a cheeky smile which means she often gets away with it. She is definitely mischievous! Reading the next batch of scripts recently I was screaming like a banshee at what she gets up to! I also get to wear the air hostess uniform, she likes to mention she serves in first class and loves that glamorous lifestyle.
What is her relationship with Simone like? As with all siblings there are ups and downs, when it’s good they are tight but they go through bad times and go for it hammer and tongs. They love a bit of banter! Martine reveres her as the older sister, but she doesn’t bow down or take any prisoners.
Can you tease this bombshell she drops and what it has to do with Louis? What she says is going to change everything for everybody close around her. It will cause disruption. She’s always got a smile on her face though! She and Louis have obviously crossed paths in the past as they were family, he was married to her sister. But he doesn’t want her around!
How have you found the move from singing to acting? I went to stage school and actually was an actor before I joined Eternal. I did EastEnders and The Bill and always wanted to act, being in the band and singing was an opportunity rather than an aspiration. I didn’t realise being in Eternal would be as big as it was, I thought it would be a fun thing to do, but I’m so glad I did it. My passion was acting so once Eternal was over I went back to it.
How did the chance to be in Hollyoaks come about? A few years ago I was offered a role, and actually screen tested with Karl Collins who plays Louis, but I was too poorly to take it at the time (Bryan was diagnosed with autoimmune disease Lupus in 1999 and suffered a stroke two years ago). Then more recently I came to an open casting at Hollyoaks but didn’t hear anything for a while, until the offer came to play Simone’s sister – I couldn’t believe it! The timing was perfect.
Were you looking for a long-running role in a continuing drama? My agent and I have been quite strategic, last year the focus was on theatre and I got my first West End role in a play called Wings at the Young Vic opposite Juliet Stevenson, which was amazing. I played a stroke victim, and my personal experience of it made that such a creative and authentic experience. It was great to share my story and know it was depicted accurately. Then this year we were very focused on TV and getting my teeth into something long-term.
How are you settling in? Hollyoaks is very family-oriented, they have great childcare (Bryan is a mother of two) and working parents are very well looked after. This is the perfect place for me to be at this time. And the fans are great, they know everything – my auntie is actually the biggest Hollyoaks fan and told me all about the characters when I got the part!
How do you look back at the Eternal days now? We achieved so much and it’s a massive thing to celebrate, I love people still want to talk about it. We celebrated 25 years recently, fans went to town on social media saying how they got married to our songs, or gave birth to our songs – we are musical diaries to important events in peoples’ lives, it’s incredible and crazy how much it touched people.
Are there any plans to perform with the girls again? Never say never, but we are all doing different things at the moment. There might be that one opportunity you want to do as a band, and we are bonded by history, but there’s nothing planned. The girls are all excited for me coming into Hollyoaks, though, as are the fans. They’ve been so supportive.
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