Bethany Platt is a real wild child, says new Coronation Street star Lucy Fallon
Underage drinking, shoplifting, throwing ornaments around the house - it's all in a day's work for Sarah Louise's rebellious daughter
Run for cover, good folk of Weatherfield - Bethany Platt is in town and she's out to cause trouble! "A lot of the stuff she gets up to is very wild," says actress Lucy Fallon, who makes her Corrie debut next week. "She's a feisty character. Even in her first episode you'll see her arguing with her taxi driver because she can't pay the fare. She gives him a story that isn't true about her gran dying and he lets her off. Then she meets Andy and gets him to buy her a drink in the Rovers, even though she's underage. She's quite glammed up and looks older than she is. But when Gail comes in and spots her, she's understandably furious."
But Bethany's illicit drinking is merely the tip of the iceberg because Sarah Lou's 14-year-old daughter has brought a whole load of attitude back with her from Milan. Upcoming episodes will see her shoplifting from a clothes store and having violent arguments with screen mum Sarah (Tina O'Brien) once she too turns up:
"There's one scene where I have to chuck this cherub ornament at her. I had to throw it at the window but pretend to aim at Tina's head. It was very funny and we did it in one take. She ended up having to duck as it just skimmed past her head, but luckily it was only made of wax."
So what is it that has made Bethany so rebellious? "The main reason is that she hasn't been getting enough attention from her mum while they've been in Italy. She's been expelled from school for shoplifting. She's quite bored. So she just thinks, 'I'm going to get on a plane and stir up some trouble in Weatherfield'. So she comes back and tells everyone that her mum doesn't care about her.
"What you'll see though is that while Sarah and Bethany are close, they're more like sisters than mother and daughter. When Sarah comes over, Bethany tries to tell her that she wants her mum to be a mum. The problem has been that there are only 15 years between them - Bethany hasn't many boundaries and she's been left to her own devices a lot. So Sarah is definitely going to struggle with how Bethany is."
Thankfully, 19-year-old Lucy Fallon has no such desire to rock the boat. This is her first TV role following a period spent training at a theatre school in her home town of Blackpool and she says she has no secrets that are waiting to come spilling out. When asked what her favourite thing to do is in her spare time, she touchingly says "having a bath" and confesses that she wants to spend her Corrie pay cheques on a Mulberry handbag rather a wild night out.
The only controversy comes from a situation that wasn't at all of her own making: Fallon being the second actress to be announced as playing Bethany Platt after Katie Redford was sacked following press revelations over her age. When Bethany was recast, it was Fallon who got the call. "I knew someone else had initially been offered the part, so I thought that was it. So when I found I did have the role after all, I was even more shocked than I would have been if I’d got it originally. It was brilliant."
And it seems that she'll have plenty to get her teeth stuck into, including some showdowns with Street icons like Gail (Helen Worth)! "Yes, the relationship with Gail is fiery. I would never speak to my nana the way Bethany speaks to Gail. Bethany can be funny, but she's horrible to Gail. In fact, at first, I kept saying sorry for being horrible to Helen. But she laughed and said it was fine!" So, let the fireworks display commence...
Lucy Fallon makes her Coronation Street debut in the episodes airing on Friday 20 March.
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