Love cheat Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) is out of prison next week and desperate for a reunion with estranged wife Carla – but will she take him back? As Peter pleads for another chance, just what reaction will he get from the Underworld boss? Actress Alison King tells us more…
So, what are Carla’s feelings for Peter in the wake of what’s happened – is she nervous about seeing him again?
She’s not looking forward to Peter coming out. She can deal with the fact that he’s being released, but she doesn’t want to see him or talk to him.
What are her feelings when they see each other in the Rovers?
He begs to talk to her, but she’s steely with him and I don’t think he really gets why. She doesn’t want to listen – nothing he’s got to say is going to make any difference, but he insists on taking her into the back room and doing this massive speech. He seems to think they can pick up where they left off, but she tells him that she didn’t do this for him, she did it because it was the right thing to do.
But does she still love Peter?
He thinks that she still loves him, and I think somewhere deep down she always will love him, but he took that out of her hands. She’s somehow managed to scrape herself off the floor and she’s never ever going to let those barriers down with him again. He’s the only person who can hurt her like that. She lost everything and she tells him that – he’s been in a cell conjuring up all these fantasies about them getting back together because she still loves him, but she didn’t do it for him.
Peter pleads with her to take him back – is she tempted?
While she’s glad that he’s OK, there’s no way she’ll let him hurt her again. She just can’t go back. He’s her Achilles’ heel and she can’t take him back.
Does she just want to draw a line under the whole thing and move on? Where on earth will she find the strength to do this?
She finds the strength from her friends, people like Roy and Michelle, and by putting everything again into Underworld. She throws everything into her business and, as a result, it’s doing really well. Her confidence and her armour all build up around that and she starts to feel strong again.
Is Carla relieved when Peter starts talking about leaving Weatherfield?
She does blame him for everything. She’s had enough of his excuses and she knows he won’t leave her alone if he stays. She also knows how vulnerable she is and it would be easier for her if he was away and would leave her alone. It’s one thing telling him to leave her alone, but while he’s here and he’s pushing all her buttons until she breaks then she’s still vulnerable. So they have to be apart for a while.
What about Simon in all this? Does Carla still feel responsible for Simon?
Yes, Carla’s love for Simon has grown and she feels a responsibility for him to be happy. She was the person who was responsible for the break-up of his dad and Leanne and she wanted to make it work with Peter. She however wasn’t responsible for the break-up of her and Peter, but she still managed to grow very fond of Simon.
It took a long time for him to gain her trust and her to gain his, but they did have a bond in the end. She does feel really guilty, but there’s a lovely scene between Carla, Peter and Simon where she tells him that she’ll always be there for him and will look out for him. Peter knows she’ll always be there to look out for Simon if he goes away.
Will you get any downtime after such a run of heavy storylines? And are you going to miss Marc Baylis and Chris Gascoyne?
Yes, I am looking forward to a bit of down time after Christmas. Will I miss Marc and Chris? Well that’s just a ridiculous question [laughs]. I’m all on my own – my two boys that hug me a lot have gone, but I’ve still got Kym Marsh so I’ll be all right. She gives me cuddles. I’ll miss Marc and Chris like mad. I already am.
Stuart Blackburn has hinted that Peter and Carla will always love each other. Would you like to see more chapters to their story?
Yes definitely. Part of Carla will always love Peter and there are still more stories to be told. I’d love to see Chris back at some point in the future.
And are you enjoying doing more scenes with David Neilson [Roy]?
Yes, I love doing scenes with David. He’s an absolute joy to work with and he also has a great sense of humour. I love the relationship between Carla and Roy and, as we head towards Christmas, you’ll see more of that connection between them.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s drama in Weatherfield below: