Hollyoaks fans have followed Scott Drinkwell’s joyful journey to becoming the soap’s resident drag queen and honing his cheeky stage persona ‘Anita Tinkle’, and Ross Adams has confessed to RadioTimes.com that one of his cast mates helped inspire the transformation into the village vamp.
“Stephanie Waring, who plays Cindy, is giving me tips on how to be sexy and sensual as Anita – she’s a little minx!” he giggles. “I needed the assistance. There’s been a few lines here and there where she’s suggested fluttering the eyelashes or suggestively licking my lips for emphasis, small little touches that have really helped.
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“I’ve also thought for a while the blonde wig is a bit Sarah Jayne Dunn (aka Mandy Morgan). She actually pointed out to me a few months ago how much she thought Anita’s hair was like hers, I pretended I’d only just noticed!”
Anita has been turning heads since she debuted earlier this year, when Scott took his first tentative steps into the world of drag, and in recent episodes appears to have caught the eye of Mitchell Deveraux (Imran Adams), boyfriend of Mr Drinkwell’s best mate Cleo McQueen.
The unlikely romance is set to be a slow burn autumn storyline as Mitchell falls for Scott, initially only when he’s dressed as alter ego Anita, beginning an emotional coming out story for the straight doctor kicking off with the couple’s first, unexpected kiss on Wednesday 4th September (E4 showing).
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“The kiss is out of the blue and Scott immediately wants to discuss it,” explains Adams. “He sees Mitchell is struggling with his sexuality and wants to support him through that, but Mitchell shuts it down and refuses to talk about what happened.
“Viewers will see Scott and Mitchell keep being drawn back together, and Scott will fall very deep and very heavy like he did previously with John Paul McQueen and Dr Levi. That’s typical of him. He feels terrible and knows it’s wrong as he’s such good friends with Cleo, who will be the unfortunately casualty in this love triangle. But Scott gets so infatuated he just can’t help it…
“Mitchell’s coming out journey was always the point of the story,” continues the star. “Scott embarking on being a drag queen was just the way to get to it – although I was terrified to begin with as I’d never done anything like it before.”
Admitting his initial apprehension about getting it right and ensuring no offence was caused, Adams was reassured when Hollyoaks’ creative team pulled together to create an in-house ‘drag workshop’. “It was really helpful, we had the heads of make-up and costume discussing different looks, and one of the writers, Amrou Al-Kadhi, has a drag persona and gave me some great advice from his own experience.
“He suggested making Anita slower in her movements to give her a confidence and sexiness that is different to Scott, who is an erratic kind of character – everything he does is quick, the way he moves and speaks. That note was really helpful in terms of the physicality of the performance and drawing a line between Scott and Anita.”
Ms Tinkle has become something of a fan phenomenon, meaning more time in make-up for Adams whenever his character is required to drag up for a special event in need of a sprinkling of glamour. “We’ve got it down to about an hour and 45 minutes,” he reveals. “An hour in make-up, mainly spent on the eyes, lashes and eyeshadow and all that caper. Depending on how big her hair needs to be the wig takes about 10 minutes, then costume about 20 minutes because of all the padding.
“I wear a pair of spanx and three pairs of tights. Now I think it’s hilarious when I see women in movies seductively rolling on the tights – there is nothing seductive about putting on tights, let me tell you!”
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