Coronation Street star Dolly-Rose Campbell teases huge wedding story for Gemma
Coronation Street spoilers follow.
Coronation Street's Gemma Winter takes centre stage in big episodes next week, as she heads down the aisle to marry her long-term partner Chesney Brown.
Gemma is determined to have the wedding day of her dreams, but there's a possibility that secrets could cast a shadow over the ceremony.
Chesney has been keeping Gemma in the dark over how much Linda Hancock has been paying to fund the wedding.
More tragically, Gemma's twin brother Paul Foreman is also keeping quiet about his recent Motor Neurone Disease (MND) diagnosis.
Dolly-Rose Campbell, who plays Gemma, recently caught up with Digital Spy and other press to discuss the storyline.
Next year, it'll be ten years since you joined Coronation Street. Did you ever imagine you'd be on the show for so long?
"No! I didn't think I'd still be here. When I first started, it was only for six episodes and it was a storyline to extract Kylie Platt from the show when Paula Lane went to have a baby.
"It was really just a six-episode little story, so to still be here all this time later, it's great. I'm very lucky to still be here and to still be having lots of fun storylines to do."
Does it feel like a big moment to now get a Corrie wedding?
"Of course, yes – the weddings are always a centre point for some of the stories in Coronation Street. I remember watching Roy and Hayley when they got married and Dev and Sunita when they got married. Theirs was really fun. So to actually be the bride in a Corrie wedding is a real honour."
What has made Gemma and Chesney such a good match?
"I think Gemma and Chesney complement each other perfectly because he's the calm side to her crazy hyper side. He brings her back down to earth and he just loves and accepts her for who she is.
"Chesney doesn't try to change her. He puts up with all her family and they're a great team together, raising the family. They just work really well together and they're best friends at the heart of it."
Is it important to Gemma to have a big, fancy wedding?
"I think it's not necessarily about having something to prove, but it's more something that she's always dreamed of her whole life. Gemma had always wanted to have her day, to be the bride, have a big wedding and have it be fabulous.
"Gemma wanted to have a day where she can be herself, where she's not just being a mum or worrying about money or worrying about work."
Viewers know that Linda has been secretly paying for a lot of the wedding, with Chesney keeping Gemma in the dark. How would Gemma feel if she knew?
"I think Gemma feels grateful that she has got people around who can help. She wouldn't be able to have the day of her dreams if she wasn't able to accept help.
"But at the same time, it's very humbling because ideally Gemma would like to be able to provide for herself and Chesney without any help. She just can't in her situation.
"Gemma is grateful for the support from Linda and from Paul too, but whether Bernie feels the same or not remains to be seen. Bernie's reaction is definitely one of the highlights of these two weeks!"
Gemma has an unexpected falling-out with Paul a few days before the wedding. What happens?
"In the build up to the wedding, Paul becomes quite distant, quite rude and Gemma can't understand why he's acting like that and why he isn't as excited as she is.
"It gets to a point where Paul blows up and tells Gemma that nobody cares about the wedding – he's sick of her and he's sick of the wedding. He really, really hurts her feelings, because it's something she's looked forward to for years. She's quite angry at him and tells him not to bother coming."
Up until this point, Gemma hasn't noticed Paul behaving strangely following his MND diagnosis. Why is that?
"Paul is very stubborn and he wants everything to be his way. He doesn't want to be seen as weak, so he doesn't want to offload it all on the family. He's doing a good job of hiding it.
"On top of that, Gemma's life is so hectic with her family, her work and all her worries. The wedding isn't the only reason that she doesn't notice. Her life in general is so busy, so she's struggling to notice things that are right in front of her."
How will Gemma react when she inevitably finds out the truth about Paul?
"Gemma is going to be completely devastated. Gemma and Paul are not just brother and sister – they're twins, they've been together their whole lives.
"I think Gemma's approach would be to stay strong. They are a bit of an 'out there' family, but they do love each other, they stick together, and they want what's best for each other."
Can you tell us about Gemma's eye-catching wedding dress and how it came about?
"I was just blown away by the dress. It's an absolute work of art. The detail that's gone into it is just beyond anything I ever imagined.
"I always had big, big ideas for what I wanted for Gemma's dress. When I was discussing it with the costume department, the question that kept coming up was: 'Where are we going to get something like that from?'
"I knew of this designer called Liquorice Black from going to their studio a few years ago and seeing all their costumes. I told Corrie that I knew of someone who could make the dress, but I was unsure as to whether they'd actually do it because they're really busy.
"Liquorice Black is a Manchester drag queen. We have a mutual friend and I knew they had worked on RuPaul's Drag Race UK so I knew that they would be the best person to make the dress. I was absolutely delighted when they said yes."
What was the inspiration behind the dress?
"I based the idea from weddings I had seen as a child. These would have been the kinds of weddings Gemma would've seen as a child as well. Growing up in the 90s and seeing all the big dresses, I also wanted extra touches like fairy lights. It's just a little bit extra and that's quite Gemma.
"The colour came from our costume designer, Alex, at work. She wanted it to be orange because it was the most Chesney colour, which we all found so funny!
"The dress was two metres wide and the veil was seven metres. Because the dress was two metres wide, we found that when the director wanted to do a two-shot, with two actors, he couldn't do it because there wasn't enough room for two people! Liquorice made us a smaller one, and that was like a mini-skirt dress that we could use for close ups."
What was everyone's reaction when they saw the dress?
"A few of the crew had seen it, but none of the cast had seen it. I think maybe Ryan Russell [who plays Michael Bailey] was the only one who had seen it, because he was having a costume fitting at the same time, but nobody else had seen it in all its orange glory.
"I didn't wear it until we were actually inside the church, so that way nobody could see it. Barbara Knox loved it – I was really surprised. I thought she might think it would look a little bit silly, but she thought it was perfect for Gemma.
"The dress is now going in the Corrie museum in real life."
There's a BSL interpreter at the wedding, which is important to Gemma after her experiences with her son Aled. Can you tell us about your decision to embrace learning BSL in real life?
"I'm halfway through Level 2. It's getting quite difficult, but I am enjoying it! For me, as we were going to have a deaf actor on set as part of our family, it made sense for me, or Sam [Aston, who plays Chesney] or Jane [Hazlegrove, who plays Bernie] to learn BSL so we can help him.
"Joseph is the name of the actor playing Aled and his parents are also deaf, so it's nice to be able to talk to them and make them feel included. It can be quite difficult sometimes for deaf people – the support they need is not always there, and the more people that can sign, the easier that it is for them."
We see Gemma use BSL even when Aled isn't around, don't we?
"Yes – because I was learning in real life, I discovered that was how you learn. I was learning as Dolly, in real life, and because I've been able to do that, I've been able to add things that maybe weren't scripted initially.
"There have been times where I've been filming a scene where Gemma and Bernie are talking, but at the same time, I'm having a completely different conversation with Joseph [who plays Aled] in sign, that's not related to the scene.
"Things like that have started to happen, that I never would've known about if I didn't sign. I've even had my first dream in sign language!"
Coronation Street airs a special schedule next week, screening every evening from Monday to Friday at 7.30pm on ITV1. The show also streams on ITVX.
Read more Coronation Street spoilers on our dedicated homepage
You Might Also Like