Emmerdale star Isobel Steele says fans can expect a huge twist for her character Liv Dingle, as her storyline comes to a dramatic head next week.
Ever since Liv’s mum Sandra Flaherty (Joanne Mitchell) arrived in the village, she has been trying to drive a wedge between Liv and her husband Vinny (Bradley Johnson) with an end goal of getting hold of Liv's money.
Read more: Next week on Emmerdale
Sandra made cruel, offensive references to Liv’s asexual identity as she plotted to push Vinny closer to Liv’s friend Gabby Thomas (Rosie Bentham). But when it became clear that Vinny would never cheat, Sandra targeted Liv’s sobriety.
In upcoming scenes, Vinny is shocked to find that their home, Mill Cottage, is up for sale. Liv’s sudden decision leads to tension between the couple; and Sandra soon tempts Liv to turn back to alcohol. But Steele reveals that it might not be so simple for the callous Sandra.
Teasing a positive outcome for Liv, the actor says: “It’s just the happy ending, isn’t it, that everyone’s rooting for on-screen. I loved playing it. It’s been interesting, because it’s a real shock.”
She and her co-stars have had to be mindful of the pay-off to this complex plot; and the star is sure that fans will be pleased with the outcome.
“We’ve been playing it and having to be aware that this is coming up so that the audience are surprised by it. I think it plays off really well; it’s a real win.”
It remains to be seen exactly how Sandra’s scheming will be exposed. But while we wait, Steele gives us an insight into the portrayal of Sandra. “It’s really a very well-written character, in that I think that somewhere deep down she genuinely does care," she explains.
“We wanted to make sure that when we were filming these scenes, and I was working with Jo [Mitchell], that the beats were played where - sometimes when she’s seen the havoc that she’s caused, there is genuine emotion there, and she feels guilty for what she’s doing.
“Liv is her daughter, and I think that somewhere deep down there is that emotion and that love for Liv. So it’s a complex character because she is so awful, but it comes from a place of just not knowing what love is, I think.”
Speaking of mother figures, Steele also discusses Liv’s tricky relationship with mother-in-law Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley).
“It plays two different ways, always,” she says. “We’re either best friends on-screen or we hate each other. The funny thing is, the hate is never really hate; it’s very downplayed.
“It’s not really written, we just do it ourselves - we just play [on] looks! I think Liv finds Mandy extremely irritating, and Mandy finds Liv a bit selfish and takes Vinny away from her.
“They have a rocky relationship but it’s based on a lot of love; when they get on, they get on. I think when Liv’s got a mature head on her shoulders, she can see that the reason Mandy is the way she is, is because she loves Vinny. And [Liv] loves him; so really, they have the same agenda at the end of the day.”
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