Ex Casualty star Crystal Yu on kissing co-workers, needing time out and THAT hearse scene

(Image credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment)

Crystal Yu talks about Casualty, kissing co-workers and needing some time out…

Missing doctor Lily Chao in Casualty? You’re not the only one. This weekend’s episode sees paramedic Iain Dean coming to terms with Lily’s leave-taking. What’s on TV chatted to Crystal Yu about working with Michael Stevenson, who plays Iain, THAT hearse scene, and what’s next for her now she’s left Casualty…

Here Crystal talks Casualty, kissing co-workers and clarity…

Michael Stevenson plays paramedic Iain Dean on Casualty

Michael Stevenson plays paramedic Iain Dean on Casualty (Image credit: BBC / Alistair Heap)

Did you break the news to Michael Stevenson that you were leaving Casualty?

"Yes, and he was wondering what was going on because all the women Iain gets with leave. I call it the curse of Iain and told Michael he’s the common denominator – people sleep with Iain and want to leave!"

How would you describe your working relationship with Michael?

"Michael and I are quite relaxed. We’re not afraid to take the mickey out of one and other. Michael’s been such an amazing scene partner. I hadn’t done a lot of screen kissing before, and to bring up that intimacy on screen is quite hard. But it gets to the point, you’ve kissed so many times on screen, you just think, bring it on!"

Screen kisses are all in a day's work for actors Michael and Crystal

Screen kisses are all in a day's work for actors Michael and Crystal (Image credit: BBC / Alistair Heap)

Is it strange kissing a co-worker?

"Once you get over the first few kissing scenes that’s it. It’s just a job – I know that sounds so silly, but it is! It becomes so normal you don’t even think about it."

One of our favourite scenes between Iain and Lily was when they got intimate in a hearse during Cal’s funeral!

"I remember when we were filming that episode they brought the hearse to the studios early so we could choreograph it, because it was quite technical. The undertaker was there watching what we were doing and I kept apologising because I felt so bad!"

Was it weird to film?

"It was a very fun scene to film and Michael was brilliant. I was a bit apprehensive initially because it’s not a Lily that I recognise… it’s so un-Lily. Cal would have loved it – he would have been cheering from heaven!"

Crystal with Casualty co-star Chelsea Halfpenny, who plays Alicia

Crystal with Casualty co-star Chelsea Halfpenny, who plays Alicia (Image credit: BBC PICTURES)

You were on Casualty for over four years. What are your other highlights?

"The people. I’ve grown so much because of everyone around me. I left home at a young age and moved about, so it’s never been about a place, it’s always about the people that I’m with. They become my family because they’re the people who root me. Everyone was so supportive on Casualty; when it came to leaving I really cried my eyes out. That’s the biggest gift, leaving Casualty and feeling like I’ve learned and gained so much from everyone. I’m still counting my blessings."

Did you take any keepsakes from the set?

"My registrar badge – I love my Dr Lily Chao badge!"

What’s next for you?

"I’m taking some time out but am also auditioning. I’ve had quite a few interesting meetings but, who knows? Life is a big, exciting question mark. I could have happily stayed but I needed to walk away for a little bit. Sometime you need to step away to give yourself a little bit of clarity."

Best of luck Crystal, can't wait to see what the future holds. #ChaoForNow

Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and www.whattowatch.com covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.