Casualty favourite Amanda Mealing on Connie Beauchamp’s dramatic exit storyline…
It’s no secret that Casualty favourite Connie Beauchamp is about to leave the ED for a little while.
Star Amanda Mealing, who plays the clinical lead, is taking a well-earned break after months of gruelling storylines that have seen Connie attacked, develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and become addicted to anti-anxiety medication.
This Saturday Connie’s most dramatic storyline to date reaches an explosive climax during a special double-bill.
Here Casualty star Amanda Mealing gives us the inside scoop on Connie’s fall from grace…
Warning: Contains spoilers!
This week hospital CEO Henrik Hanssen launches an investigation into the ED’s over-prescription of benzodiazepines. What more can you reveal?
Amanda Mealing: "Connie knows she’s under the hotspot with trouble-shooter Ciaran Coulson (Rick Warden). Last week doctor Will Noble (Jack Nolan) spotted her medication. That was the turning point because, until then, she’d been able to keep her self-medicating a secret. Ciaran’s had a dig around, found an over-prescription on this particular drug and now has the ammunition he needs…"
How does Connie feel about Ciaran’s new angle of attack?
AM: "Connie’s terrified. If she gets caught her entire career is over. Work is her life; it’s like breathing to her. She’s desperate and will now do anything to save herself!"
Connie has already blamed Archie and Duffy for her previous mistakes in the ED. How drastic are her next actions?
AM: "Connie knows she’s in trouble, so she uses all her powers, intelligence and experience against everyone else and for herself. It’s just so sad. Love her, hate her, or love to hate her, we’re seeing someone who’s broken and in a desperate state. It’s horrible."
How did you initially feel about Connie’s behaviour due to her addiction?
AM: "It’s one of those things… I was really against the Duffy element of this story. Duffy’s such a loved character. While it’s always good to twist characters, there are some things you can’t come back from. I was really nervous that with something like this it would be unforgivable. But hopefully what we’ve done is show PSTD, addiction, the chaos, and how lost Connie is. Hopefully there will be some understanding and sympathy for the fact that Connie in her right mind would never, ever do this, and she is remorseful."
Can you hint at how Connie bows out of the hospital?
AM: "Connie completely breaks down and finally confesses to Charlie Fairhead. She’s just praying that Charlie (Derek Thompson) being the wonderful person he is, will make everything okay. She’s ostracised everyone and he’s the last person left. The big question is, does Charlie forgive her? It’s been intense to film!"
Have you enjoyed working closely with Derek on this?
AM: "I adore Derek! He’s my bestie on the show. I sit in his dressing room and we have little singsongs because he’s got all these guitars. We both went to the Italia Conti stage school at different times and so we share memories about it."
Before we let you go… Why are we being treated to this feature-length double-bill?
AM: "When the schedule was interrupted earlier this Summer, the fans were really supportive and endearing. So hopefully this special double-bill is a nice reward. It’s like Casualty The Movie!"
Casualty is on Saturday on BBC1 at 8.40pm.
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