Playing Becca Dean in Hollyoaks seems like a lifetime ago says ex-soap star Ali Bastian

Playing Becca Dean in Hollyoaks seems like a lifetime ago says ex-soap star Ali Bastian
(Image credit: Nils Jorgensen/REX/Shutterstock)

Former Hollyoaks actress and Strictly Come Dancing star Ali Bastian is all set to star in a new film where she’s had to learn Russian!

It’s been 11 years since actress Ali Bastian played Hollyoaks’ Becca Dean! The former soap star has talked to Soaplife about her Hollyoaks friends, weddings and learning Russian for her new role.

Former Hollyoaks star Ali Bastian talks to Soaplife

Soaplife: Does playing Becca Dean in Hollyoaks feel like a lifetime ago?

Ali Bastian: “It’s 11 years since I left, which is quite a long time so, yes, it does feel likes ages ago. I loved my time on Hollyoaks. It was a bit like my version of university in the fact that I learned a lot and made friends for life.”

Ali says being in Hollyoaks seems like a lifetime ago

Ali says being in Hollyoaks seems like a lifetime ago

S: Like who?

AB: “Well, I was at Sarah Jane Dunne’s hen party the other week and I’m looking forward to going to her wedding in a few weeks’ time. Then there’s Jodi Albert and Carley Stenson – girls who were in Hollyoaks when I was. We’re still very much in touch.”

S: Talking of weddings, you recently got engaged, didn’t you?

AB: “Yes! Although we’d discussed marriage, it took me completely by surprise. I still think, has this really happened?”

S: Have you set a date yet?

AB: “We’ve booked the Registry Office for March next year and so we’re taking it from there. We’re planning three celebrations. We want to get married in London followed by a cocktail party, then a blessing in Bali.”

S: What have you been working on recently?

Ali Bastian: “I’ve done a film called Hooligan Escape, which is streamed on Digital and released on DVD this month. It’s about a group of football supporters who go to Russia for the World Cup and find themselves kidnapped by the Russian Mob, due to something that happened a few years before. The film is the story of them trying to escape and get back home.”

S: Who are you playing?

AB: “A half Russian and half English character called Veronika who works for MI6. The football fans think she’s with the mob, but secretly she isn’t. It’s her aim to shut down what the mobsters are doing in terms of people trafficking and all kinds of other deeply unpleasant things. When these English boys turn up, suddenly her cover is blown and they all have to escape from this hellish situation.”

S: Did you have to learn Russian for the role?

AB: “I did. The guys who play the Russian mobsters really are Russian so when my character was in a scene with them, I had to speak Russian, too. I had a crash course to learn the language, so I sounded authentic and I knew what I was talking about. When I wasn’t in a scene, I’d be in huddled in the corner with head mobster Oleg, going over my Russian!”

S: That sounds challenging!

AB: “It was but I like new challenges. I have to do quite a few fight scenes in the film, too, and it was great fun learning how to do that.”


* Hooligan Escape is released on Digital on 7 May and DVD on 14 May. Follow the film on twitter @movieescape!

Main pic: Nils Jorgensen/REX/Shutterstock. Full length pic: Photo by Brett D. Cove/Silverhub Media/REX/Shutterstock 


Rachel Lucas
Forward Planning Deputy Manager

Rachel is a soaps and TV writer for, soaps podcaster and resident soap expert for UK TV listings magazines What's On TV and TV Times. After graduating with an art and design degree from Birmingham City University, she found her true calling in all things soap and has been writing about them for magazines and websites for over 20 years. A self-confessed soap addict, she's always had a great love of all the UK and Aussie soaps and owns everything from a Neighbours 1990 Annual to a DVD box set of classic Corrie episodes to prove it.