Olivia D’Lima on Ethan’s shock confession in Casualty and the joy of playing paramedic Fenisha Khatri
Casualty this week sees Ethan Hardy unable to keep his Huntington’s disease a secret from Fenisha Khatri any longer. In Saturday’s episode [BBC1, 8.20pm] Ethan finally tells paramedic Fenisha about his diagnoses and what it may mean for their baby, Bodhi.
Viewers may be expecting explosive arguments, accusations and recriminations. However, Casualty chooses to take a softer approach to this sensitive subject...
In quiet, private scenes between Fenisha (Olivia D’Lima) and Ethan (George Rainsford) at the ambulance station the couple have an emotional heart-to-heart.
Casualty star Olivia D’Lima, who plays paramedic Fenisha Khatri, tells us more…
Fenisha is back at work after maternity leave. How is she doing?
Olivia D’Lima: "I’m excited that Fenisha is back at work, creating havoc and solving mysteries! I always call her ‘Detective Fenisha’ because it’s like she has a sixth sense at scoops. Naturally, as a new mum she is trying to balance work and home, but living with Ethan has definitely helped things, as they can share baby Bodhi responsibilities."
Is that set to change dramatically when Ethan reveals his secret?
Olivia: "Emotionally, things get a lot harder when Fenisha learns of Ethan’s Huntington’s this week. It absolutely breaks her heart. Not only could she lose Ethan but her beautiful baby boy could suffer from the same disease. It’s a hellish situation for them all."
What do you love about your character?
Olivia: "Fenisha is a bit like Marmite, which tells me we’re doing something right - no one can please everyone, and no one is designed to! She has an incredible confidence and feels comfortable in any room she walks into - it's enviable! Fenisha also a deep sense of care for everyone she meets. She can hit it off with anyone. I think all of her travelling has helped her to relate to most people she comes across."
She can be refreshingly straightforward too...
Olivia: "Yes, she can be pretty forthcoming with her feelings and opinions. That may paint her out to be a bit blunt or bolshy but I admire her ability to stay true to herself. She’s definitely quite misunderstood, but I think that makes her all the more three-dimensional. Don’t get me wrong, she has made some less-than-ideal choices and said some hurtful things. I think it’s because, sometimes, she thinks she knows herself better than she does."
She’s constantly evolving, which we love to see in Casualty characters…
Olivia: "She can get a bit lost at times and is too stubborn to admit it! But it’s endearing and encouraging that she makes mistakes yet always picks herself back up. I love Fenisha, if I had a sister I imagine she’d be a lot like her."
What does playing a Casualty paramedic mean to you?
Olivia: "The paramedic team are just incredible, and that’s so representative of paramedics themselves. To go into situations without knowing exactly what or who to expect is so brave. I will forever have endless respect for paramedics. Every day at work I laugh, cry and laugh again. Working with Botch (Jan), Uri (Lev), Mike (Iain) and my bud Bobby (Leon)... it’s the dream team!"
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