Coronation Street: Rover Hayley Returns

ROY has the scented bubble bath ready for Hayley.
There being only showers in Mozambique.
Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays Hayley, is back in Coronation Street on Monday after a year off screen.
There’s a feature interview with Julie in today’s MEN.
You can read the online version here.
As usual, there was more material from the interview than I could use on the page.
So here are some extra quotes from Julie.
Starting with the important stuff.

Think of Hayley and a mental image of her red anorak won’t be far behind.
In a video interview with, Julie said Hayley would be sporting a new anorak, albeit one that looked very similar to the old one.
But when I spoke to her earlier this week, she said: “There’s no new anorak. It’s the same one.

“I’ve had the anorak right from the very start.
“It’s rank, it really is. I don’t think it’s ever been washed, either, to be honest with you.
“I’d have been very stressed if it hadn’t of been here when I got back.”
So in a bid to avoid plunging into Anorakgate, I double checked with those nice people at the Corrie press office.
And they confirmed that Hayley still has the exact same anorak – not a new one that looks the same.
It appears she may have made her original comment before being reunited with her beloved coat.
Julie told me: “There was a lot of talk about how she should come back, whether she should have a little bit of ethnic influence, maybe the beaded hair or something like that.
“And in the end we thought it would be great if she just came back absolutely unchanged.
“She wears a pair of Crocs for about a week and then that’s it.”
It’s a little ironic that Hayley’s return from Mozambique comes just after the launch of Corrie’s Out Of Africa DVD – filmed in South Africa – which doesn’t feature her.
“I know it’s a very large continent but they could have flown out to Mozambique for a couple of weeks, that would have been good,” laughed Julie.
“They could have met at the airport. I think we could have pulled that off!”
Is Hayley a changed character after her charity work experiences?
“Not at all. I don’t think she’s changed a bit.

“I think she likes to think she has. There’s a couple of occasions when she’s teetering on the edge of sanctimony.
“She’s enjoying her position as being definitely now the most moral and caring person in the world, not just Coronation Street.”
But then it all comes crashing down around Hayley when she tells Roy the truth about her feelings for Swedish charity worker Olaf.
Of course, Hayley is a fictional character and Julie didn’t go anywhere near Mozambique.
Even so, would she like to make a real life TV documentary about the sort of charity work that Hayley might get up to?
“I’d love to, actually. I have talked with a charity called War On Want, quite a few years ago, about going out and doing something with them in, maybe, Bangladesh.
“So I was interested in maybe doing something about garment workers in a developing country, because of my position in the factory here and everything.
“War On Want is very much about building co-operatives, so the workers have got the power, taking power away from the sweatshops.
“That’s something I was interested in doing with them, but it’s never happened, just because, basically, of being a mum, because I just can’t justify taking myself off for two to three weeks to do something like that when my holiday time is so precious when I’m not here.
“So maybe it’s something for the future, definitely.”

Was returning to work on the cobbles a bit like going back to school after a long time off?
“Well, it was a little bit and I was a bit nervous, so I came in the week before, deliberately, just so that I could see everyone, because it can be a bit overwhelming.
“And also it takes you about an hour to get to make-up then, because you’re catching up with everyone.
“So I thought, ‘I’ll come in and get that out of the way and get myself sorted, catching up on my gossip and everything.’
“It took the edge off it a little bit – and you do feel a bit rusty.
“You think, ‘God, how do you do this? Where do you learn lines? What’s that about? I don’t understand.’
“But you soon get back into it – you have to, don’t you?”
Hayley is surprised to be met by a welcoming committee in Roy’s Rolls.
“That was the first scene I filmed. I had to come back and I was straight into that scene. That was, actually, a bit daunting.
“When there’s a lot of cast, it’s always a little bit throwing, especially when there’s some vintage characters in there like Rita.
“I thought, ‘What if I forget my lines?’ But it was great. It went really well. It was just lovely.”

Does Hayley have the same realtionship with Becky when she comes back?
“Oh, very much so, yeah. Because she cares for her so much and Becky’s in a whole heap of trouble when Hayley comes back.
“So she’s got to try and unravel that for her. She worries to death about her and she always will.
“And that’s nice, because I think that Roy and Hayley always work at their best when there’s a third party in the dynamic, when we’ve got another person in there shaking it up a bit for us.”
Julie explains in today’s feature why she thinks Roy and Hayley work so well together on screen.
She also said: “And because me and David just love each other, we’re just great friends in real life, I just think it works, you know.
“I like to think it does, anyway.”
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