Julie Hesmondhalgh has revealed that her ‘Coronation Street’ character Hayley Cropper was originally supposed to be a joke, with bosses planning for her to appear in just two weeks’ worth of episodes.
The actress will be back on our screens in the third and final series of ‘Broadchurch’ later this month, and she’s now opened up about the role which made her a household name.
Speaking of her casting, she tells the Telegraph’s Stella magazine: “I wasn’t meant to be in Coronation Street for any longer than two weeks.
“The character of Hayley was originally written as a joke.
“It wasn’t a politically correct one, but this was back in 1998. The joke was that Roy Cropper David Neilson was going to go on a series of disastrous blind dates, one of them being with a man who had transgendered to a woman.”
However, when the character was a hit with fans, bosses decided to make her a permanent fixture.
Julie then remained part of the cast until 2014, when Hayley was killed off in an emotional suicide storyline. The episode featuring Hayley’s death was watched by over 9 million viewers.
In ‘Broadchurch’ she will be at the centre of the episodes, playing Trish, who is the victim of a sexual assault that takes place at a party.
Julie has discussed the role, admitting that she initially had reservations about taking it on and had to face her own “internalised misogyny”.