Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sunita on the East Coast

So Missusmac had graciously sent us a FABULOUS report from Halifax. You guys are going to LOVE this.

BTW, this is spoiler free, but I will be posting some spoilers next that you can choose to look at or not. (btw - I KNEW Bill Ward had to be a nice guy in real life.)

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeere it is:


Looking slightly dazed at the rapturous welcome she received from 600 die-hard Corrie fans packing the ballroom of the Halifax Westin Hotel, Shobna quickly proved she is as gracious and warm as the character she plays.

She cracked jokes, waded into the audience for autographs, told a few show secrets, answered about 100 submitted questions and did several dead-on imitations of castmates during her two-hour appearance.

The juiciest disclosure? That her real life relationship with the actress who plays Maya mirrors their relationship on the show.

"We have history," she said, adding the two had performed together in a play once "and I had my hair pulled."

The disclosure came about an hour before she did an hysterically funny impersonation of Maya, complete with dishevelled hair and the whites of her eyes rolling heavenward.

Her best and funniest impersonation is of a ditzy Frankie, but she also does a mean Dev: "You..! Sunnittttttaaaaaaa! " -- and she also performs a pretty good Liz MacDonald.

She hinted at upcoming plots, and did disclose the outcome of her recently announced pregnancy, but tried very hard not to ruin any surprises.

Trim, witty and very beautiful, she's a single mother of a 10-year-old boy, who appeared on the show during her wedding to Dev. He was the young boy on the horse sitting in front of Dev when he rode up to the ceremony.

She said her mother has watched Corrie for 45 years, at first tuning in on the advice of Shobna's father, who said the show would help her learn British ways. However, her mother is not interested in Sunita at all.

"She says, "yes, yes, Sunita is fine... but what about Karen!"

Shobna, who donated for charity auction one of the five outfits created for her Hindu Hen-do that Maya spilled wine on, answered submitted questions. Here are some of the things we learned:

* She'd secretly rather be Tracy Barlow, and has a strong friendship with the actress who plays the mean queen.

* The two vacation together, and share a dressing room, which includes male pinups and their own handmade chart of the men their characters have dated on the street. At one point, Sunita was winning that race.

* Off set, she also hangs around Helen Worth, who plays Gayle, and the actress who plays Shelly. The Shelly/Sunita friendship helps professionally. They are so good together that at the end of the day they are usually asked to do 5 minute, one-take shots, because the crew knows they can pull it off without retakes.

* It took a brutal three weeks of 12 hour days to film the whole Maya kidnap and exploding shop storyline. Shobna said she spent days duct taped at the mouth and ankles but joked "I'm Asian, so the hair removal when it was ripped off was helpful."

* The crew built several extra shop sets for this storyline, while her wedding to Dev is estimated to have cost 55,000 pounds. An entire temple was built for the wedding.

* The actress who plays Shelly used to be a stand up comic, and is about as different in real life as she could possibly get. "Charlie" is also very nice in real life, while Shobna insists that she's actually a "bitch from hell."

"The three of us were doing one of those scenes in the back room of the pub, and I just started to laugh, because we're so different than our characters."

* Simon Gregson (Steve) knows all his lines with just one read, which drives everyone crazy. "Fred" has the best war stories about acting, and the actress who plays "Emily" is hysterically funny in real life.

* "Ken" says even after all these years he still feels butterflies in the pit of his stomach when the director says 'ACTION', and Jimmi/Dev has yet to take her to dinner. "He's taken all his other girlfriends on the show out," she laughingly complained.

* No one drinks anything stronger than shandy during party/pub scenes, and everyone hesitates to drink anything with ice in it. "The ice is kind of dodgy, no one really knows where that's been."

* She enjoyed her plot line with "Kieran" and was sad when the couple broke up. They are aren't an item though, she said sternly, "I think (Keith Duffy's) wife would have something to say about that."

* No, Kieran does not sing on the set.

* As Sunita, she'd like to get her hands on the new mechanic. "Have you seen him?" she crowed to the appreciative crowd, who had obviously seen him.

* She has a rule when doing kissing scenes with actors. "I tell them, if you stick your tongue in my mouth, I WILL bite it off." So far, no one has.

* In real life, she's a clothes horse, and does not care for Sunita clothes, except maybe the long denim coat with the fur trim "and the little denim purse, which carries nothing!"

* As for Corrie's popularity, she says it's because the show combines being genuinely funny with great universal stories that could have come from the hand of writers like Dickens.

* She gave a general "you never know" answer to reports Karen MacDonald, Jim MacDonald and Peter Barlow might return. She said no actor ever completely cuts themself off from the show because most love it too much.

* She did divulge the actor who plays Peter Barlow was dubbed "Pocket" by the actress who plays Shelly, because he is so small.

* And that she had a four-year relationship with the actor who played Carlos on Emmerdale. "He's married now, I'm not bitter," she said jokingly.

* The biggest surprise was her answer to "Whose the sexiest man on the street?" Tyrone Dobbs.


"He really is. He's got gorgeous eyes," she said, before adding impishly "and he adores ME."


Anonymous said...

That was an awesome read. Cheers!

- Jennifer -

GoBetty said...

That was so well-written. Thank you so much.

Deborah said...

Thankyou very much for writing such a great article.