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Stephanie Davis (Sinead O'Connor, 'Hollyoaks')

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Sinead O'Connor in Hollyoaks

© Lime Pictures

Over The Rainbow star Stephanie Davis makes her debut in Hollyoaks next week as part of the Channel 4 soap's new O'Connor clan. Viewers see her outspoken character Sinead for the first time when she starts at Hollyoaks High with her younger brother Finn. As well as the pressure of moving schools, Sinead also has a stressful home life as her stepmum Diane is going through a second round of IVF treatment. DS recently chatted with Stephanie to find out more.

How did you end up with the part in Hollyoaks?
"Well, I came off Over The Rainbow and Arlene Phillips asked me to come down and see her about Flashdance: The Musical. She asked me about the part of Gloria and being the understudy. I was in London at the time and returned home to see my family for a little bit, and then [casting director] Dorothy Andrews rang and asked me to come and see her over two things, and I didn't know what they were for. When I got there, I found out that one was for Hollyoaks, so I said, 'Brill!' I did one read-through but it was really quick, so at first I didn't think I'd got the part!"

What happened after that?
"I realised that Hollyoaks was what I wanted to do, and I had to let Arlene Phillips know what I was going to do about Flashdance. Hollyoaks made a really quick decision after the one read-through and told me that I got the part. Then I let Arlene and Flashdance know that I was going to take Hollyoaks. In a way, I'm gutted that I let Arlene down, but I'm so glad because I've had a fantastic time and I'm loving every minute of it."

When you left Over The Rainbow, your main ambition still seemed to be musical theatre - is that completely on the backburner now?
"Well, obviously I'd still love to do musical theatre and I'm really into music - I write my own songs on the piano. But I'd love to stay in Hollyoaks for quite a while - longer than a year and hopefully two or three years. I'm also working on some of my own tracks at the moment that I've written, so I'd like to bring them out."

We all know you from Over The Rainbow, but have you had TV roles before?
"Yeah, I had TV roles before Over The Rainbow - including Holby City, Doctors, The Outsiders with Nigel Harman and Parents of the Band with Jimmy Nail. I also did a TV advert, so I've done quite a few things before this."

How does Hollyoaks compare to theatre and the work you were doing on Over The Rainbow?
"I love it - I think it's brilliant! It really is very different. It's totally the opposite, the other end of the scale - because you've got to really play down your performances because you're acting as if it's real. So my character Sinead is now the other half of me - you've really got to put your mind to it like that. It's really good and I'm loving it, especially being back home because I love Liverpool."

How would you describe Sinead?
"She's very mischievous! She's a typical teenager in most ways, but she'll definitely be mischievous. There'll be a bit of trouble! She thinks that she rules the school in a way! But she's very protective over her family, especially her stepmum and her little brother. And obviously we come in with a bang! First of all, she's quite a boisterous character, and then eventually I think she takes on the adult role in the family and becomes more mature. She has to grow up quite quickly."

Did her parents deliberately name her after the singer Sinead O'Connor?
"Yeah, I think they did! Sinead's dad is really into his music, and they do make reference to it in certain scenes!"

Does Sinead have a good relationship with her stepmum?
"She does! But Sinead is quite hard to read sometimes. She's a bit upset that her stepmum is so desperate for a baby of her own, and I think she and her little brother are thinking, 'Well, aren't we good enough for you?' in a way. And put it this way, Diane will go to desperate measures to have a baby of her own. So I think she is close to her stepmum, but she doesn't show it too much. In terms of the family, she wants things to stay the same and doesn't want her relationships to change. She's very protective over them, and it puts up a wall. But as soon as Diane goes through the IVF treatment, it hits a certain point where it changes for Sinead. She loves her stepmum so much and you can tell they've got a special bond. There's some real deep, deep scenes coming up."

As Sinead is a bit unsure about the IVF treatment, does she feel like Diane and her dad Rob are ignoring her wishes?
"At the start, she's really against it and she does feel like she's being ignored, but then suddenly it all changes. You'll know what I mean when you see it on screen! It's really deep stuff and the story goes all over the place! But in the end, she's just more bothered about looking after her mum and keeping her family safe. She just wants it to be happy families, but I think deep down it never will be - something will always crop up…"

> Click here to read more from Stephanie Davis in Soap Scoop
> Click here to read our recent interview with Stephanie's screen stepmum Alex Fletcher Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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