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'Doctors' Lu Corfield reveals new Freya plots - interview

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Lu Corfield, Danielle Henry, Doctors

© BBC

Doctors' Freya Wilson has a busy few months ahead on screen as her new romance with Mandy Marquez takes centre stage.

Fans have already seen the early days of Freya's new relationship, but the story gathers pace next week when Mandy joins The Mill and is added to the regular cast.

With romance and major troubles at work on the way for Freya, Digital Spy recently chatted to Lu Corfield - who plays her - to hear all about it.

You've been filming on Doctors for a year now. How would you sum up your time on the show so far?
"It's been an absolute rollercoaster! The speed and the amount that we cram in means that it's not like anything else that I've ever done before, but it's also the happiest show that I've ever worked on. It will sound like a cliché, but everyone in the whole team really gets on. I've never experienced such a team effort.

"It's great to be working with a bunch of regulars that I adore, but also to have a fresh turnover of guest artists. Working on Doctors means that you have a fresh face every day, and that makes you up your game as well."

How do you view the character of Freya?
"Freya is a complete prat, but I've grown to love her more and more over the year. She started off as somebody who at any opportunity would stand on her soapbox and scream about women's rights, feminism and the liberation movement! She still does, but she's toned it down a little bit. Freya's also become more of a 3D character, especially now that her girlfriend Mandy has been brought in. It's just lovely to play her."

Lu Corfield, Danielle Henry, Doctors
Freya seems to be getting bigger storylines now, doesn't she?
"Yes. When she first started, she was a feeder for lots of 'stories of the day' or other character's storylines, which is fair enough and the viewers have got to know her by watching her on the sidelines. But now she's really been given her own time.

"The two main ways that you get to know Freya are through her relationship with Kevin and her relationship with Mandy. Although the romance with Mandy is just starting to air now, we've already shot another three months of it, so it's got a massive development ahead."

What's your take on the Freya and Kevin relationship?
"I started at the same time as Simon Rivers, who plays Kevin, and we've gone on a massive journey together, both on screen and off. I love their relationship, because it started off with them fighting like cat and dog, but now there's such a fondness between them. Their default setting is to always snap at each other, but they care about each other a lot and they'll always look out for each other.

"The triangle we now have of Mandy, Kevin and Freya is glorious. You'll see that Mandy doesn't know quite where to place herself. Freya is saying that she's with Mandy and everything's fine, but there's still such a pull towards Kevin, which she's not very good at hiding!"

Does playing a bisexual character come with any pressure?
"I don't feel pressure, I feel genuinely privileged. It's not something that's just new for Doctors or daytime, it's new for soaps in general. Soaps tend to be quite supportive when it comes to introducing a regular gay or lesbian character, but to actually explore an area that isn't as clear-cut or straightforward is amazing.

"I'm bisexual in real life and very proud to be, so when I found out this was the way that Freya was going to go, I felt that I had a massive responsibility. The writers have been brilliant and I've gone to them with suggestions. Together we've hopefully made Freya's bisexuality a part of who she is, rather than letting it define her."

Freya and Mandy are already living together. Is there a danger that their relationship is progressing too quickly?
"I think there is, especially because Freya is useless when it comes to relationships. She's absolutely petrified, because she's convinced that it's going to go wrong. We've seen in the past that she's just not used to being treated well.

"Mandy moving in is actually the best thing that could have happened to her in the long-run, but there will be times when Freya manages to mess things up quite wonderfully! All I'll say is that it doesn't run smoothly, but Doctors storylines never do!"

Lu Corfield, Danielle Henry, Doctors
Mandy is a new regular character for Doctors. What else can we expect from her?
"Mandy is a fantastic character. She's very honest, she's very upfront and she's good for Freya. Freya will hesitate and not make decisions quickly, while Mandy is straight-down-the-line and she doesn't overcomplicate things. As far as Mandy's concerned, she just wants to be with Freya and they'll see if it works. Freya is seeing a lot of neon warning signs flashing before her eyes, while Mandy is skipping down the street happily with rose-tinted glasses."

There's an interesting episode coming up involving Freya, Mandy and a radio interview, isn't there?
"Yes, Freya is given a chance to talk about her blog on Letherbridge FM, but the interview doesn't quite go according to plan! The interviewer is a bit of a bitchy character, and she really hones in on Freya and her bisexuality, saying, 'How can you be decisive about anything in your life if you can't make up your mind between men and women?'

"But Mandy actually bursts into the interview and sticks up for Freya. For Mandy to come to her rescue like that shows what kind of an influence she's going to have on Freya over the next few months. She's there to support her and she's there to love her. If anybody's going to mess it up, it's not Mandy!"

Danielle Henry is playing the role of Mandy. Are you enjoying working with her?
"Absolutely. We've worked together before on a show called Candy Cabs, so when I knew they were considering Dan for the part of Mandy, I was really excited and wasn't very subtle with how thrilled I would be if she did get cast! Danielle is wonderful to act with on screen, she's natural and she plays Mandy wonderfully. She's an absolute delight."

The pressure of being a murder suspect is taking its toll on Kevin
Freya also has a big career setback on the way…
"Yes, Freya flunks her exams! She's been competing with Kevin for the same job at The Mill over the past year, and the post goes to Kevin. This is a massive setback for Freya. She has to take two steps back, reassess her life and think about why she failed.

"The episode where Freya fails is a really special one, because she expects Kevin to come in, laud it over her and be insensitive. But that's not Kevin's reaction at all - he's gutted for her and his support completely throws Freya. It's quite a heartbreaking episode, because Freya has both Mandy and Kevin supporting her - two people who she loves very dearly. It raises some questions for her, let's just say that!"

Has Freya let her blog get in the way of her studies?
"She's obsessed! When she fails her exams, you'd think she would realise that she needs to stop doing everything else and concentrate on retaking them. Instead, she becomes more fixated on the blog! Freya uses it as a complete distraction, because she's not getting praise and adoration at work, but she gets it from her online followers.

"Freya's blog is going to cause some big problems, and not just in terms of her not working hard enough as a GP. Something we've shot quite recently is what happens when she meets one of her followers. I'll just leave it there…"

> Read more Doctors spoilers and news

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