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Soaps Interview

Rachel Leskovac (Natasha Blakeman, Corrie)

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Rachel Leskovac (Natasha Blakeman, Corrie)
Coronation Street actress Rachel Leskovac joined the soap back in April last year as new crimper on the Cobbles Natasha Blakeman. After nearly a year of establishing her character, producers have now lined the 32-year-old's character up as murderer Tony Gordon's (Gray O'Brien) new romance. Here, in her first full interview since joining the soap, Rachel talks about Natasha's evolution and her upcoming relationship with Corrie's resident psycho.

You've been with Corrie for nearly a year now, haven't you?
"Yeah, it's bizarre. It doesn't feel like it at all. Last year, it was a bit sporadic because I wasn't in for weeks on end, so every time I came back it felt like my first day again. It's only now in the new year that it's started to feel like I'm part of the family!"

Natasha's involvement with the show has really ramped up over the last few months, hasn't it?
"I think they're keen to push the character to be honest – and give me something to do other than drying hair and making cups of tea! They've started to get me out of the salon for a date with Steve and maybe a little bit of fun with Tony."

We don't really know much about Natasha. Where has she come from? Does she have any family?
"When you come into a show like Corrie, you only really get the basics of a character. Since then, we've found out that she has a brother and a sister but beyond that, it's a work in progress. The writers watch to see what you do with a character. As first, I was quite unnerved about that whole process, but now I understand the genius of it. They're creating real people by reacting to a performance. Above all, I'd say Natasha's a romantic. She likes to have fun and isn't malicious in the slightest. She loves her job, too. I think she's looking for love but not necessarily settling down at the minute, though."

Was it when Natasha was given a surname that you realised you were a permanent fixture?
"Yeah! You're well in when you get a last name - you've got your feet right under the table then. We have these things called blue books and pink books at work - for boys and girls - and it gives you an overall draft of what episodes you're going to be in over the coming months. I was looking through the list at the back end of last year and all it said was 'Rachel Leskovac - Natasha'. A few pages later, it was 'Rachel Leskovac - Natasha Blakeman'!"

Were you surprised when you were told about Natasha's romance with Tony?
"Why would you be surprised?! No, in all seriousness, I screamed out loud with shock. The bigger picture all makes sense, though."

How does the romance come about?
"She meets him in the salon at first, where she gives him a quick trim and it all goes from there."

Does she care that she's a bit of a rebound?
"I think it probably crosses her mind, but it's the fact she's in there with Tony Gordon who's absolutely gorgeous, is minted and ticks all the right boxes... She definitely waited until Carla was out of the picture, though. There's a line in one of the episodes where Natasha says that she's 'not in the home-wrecking business'. Tony's fair game at this point."

There's a great scene where they're both in Tony's flat in a few weeks. What happens?
"Natasha starts asking Tony about Carla to make sure she's well out of the picture, but Tony just says something like 'do you want to talk about the breakdown of my marriage, or do what we came here to do?' The moment goes, though, and the pair just sit and chat. That's where, fingers crossed, the audience will understand their dynamic. Natasha brings a total openness to Tony. She doesn't judge him in the slightest and he warms to that. She's just completely open with him. It's not just a one-night stand, it goes on a lot longer than the one night!"

Has working on Corrie changed your life at all?
"It's the first job I've had since having my little girl, Macy Blossom. She's nearly two now. The fact that I'm now a working mum is a very different experience. It requires a lot of juggling and a lot of hard work. It's changed my life, but for the better."

Does she recognise you on television?
"She's in bed by seven! I do Sky+ them, so I should probably show her. I don't know why I've not done that yet, actually."

> Click here to read more from Rachel Leskovac in Soap Scoop Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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