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Corrie's Natalie Gumede: 'Domestic violence scenes were draining'

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Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede has described filming her domestic violence scenes as "daunting" and "draining".

Gumede plays Kirsty Soames in the ITV1 soap, and will soon be involved in a plot which sees her attack fiancé Tyrone Dobbs (Alan Halsall).

Tyrone tries to make things up with Kirsty and informs her that he has got her a job packing at the factory through Carla. Kirsty is furious and insists that policing was her life

© ITV



The star explained that she has found the storyline the biggest "challenge" of her career so far.

"When I auditioned for the role I knew Kirsty would be a dark character who causes a bit of trouble," she told the Daily Record. "I knew domestic violence was on the cards but I didn't know to what extent or when it would come up.

"As an actor it is great to have a challenge like I have, but it is very daunting because it is not something you can comprehend. Unless you have been in a situation like Tyrone and Kirsty are, I don't think you can have any understanding of it, even with research."

Gumede revealed that she studied various domestic violence cases with Halsall in order to prepare for the storyline.

"There isn't much from the female abuser's point of view to read up on, it was really a case of thinking about it from the victim's point of view," she said.

"I had the same feeling reading real-life victims' stories as I did the script, that kind of heavy heart feeling. I tried to imagine how far the abuser must have gone. It had to be something that Alan and I played with.

"We have had some case studies from the male perspective, but what we have had to go on hasn't been that detailed."

Tyrone is left stunned by Kirsty's actions

© ITV



She added that she found one scene in which she strikes her co-star with a kitchen utensil particularly difficult.

"After an intense scene it is hard to shake off the feeling, it really is draining. The first abusive scene left me feeling quite shaken, even though I didn't physically hit Alan, it was all camera tricks, the place I had to emotionally go to was quite ugly.

"I didn't know that was in me so I felt quite shaken up for several hours. I couldn't go home with that feeling, I had to leave it at work and stay behind for a while. I was left physically shaking when I came out of the studio.

"The trust between me and Alan is so important to do such physical and verbally abusive scenes. I've been so lucky with him. He's so generous with what he does and so giving and patient, there's never a doubt we couldn't push the boundaries further. Alan plays Tyrone with such strength."

Gumede also explained that she is currently unaware how the domestic violence plot will play out, and what may happen to character.

She said: "Where it goes, I honestly don't know. I have the understanding there is no immediate conclusion and the domestic violence between Tyrone and Kirsty, I believe, goes on for some time.

"I don't know when or if there is an end point. I am just going to keep taking every day as it comes and seeing what surprises I get."

The storyline is set to begin airing on Coronation Street later this week on ITV1. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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