For many actors, it’s difficult to switch off from their day job once you shed the costume and makeup, as they’re still in the zone.
But that isn’t a problem for Coronation Street star Sally Carman, because her co-star fiancé is always there to help her "switch off" from life on the cobbles.
Sally announced her engagement to Corrie’s Joe Duttine, who plays Tim Metcalfe, last year, joking with Phillip Schofield on This Morning that they "had to find something to do" during lockdown.
And she said the actor helped her readjust to life after performing some of the most gruelling scenes in her entire soap career, as her character Abi Franklin had to respond to her son Seb’s death.
He and girlfriend Nina Lucas were attacked by Corey Brent’s gang in a vicious hate crime inspired by the real-life murder of Sophie Lancaster in 2007.
Producers hope the devastating storyline will raise conversations about marginalised communities and subcultures, and worked alongside The Sophie Lancaster Foundation to pen the plot.
Speaking to Daily Star about her experiences filming the "exhausting" grief scenes, Sally said: "I guess for me I find it quite cathartic. It is emotionally tiring, if you really do go there, but it’s also really satisfying to know that you’ve hit it, you’ve got as close as you can get to where you need to be. You’ve exhausted as much as you can in yourself.
"As soon as I think I’ve done the best I can, I just switch off, drive home and have a nice evening – maybe put some Corrie on," she joked.
But she added: "I’m better at switching off than [Joe] is, but it’s brilliant. [Having a co-star partner] really does help, because he gets it. If I need to learn my lines or I need an extra go at something he just gets it. Or if it’s been a long day I’ll say I’m bloody tired and he’s like ‘yep!’.
"He gets it, he understands. It works perfectly well so we do just switch off and have a completely actor-free life once we’re at home," Sally explained.
When it was hinted at that Abi fancied Joe’s character Tim on the Street, Joe said he wouldn’t want to share any romance scenes with Sally as it would be a "disaster."
"That’s the last thing me and Sally want," he told Inside Soap. "It would be a disaster. We would make each other laugh all the time, we wouldn't be able to concentrate – and it'd be a little too close to home, wouldn't it?
"We don't want that as it's nice to have a life away from the Street. We met at Corrie and that's always going to be special for us, but we don't want to act it out on screen!"
Sally isn’t afraid to share some pretty intimate snaps of their home life on her social media pages, and in September shared a pic of Joe on all fours, doing some work to the floors.
"Wet trade," she cheekily captioned the pic with a water drop emoji.
And for the couple’s two year anniversary, Sally shared a selfie of Joe winking for the camera with a love heart drawn around his face.
"Two years," she wrote, with two yellow heart emoticons.
She even shared a sweet photo of the couple drinking champagne together during lockdown last year, enjoying the sun in a garden as they gazed into each other’s eyes to celebrate their engagement.
In a second snap, the duo clink glasses, with Sally’s emerald engagement ring firmly on her finger.
"We’ve got each other," Sally said in the first pic.
And the second, she captioned with: "So this happened… #yes."
Sally’s even snapped a pic of a pair of boxers – which could definitely belong to her partner – emblazoned with pictures of her face.
She’s opened up to The Mirror about their relationship, explaining that Joe is "a real softie, a genuinely nice bloke."
"It wasn't the funny that wooed me. He's really kind, and that can fall under the radar at times, but he won't let anyone struggle, he's always helping," she said.
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But discussing her on-screen partnership with Corrie’s Kevin Webster, Sally told Daily Star: "Seb’s death has brought out a real gentle side to Kevin.
"Abi’s emotional – one minute she’s emotional, the next she’s furious. She’s ping-ponging off all the walls, and he’s there going ‘I’ll catch as many balls as I can, I’ve got you!’ He’s taking slap after slap – not physically – but he’s just coming back saying ‘I love you and I’ve got you’, and it’s just gorgeous.
"Mike [Le Vell] is just a dreamboat, and the scenes we’ve had together have been brilliant," Sally explained.
- Coronation Street
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