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12/12/2017
BBC Radio 4

Hollie Chapman: Alice's biggest challenge

Writer, The Archers

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Hollie Chapman (Alice Carter)

As Chris Carter lies in intensive care with a very uncertain future, we speak to Hollie Chapman who plays his wife Alice.

 

Do you think Alice and Chris want different things?

They do and they don’t. They’re both quite career driven. But Chris is happy to settle and Alice wants more. She always has done. Alice is quite happy to move away, whereas Chris is happy to stay at home and do his job and have his mates.   But they both love each other and they both want each other to be happy. They’ve always wanted that.

How has Alice changed in the time you’ve been playing her?

I do think she’s less spoilt. I mean – she married a farrier. She doesn’t rely on her parents as much. Alice values her family and I think more so after marrying Chris. He’s become really important to her. He’s her whole world and I think she’s realised that.

How much does Alice Carter resemble the actor who plays her?

If Chris survives, have they got what it takes to save the relationship?

I hope so. It would be a shame not to because they’re so sweet!

Is work the only reason that Alice wants to leave Ambridge?

I think she wants to see a different part of the world while she can. Because she’s young and not got any children, no ties.

To want to move away, it’s clear that Alice is lacking something in her current situation. What do you think that is?

I think she thought she’ll leave university, she’s got these really good grades, she’ll get a good job, she’ll be promoted, everything will be amazing. But she’s being pushed to the back a bit and that’s not Alice. She doesn’t like that. I think she’s a little bit unsure what she really wants, but this is a really good job opportunity. So she feels that if she doesn’t do it, she might regret it for the rest of her life.

When you were told about Chris’s accident, how did you feel?

As an actress, I was excited. It’s such a big storyline.

 

Alice was in Canada when she learned from Brian that Chris was in a critical condition.

The scene where she heard about the accident had quite an impact with listeners. What was it like to play?

Difficult. I've spent a whole month crying, basically. But it helps that I’m doing it with Charles and Angie [Charles Collingwood and Angela Piper, who play Brian and Jennifer] because they’re so good and it makes it feel a lot more believable. It was good for me as an actress to have challenging scenes. It’s exhausting, but it’s good exhausting.

How do you find whatever it takes inside you to play that level of emotion?   

I don’t know! I know it’s a cliché but the green light comes on and I just am Alice. And it helps that the people I’m playing the scenes with are so good – Charlotte too [Charlott Martin: Susan Carter]. You go with what they’re doing as well and it helps you.

Should Alice feel guilty about Chris’s accident?

No, I don’t think so. She did go for the interview knowing that Chris wasn’t happy about it. But it’s not her fault that he decided to go out on a bender. He’s a big boy and he’s old enough to deal with his responsibilities. But I can see why she does and I think any normal person would.

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer.

 

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