Benidorm fans will see spirited scouser Trudy play a very cruel trick on her mate Sam in episode six on ITV1 on Friday, March 30. We travelled to the set of the Spanish sitcom to catch up with former Casualty star Michelle Butterly, who plays the feisty and often violent holidaymaker Trudy….
Can you tell us a little about Trudy’s escapades in episode six?
“There’s a little romance going on between the hotel’s handyman Liam and her mate Sam so Trudy tries to ruin it for them by pulling an awful prank on Sam. She’ll go to great lengths when she has a plan and doesn’t think about the consequences. I do get to slap Liam about quite viciously in this episode! In fact, there are about five incidents of violence from Trudy in the seven episodes.”
Trudy’s quite a scary girl isn’t she? We’ve seen her in a number of scrapes during this series…
“Trudy’s not a girl to get the wrong side of. As you’ve probably seen, she gets to head-butt and whack quite a few people. She’s bad ass! If you cross her she can be quite violent!”
Are you quite feisty in real life – does this come from somewhere?
“I’m half Scottish and half Liverpool, with flame red hair, so make your own mind up! I’ll leave it at that!”
How would you describe Trudy’s relationship with Sam?
“Trudy’s her slightly-older, woman-of-a-certain-age friend. I reckon they met on an 18-30s holiday and probably shared the same men. She outdoes Sam in the nightmare stakes on many levels.”
Trudy does like the hotel’s waiter Mateo. Can you ever see anything happening between them?
“Trudy’s convinced herself that would get together, he would stop his philandering ways, and we’d actually fall in love. He doesn’t know it, but Trudy does. For her, he’s the one! She’s very persistent when it comes to getting what she wants and manipulating things.”
What’s it like to act with so little clothing?
“Well, Trudy does herself up with the false eyelashes and skimpy clothes, to try to look like as if she’s about to go on X Factor. It’s all about trying to get that uber glam thing going on to look like she’s a happening chick. But of course it’s totally overdone for someone of her age. But I’m glad that, as a working class character, they haven’t just put her in a tracksuit with tight hair. Girls, particularly, from up North are ultra glam! I’ve got friends from up there who are off the scale! The costume and make-up team have been brilliant to me in this series. I told them I really wanted to get that look I’ve just talked about.”
So have you sampled the Benidorm nightlife while you’ve been filming? Have there been some messy nights?
“Yes, plenty of wild nights out in Benidorm – the cast call them ‘character research’ – and things like cabaret acts, karaoke, I’ve even seen the famous Sticky Vicky. When you join the cast, they give you the baptism of fire! I don’t know how many nights in a week like that I could do. Apparently Sticky Vicky owns half of Benidorm now, isn’t that fantastic? I’ve heard she’s married to Benidorm’s chief of police! Good on her!”
Have you ever been on a Benidorm-style package holiday before?
“No, when I was growing up my family just went to Butlins in Britain. There were no big holidays abroad for us. I did come here in about 1989, with a fella who asked me the day before if I wanted to go on holiday with him, and I said OK. Then I got out there and realised he thought it meant I had to sleep with him. I wouldn’t sleep with him, so it wasn’t a great holiday.”
People are likely to start recognising you most for Benidorm now. Are you prepared for that?
“There is something about Benidorm that is so in people’s hearts, and it’s such a British show that it causes such huge interest in our country. The humour is brilliant. As women we can change our appearance and not look so much like our character, so it’s easier to be anonymous if we want to. I’ve got red hair so I might have to go blonde! Back in Liverpool no one has any problem telling you what they think, so I’m prepared for hearing all sorts. I’m not worried though because I love the show and I’m proud of it.”