Emmerdale stars Sian Reese-Williams and Rik Makarem give TV Times magazine the inside story of Gennie and Nikhil heart-wrenching wedding woes…
What can we expect from Gennie and Nikhil’s wedding?
Sian: “It is not a typical soap scenario. The wedding is really a backdrop to Gennie having to consider saying her vows without her mum there. It is set over three episodes, so it’s very intense. There is a lot of twisting and turning; it’s fun, but very touching too.”
Rik: “Everything is perfect. They have the ideal location, they are in love and Nikhil wants it to be this magical day. The real heart of the story though is the emotional playing field of Brenda’s trauma. Will she turn up? I suppose I would call it a colourful, flamboyant wedding with bags of emotion.”
What was it like to film?
Sian: “It was intense and quite tiring. I was in make up for 6.45am in the morning and at work until 7pm at night and it took five days to film. For some reason, I couldn’t sleep at night when we were doing the wedding scenes so I was very tired, which probably helped with all the emotional stuff.”
Rik: “For me it was emotional. It’s the first time I have ever said wedding vows and for a second I was like ‘Wow, what if I was doing this in real-life?’ When we did the first take, I had genuine butterflies in my stomach.”
What did you think of the dress?
Sian: “I loved it. For a while now, Gennie’s clothes have been quite drab, so it was nice to do something so camp. I had a hand in designing it. When you have a soap wedding, it is almost like you are really getting married. You go to the dressmaker’s, have coffee and chat about the dress. From the second I first played Gennie, I knew what sort of dress she would have on her wedding day.”
Rik: “It’s quirky – very Gennie. But then, dresses aren’t my area of expertise. I thought she looked lovely in it. Gennie said that we both looked like extras from Grease.”
What were the highs and lows of filming a wedding over the course of five days?
Sian: “I spent so long in the dress, that the bones started digging in. It was really uncomfortable towards the end. On the upside, wearing it made me feel like I was in an MGM musical and I was really annoying people by singing show tunes during the breaks!”
Rik: “The day had all the stress of a real wedding x10 because you have to film it all! But it is such fun whenever we do these group scenes on Emmerdale. Although we were doing some really serious, heavy scenes, there was a lot of laughter too. Matthew Wolfenden and Chris Bisson are the cast pranksters and came up with games for the cast to play whilst they were waiting around.”
Would you want a wedding like Gennie and Nikhil’s – without the trauma, of course?
Rik: “I think that when I eventually get married, because I hope I do, the wedding will depend on the relationship. I think my desire would be to have a marriage, not just a big party that is for everyone else’s benefit. I think being amongst the people who are closest to you should be the most important thing.”
Sian: “I could never have a 50s style wedding now that I have had one on screen. I think I would be more like Mick Jagger getting married to Marianne Faithful than say Doris Day getting hitched to Rock Hudson. My wedding day would be a little be more rough around the edges.”
What do Nikhil and Gennie find most annoying about the other?
Sian: “That he is so neat and has to put everything back in its place. I could never marry somebody like Nikhil in real-life. He would drive me mad!”
Rik: “That she doesn’t put the tea towel on the kitchen draw handle in the correct line. And she doesn’t rinse her toothbrush.”
Does working with baby Molly make you broody?
Sian: “Babies don’t make me broody, but Maia Rose Smith who plays Molly is different. She is the coolest child on earth and I love her. We have had her on set since she was 10 days old and have watched her go from the size of a bird, to a baby who smiles at you and grabs things. It is kind of freaky because she is a proper actress. She does things on cue and she even remembers her continuity.”
Rik: “Yes, every time I see her I can feel a part of my heart aching – in a good way. She is a true thespian. She hangs in her trailer, she comes in for her shots and you can ask anything of her. However, I do appreciate that I don’t have any real responsibilities because I hand her back. I can see from working with Chris Bisson how much a baby changes your life – he has had to go to the chiropractor to have his back sorted because it is aching so much from carrying his baby!”
Do you think Gennie and Nikhil will have a long and happy marriage – if they do get to tie the knot?
Sian: “I think so. They are very much in love. He has a very soft centre and would do anything for her. He’s not for me though – he’s too high maintenance!”
Rik: “They are two people you think wouldn’t be right together, but they have this chemistry, this magic and it works. I can see them staying together for a long time – they definitely shouldn’t split them up!”