Emmerdale’s Sian: ‘I’ve got to move on from Gennie!’

Sian Reese-Williams tells TV Times about the spectacular car crash that may be about to end Gennie Sharma’s life in Emmerdale

Are you pleased with the episodes?
“Yes, the scenes look great. I gave my notice in with plenty of time for them to come up with a decent ending for Gennie and I am delighted with what we did. We had a team of stunt people, but I did a bit of  ‘safe’ driving myself – nothing fast, because I don’t like driving over 40mph. I am a bit of a grandma behind the wheel.”

Was it a tough decision to leave Emmerdale?
“I couldn’t stop crying during my last few weeks. I never wanted to stay forever, I wanted to move and do other things – I only planned to stay for three months to a year! But even though I wanted to leave, I grieved for Gennie. Part of me wishes she had an evil twin somewhere who was taken away at birth and could come back.”

What are your immediate plans?
“I don’t have any work lined up yet and I am looking forward to it being quiet for a bit. I am excited about spending time with friends and family. The first thing I plan to do is go to a juice retreat in Portugal. I will get to lie down, do nothing, exercise and drink juice for a week which is nice. For the last two of three months, I have been so full on at Emmerdale that I have been surviving on supermarket sarnies. I need to get healthy!”

Did you think you would be in the show five years?
“No, originally I didn’t really want to be in a soap, but I soon changed my mind. Fifteen minutes after I walked on set, I realised how hard acting in soap was, and how much fun it is at the same time. I wanted to get good at it – and it is really hard to get good because soaps move at such a relentless pace. I fell in love with the show, the people and the place. I fell in love with the character too. I am proud of all the work I did – I am especially proud of the scenes I did with Lesley Dunlop over the brain tumour. Neither of us had considered the enormity of it until we were doing it.”

What will you miss most about Gennie?
“Gennie is as annoying as hell, but I will miss her. She made me laugh a lot. I’ll miss her clothes and her hairstyle. I will miss speaking like her – although I am terrified that I will go to an audition and end up doing Gennie’s voice!”

Will you carry on watching Emmerdale?
“Yes, one of the directors came up to me in the last week and said: ‘My wife is writing your funeral’ which was a weird sentence to hear. I think I will tune in, to see my friends doing good acting. Also, I want to know what is going to happen because Gennie is leaving behind a recording device which is full of dangerous material….”

Are you taking away any souvenirs?
“I am taking the denim jacket I wore when she first started, some photos of the baby because I am really going to miss her and the headdress from her wedding. I had to stop myself taking more because I don’t want to end up with loads of Gennie stuff in my house. I’ve got to move on!”