Casualty star Emily Carey on Connie and Grace’s shock exit, plus her lovely friendship with Amanda Mealing...
Emily Carey’s return to Holby-land as sixteen-year-old Grace Beauchamp-Strachan earlier this year has been linked to Amanda Mealing’s decision to take a break from the medical drama. And, this week in BBC1’s Casualty, the mother and daughter duo unexpectedly take flight after a shocking chain of events in a drama-filled episode.
Casualty icons Amanda and Emily have played mother and daughter since 2014, and have developed a lovely, supportive relationship off screen.
Here Emily, 17, reveals the reasons behind Connie and Grace’s discreet Casualty exit, and shares the many joys of working with Amanda Mealing…
How would you describe Connie and Grace’s relationship?
Emily Carey: “They’re like peas in a pod. Because they’re so similar, sometimes they clash – and, when they do, it’s big time! They have a bond like no other but occasionally they need something to happen to remind them of how close they actually are… It’s definitely turbulent, especially now Grace is a teenager!”
What do you love about working with Amanda?
EC: “Amanda’s like a surrogate mum to me – I call her Mama Mealing! We have a lot of fun off set and chattering between takes. Every time I work with Amanda it’s like a workshop in how to act, and she’s always there for support and advice. I’ve learned a lot, and love her so much!”
What have been your standout scenes and storylines as Grace in Casualty?
EC: “The 30th anniversary episodes immediately spring to mind. Just being in those episodes was an honour but to have such a major storyline was insane. We had so much fun shooting them too. I got to do stunts I’d never done before. The brain injury storyline following that was incredible to play. But for me, the big stand out scene was the first one I ever shot. It was Grace asking Lofty (Lee Mead) why he was washing his hands and then talking about popcorn with Connie!”
What can you reveal about the events leading up to Connie’s decision in Casualty this week?
EC: “Grace and her friend Ollie Hide (Harry Collett) are on a little picnic date in the woods. They’re messing around in an old barn and Ollie is chucking sweets into the air and catching them when one gets lodged in his throat! Chest compressions aren’t working and Ollie isn’t breathing so Grace decides to attempt this makeshift surgery [using a penknife, a straw and an online video!]. She quite literally has Ollie’s blood on her hands and feels overwhelming guilt and fear.”
How was it filming those scenes?
EC: “I’m extraordinarily squeamish. Ironically, I can’t stand hospitals! The whole team made sure both Harry and I were comfy during the cold days we were shooting the sequence. The adrenaline during the scenes really kept me going. They’re very intense!”
Why do you think this spurs Connie and Grace to make a big life change together?
EC: “These events really open both Connie and Grace’s eyes. They begin to realise that they can make this relationship work after all these years. I think for Grace it comes from a place of just wanting that motherly love and attention that she’s maybe missed out on, and now Connie is there with her and seems to be all in.”
The other Casualty residents don’t find out until the following episode, but does it seem fitting that Grace is behind Connie’s exit?
EC: “Yes, it does feel fitting Grace is the catalyst for Connie’s big life change, so much of her character comes from being a mum. It makes sense Grace is the one to help her take a step back and look at things from a different perspective.”
Casualty aside, you’ve worked on other impressive projects, from Wonder Woman to Get Even. What’s next for you?
EC: “I have a few amazing projects coming up soon. I voice Anne Frank in Ari Folman’s upcoming film Where is Anne Frank? It was an honour. It’s a stunning piece of cinema and I can’t wait to share it with the world. Hopefully it will release later this year. I’m also looking forward to spending Easter with my family and eating a dangerous amount of chocolate. I’m a huge fan of the chocolate side of Easter!”
This episode of Casualty airs on BBC1 at 8.20pm on Saturday 3 April 2021