Faye Brookes and Bhavna Limbachia: "Our chemistry is completely natural"
The Corrie stars behind #Kana open up to Roxy Bourdillon about their onscreen romance
Soap history was made when Coronation Street characters Kate and Rana were caught mid-romp in the back of a van, partially dressed, the air still sizzling with their forbidden passion. It may be 23 years since Beth and Margaret locked lips on Brookside, marking the UK’s first ever pre-watershed lesbian kiss, but in this instantly iconic and highly meme-able moment, actresses Faye Brookes and Bhavna Limbachia proved that a snog still has the power to capture people’s hearts. The angst-filled secret romance between the friends-turned-lovers-turned-best-soap-couple-on-the-box has me and millions of other viewers hooked. So naturally, as a proud gay Northerner who grew up watching Corrie, I’m over the moon when I get the chance to speak to the stars behind soapland’s must-see sapphic storyline. First thing’s first, let’s talk about that steamy back-of-the-truck tryst.
“Do you know what?” Bhavna grins. “I thought, ‘We’re two people in love, let’s just go for it’. And we did!” Her co-star Faye reveals, “I felt like what we were doing was groundbreaking.” She’s right. In addition to being extremely entertaining, the cultural significance of such an honest, prime time love scene between Kate, a white lesbian, and Rana, a married Muslim woman, cannot be overstated. “We broke that barrier, just for a split second. We did it for the sake of our characters and for anyone out there who is feeling the exact same way.”
When the scene aired, Bhavna was stuck in traffic. “My phone crashed because of the amount of notifications I got!” It’s no wonder her phone couldn’t handle the #Kana craziness, as people rushed online to express their joy, sharing GIFs of the gorgeous couple on Twitter and uploading montages of “Kana’s best bits” to YouTube. Faye and Bhavna put their exceptional onscreen chemistry down to their offscreen friendship and shared work ethic. “We discuss scenes at length beforehand,” says Bhavna. “We trust each other as actors and friends and that’s why I think it works, well, I hope it works.” She giggles and I reassure her, on behalf of Kana fans everywhere, that it definitely does.
While Rana is only just beginning to explore same-sex attraction, Kate has been queer on the cobbles for over two years and has become such a fan favourite that last year Faye won the National Television Award for Best Newcomer. Still a rarity on TV, her character’s sexuality has never been portrayed as a source of struggle. “We don’t bring it up. We don’t make it an issue.” I ask Faye whether it feels different filming love scenes with women. “It does and I actually think it’s harder. My chemistry with Bhavna is completely natural. It has to be that I’m ok to touch her and she doesn’t feel awkward if we have to hold a kiss or hold hands. We just bite the bullet. It’s a good job she’s so beautiful! We’re both very in touch with our feminine side. You don’t need to be gay or straight to feel that. It’s how you feel around that one person.”
To find out why the #Kana storyline is so special to Faye and Bhavna, read the rest of this exclusive interview in the February issue of DIVA. It's available to buy in print or digitally here.
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