Coronation Street’s Abi Franklin ‘to blame Nina’ for son Seb’s brutal murder
Coronation Street’s Abi Franklin is set to "blame Nina" for the vicious attack on her and Seb Franklin, which left Abi’s son dead.
In a shock twist on Friday night’s visit to Soapland, Seb (Harry Visonini) was killed off after he and Nina (Mollie Gallagher) were attacked by Corey Brent’s (Maximus Evans) gang, in an attempt by Corrie producers to highlight the effects of prejudice on subcultures and marginalised communities.
Penned in collaboration with The Sophie Lancaster Foundation and inspired by the murder of Sophie in 2007 after she was targeted for being a Goth, producer Iain MacLeod hopes the storyline will change views and start conversations.
But for a devastated mother, all Abi can think about is avenging her son.
"She 100 percent blames Nina," Abi actress Sally Carman told Daily Star. “She’s got all this grief and anger and shock and confusion and heartbreak, and she needs somewhere to channel it.
"Abi initially thinks that if she finds out who’s done it, that will help, and she wants to know why it happened – but there’s no real answer to that.
"She needs something to hold onto," she explained. "She’s told [the attack] was because of the way Nina looked and what she was wearing, that it was a hate crime, and Abi, in the impulsive way that she does, gets this thing in her head and blames Nina.
"She thinks if Nina didn’t dress that way, Seb would still be alive, so Nina really gets it in the neck. Abi goes hell for leather for her."
But eventually, Sally hopes Nina will become a kind of daughter figure for Abi.
"I think her focus will go from Seb to Nina. I’d really love it if she would transfer that love onto Nina, because she’s a little bit of a lost soul, too," she confessed.
And eventually, Abi turns her fury onto the real perpetrator – Corey Brent.
"She’s not gonna rest until justice is done," Sally said. "With Abi, there’s not a lot of emotional maturity going on there, so there are a few points where she tries to take matters into her own hands and she’s talked down from it.
"She’s reeling and she’s trying to hook onto something the only way she knows how," the star continued. "Her heart has been ripped open and there’s a lot of guilt as well because she wasn’t there for a lot of Seb’s childhood, and when she was there it wasn’t pleasant.
"There’s so much she’s having to deal with, and she hasn’t really got a clue – so Corey very nearly comes a cropper a couple of times."
On filming the devastating grief scenes following Seb’s death, Sally said social distancing measures actually came in handy.
"With that kind of grief, theres nothing anyone can say or do," she elaborated. "You have to live with that yourself, so weirdly social distancing helped, because you kind of go insular with it. Grief is personal, no-one can understand that loss unless they’ve also gone through it.
"It’s something you can actually do on your own, so it worked out a treat," the actress said.
Like Harry Visinoni and Mollie Gallagher, Sally clearly found Sylvia Lancaster’s story incredibly moving.
"It’s an age old story. I don’t think it will ever go away, but the more we can do about getting information out there and opening avenues for people to report hate crimes, the better.
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"You can kind of read a story about it happening to someone and you feel a little bit separate from it because it’s not personal," she added. "But when it happens to someone, a character on Corrie that you love and are involved in, it gives you a level of empathy.
"You realise these are people’s daughters, sisters, brothers. It could affect any one of us."
Sally concluded: "It’s an endless reminder to be kind, because everyone’s doing their best."
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