She returns because Bart is missing. She thinks he might be hanging around Hollyoaks somewhere and I really think that it comes across on screen that she misses him and feels lonely.
She was looking after Bart – she returned last time for Celine's funeral and she brought Bart with her, but the rest of the McQueens wouldn’t have him under their roof because he was on drugs. So she took him back home and took him under her wing and I think that’s what she’s been doing – trying to straighten him out! Then all of a sudden he disappeared and she says to Myra that she doesn’t feel that she’s got a purpose anymore and feels lonely. For me it’s really unusual, because it showed her vulnerable side. What I love about Nana is she’s fearless and tough and mischievous, but underneath all that there’s a great vulnerability and a huge kindness. When that’s revealed, it’s really moving, there’s quite a few layers to her. She even tries to hide her true feelings and pretends that she’s really back to make a lot of money on the beauty products that she’s trying to sell.
Nana comes back and her and Myra are worried about Cleo because they think she’s back on drugs, but of course she’s being secretive and not herself because she’s pregnant. With the McQueens, I don’t think Nana would be shocked by that at all. Cleo isn’t a naughty girl, but she’s still a McQueen. Out of all of them, Cleo would appear to be the one who was going to go on to do better things and have a better life, but all of a sudden she’s pregnant. Then there’s the discussion about whether she should keep the baby and being from a very Catholic family, Nana wouldn’t agree with her to not have the baby. I don’t think Nana’s happy for Cleo as such – she’s not saying that Cleo’s life has to stop because she has a baby, but all ambition that she had is definitely going to be put on hold. The fact that she’s pregnant by a priest just mortifies Nana.
There is a discussion where Myra insists that Cleo isn’t going to terminate her pregnancy and Nana pipes up, which shocked me, and says “it’s her body - she should be able to do what she wants to do.” But ultimately I think Nana will just be there to support Cleo.
Because he’s so unpredictable and does all the wrong things, you immediately think that wherever he is, he’s not doing himself any favours. She wants to find him and put a stop to all that. If Bart was being good, he wouldn’t be hiding from Nana; he’d say “Nan, I’m going to go and do this and that, don’t worry about me.” I think she’s deeply concerned that he’s in big trouble, not dreaming that he’s dead.
Deep down, Nana knows that Frankie hasn’t reported them and that it is about Bart. When Myra confirms it, Nana shakes her head and doesn’t want to hear anymore. They wouldn’t have been afraid of Frankie reporting them for selling dodgy creams, because they see the police every month and most of the McQueens have been in prison! Nana went to prison once and pretended she was 90 years old so she could get special treatment over the rest of her family when they were all locked up together! That’s the other thing I love about Nana – she’s so cunning, she’s taught the rest of the McQueens well.
No, she thinks it’s the drugs – an overdose. She would be shattered to hear that he was murdered.
They’re strong women who can handle themselves and they wouldn’t let him get away with it. I have this vision that if the police don’t do anything about it, and they find out that Warren's responsible, they’d take matters into their own hands… They would make his life an absolute misery as far as they could – he’s gotta watch out!
I miss the filming in general - I love coming back. I was homesick for my real home for a while, but I really miss Hollyoaks when I’m not there. When I do Hollyoaks it’s like going home because it’s not just the job – it’s the people, the set, the cast are lovely, the crew are a gas, make up and wardrobe are divine. There’s usually someone who gets you down in a job, but there isn’t anyone like that at Hollyoaks. It’s such a happy atmosphere and a happy place to work and I really miss it when I’m not there. I’m a singer as well and do my own one-woman show, but there’s something about being a McQueen. They’re a crazy family, but they’re very proud of what they achieve. Even when the chips are down, they pull through by their own ways and skills, even if it’s by being devious they do it to get by. They also see that justice is done, which is what they’d do with Warren – if the police don’t sort him out, they will, somehow!
Of course, I miss them and I can’t wait for them to come back! I chatted to Jen the other week for ages when she’d just had the baby and it was really lovely – it’s like she’s part of my real family - I can’t wait to meet Daye. I understand what she’s feeling, because I’ve got one son but seven grandchildren so I’m surrounded by that love in real life. It was lovely to talk to her and when Mercedes and Goldie are in the show, it’s a lovely combination and it just reeks of real family when everyone’s together. We all love and support each other – you’ve got to be in it to understand it, it’s divine.
I think Nana’s very much live and let live, but I did have a joke with Theo Graham (who plays Hunter) and said “now you want to watch it, my boy – she’s too old for you!” and that’s probably what Nana would say. He laughed and I said “I’ve got my eye on you” and I think that echoes what Nana would say. Hunter’s very young so he’s got to be careful, because although he thinks he loves her now and she’s very beautiful, she is not for him – it’s not appropriate. Although you can’t help who you fall in love with, which Nana understands. Nana is a bit double-standards herself, let’s face it, she’s a good Catholic when it suits her and this is an example of when she would be a good Catholic and say “what are you thinking of?! This is not for you.” I think her advice would be to back off and try and live without Neeta and do the right thing. Nana would also have a word with Neeta and say “back off my lad, you’re out of order.”