TV Quickfire: Corrie star Samia Longchambon on how she relates to eco-warrior Maria's social media woes
Tensions are high in Coronation Street with eco-warrior Maria at the centre of the drama. We found out more from actor Samia Longchambon about what's in store...
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE TROLLING MARIA RECEIVES?
WHILE the bin men are on strike, a reporter comes up to Maria outside her flat – doorsteps her – and is doing a bit of an impromptu interview. Maria is trying to make her point, saying it's all for the greater good, and while she thinks she's done a great interview, it's not until later that day that Kelly shows her online that it's been cut to a rap beat.
So, basically, Maria's now this rap star. But it's really taking the mickey out of everything that she stands for and dumbing down all her good work. She feels really embarrassed and humiliated.
THINGS GO FROM BAD TO WORSE WHEN SHE FINDS OUT A DEEP-FAKE IS DOING THE ROUNDS TOO. HOW DOES SHE REACT?
It's awful. She's absolutely mortified. One, that it even exists, and two, that [her son] Liam has seen this video and thinks that it's her – these deep-fakes actually look like the person. So she's absolutely mortified thinking that everyone's going to think that she's been doing pornography. She thinks that everyone who voted her in as councillor will see this video and think that she's someone that she's not.
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS STORYLINE?
I was really pleased that it's being covered. And I'm really glad that I'm able to do it because I feel like I've had a lot of experience over the years, over the last decade, with Twitter and Instagram. I think it's a huge, huge issue at the moment with the rise in popularity of social media. There's a lot of negativity and it can have a huge effect on your life.
HOW DO YOU RELATE TO MARIA'S EXPERIENCE?
I've certainly had trolls and to the point where it's been really upsetting and it's not nice to read. It's almost like picking a scab; you know you shouldn't, but at the same time there's a bit of you that just wants to know what other people are saying about you. It's really hurtful. It's horrible. And I can see why, with a lot of people, it ends up affecting their mental health.
It's had an effect on me, definitely. I've let it get to me a lot over the years, to the point when sometimes you're like, 'I don't want to go out today', or you'll go to post something on social media and then second guess yourself. So you have to kind of edit yourself to avoid the trolls a lot of the time.
It really knocks your confidence, because even if you get 99 nice comments, you only remember that one awful comment. But, actually, those people, what I've realised is, they'd never say that to your face.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE TROLLS?
Block. Just block. It's all you can do, isn't it? The majority of people are lovely and all really gorgeous and positive. But those people who are just negative, it says more about them than it does about you.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO MARIA THIS WEEK?
I'd like to say, 'Just ignore them and carry on doing what you were doing'. But, at the same time, I know that it can be quite dangerous to take on these trolls because you don't know who they are.
However, we've seen in real life over the years when politicians have been targeted – it can actually be quite dangerous. I don't think I'd be the best person to give that advice.
:: Watch Maria's Corrie storyline play out on ITV from today