Beverley Callard interview talking about her roles Newwark and Coronation Street

Beverley Callard is an English actress, known for her role as Liz McDonald in the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street besides roles in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and other tv shows.

The actress recently took a swipe at Coronation Street in a new interview and claimed she had ‘no life’ while working on the ITV soap, and says the scripts are not ‘as good’ anymore.

Beverley remarked that the scripts are not ‘as good’ in comparison to how they were when she first set foot on the cobbles back in 1989. The star was on and off for 31 years before leaving for good in 2020.

Beverley added that upon reflection, she sometimes finds herself second guessing herself about whether she should have gone for the role.

Newark is a British television sitcom set in the Nottinghamshire town of Newark-on-Trent, England. The TV Sitcom plot is based around a young man growing up in the East Midlands. Stars Morgana Robinson, Beverley Callard, Jai Hollis, Mathew Horne, Jessie Mae Alonzo, Nina Wadia and more.

Interview with Newwark TV series actress Beverley Callard (Pauline)

Why did Newark, Newark appeal to you?

When I’m sent a script, more often than not, I think, “It’s good, but maybe something better will come along.” When this arrived, I read it and I loved it. I sent it to my daughter, Rebecca, and my husband Jon read it. We all said I had to do it. The scripts are so good, and it is genuinely funny, which not many supposed comedies are. I couldn’t say no to this.

What was it about the scripts and Pauline which made this unmissable?

The scripts are so natural and the dialogue flows, which is special. There are moments which are really poignant with some real sadness, but more often than not it just makes you laugh out loud. Even reading the scripts made me laugh out loud and not many things do that to me. My favourite screen comedy is Schitt’s Creek and I honestly think this is even better. I had to say yes and give my heart and soul to it.

What sort of person is Pauline?

Hideous. She’s absolutely hideous. She’s quite vicious. Unfortunately, she’s got no dress sense – I seem to play women who don’t know what nice clothes look like. She’s coarse, she’s vulgar, she’s quite cruel at times, but she’s so funny. She does not have a pause button. She doesn’t care who she upsets. She has two grandsons, Rudy and Leslie: one she is besotted with, the other she despises and makes no bones about that. She has a daughter who she absolutely loves, but she does show that love in a very funny way. I completely fell for her, because it’s a dream for me to play someone that horrible.

How does Pauline and Maxine’s relationship work?

I think she’s a great mum in that she loves Maxine, and I think Maxine loves her too. But Pauline’s idea of a great mum isn’t everybody’s great mum. She doesn’t have the capability to hold back, so they sometimes speak to each other as if they’re friends, swearing at each other. If I’d spoken to my mum like that, she would have knocked me off my chair. They’re upfront and honest with each other, but there’s a deep love there. Maxine knows Pauline loves her, but she knows Pauline will handle every situation badly.

In the first episode Pauline says to Maxine, “We’re a family of tradition and honour.” Is that true or is Pauline prone to delusions of grandeur?

She truly believes that! She believes she’s a moral person and there isn’t a doubt in her mind she never makes a mistake, including her own divorce. Pauline’s ashamed of the divorce but, of course, it was all the husband’s fault. She truly believes that they are a family of tradition and honour, even though they are so not. She has this sense of self because she brought Maxine up on her own and she’s a typical matriarch, with these grandsons and this son-in-law. Pauline is convinced she’s in charge of everything.

What is it Nathan has nailed in the relationship between Pauline and Maxine?

The real heart and the love between them, but the way it’s shown is through their brusque exchanges. Even though Pauline’s vicious, you know she loves Maxine and that’s the quality of the writing.

Is Pauline quite unlike anyone you’ve played before?

She’s maybe semi-Northern but, aside from that, I’ve never played anyone like her before. That’s why I so wanted to play her, because she has hideous makeup and hideous hair. We also decided she would have a Matrix-style leather coat which she never takes off. No matter how many series we make, she will always have that coat on because she thinks she is The Matrix.

Did you ever have to rein Pauline in a bit or is she a character who can never be too brash?

I had to be careful because I didn’t want her to be a panto character, but the scripts were so authentic I could do what I wanted with her.

We first meet Pauline at Maxine’s 40th birthday party – have you ever been to a worse party?

That was terrible, wasn’t it? Honestly, when we were filming it, we were in tears with laughter because it’s the worst party anybody could go to.

How much worse could Pauline become beyond the first series?

She does turn into a gangster by the end of the first series and she really enjoyed that role. However, I think you will see Pauline with a partner – for how long she would be able to keep her partner is another matter…

How much did you enjoy working with the young actors and how much potential do they have?

Throughout the years I’ve worked with many young actors, most notably Simon Gregson and Nick Cochrane all those years ago when they were young. I think they’re both older than me now. The young cast were all brilliant. They were so receptive to learning and being directed by Amanda [Blue]. She’s incredible and I want to work with her again as fast as I can. This sounds really naff, but we did become a proper team and on the last day we were all gutted. We didn’t want it to end.

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Paul McDonald
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