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Thread: Nikki Sanderson joins as Maxine Minniver

  1. #21
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    Maxine Minniver's relationship with Patrick Blake took a dark turn on Hollyoaks this evening (October 29) as her controlling partner turned violent.

    A furious Patrick (Jeremy Sheffield) lashed out at Maxine as he confronted her for sleeping with his son Dodger when they were separated last month.

    Digital Spy recently caught up with Nikki Sanderson, who plays Maxine, to hear her thoughts on tackling the dark story.

    Did you always know this storyline was coming up?
    "Yes, Jeremy and I have had an idea of how the story would progress for quite a while. The writers have been playing out this storyline very subtly for many months on screen, with Patrick's manipulation of Maxine. We've seen that he's been changing the clothes she wears, and he's bought the flat that she rented so that she has no home of her own. Patrick has also encouraged Maxine to quit her job so that she has no financial independence, as well as alienating her friends away from her.

    "We always knew that this was going to progress into a domestic violence storyline, although we obviously haven't been able to say anything until now. I think the reason they've given it such a slow build-up is to make it more realistic. In real life, domestic violence is usually not an overnight thing - it often starts off in a happy and loving relationship and builds to something like this."

    Are you grateful that Hollyoaks gave you such a long time to prepare?
    "I'm very, very grateful for the preparation. The Hollyoaks team have been fantastic with us. Jeremy and I have been given so much research material and we've been to lots of different meetings with people. I visited a women's refuge and spoke to victims of domestic violence, hearing all of their stories. We've also spoken to domestic violence charities.

    "Hollyoaks have really been fantastic in educating us on the subject so that we can play it as true to life as possible."

    Has anything from the research surprised you?
    "Everything has surprised me, to be honest. When you hear 'domestic violence', you often just think of a partner hitting their partner - you don't think of the other things that come with it. I didn't realise that domestic abuse doesn't have to be physical, it can be emotional as well. I also didn't realise that it doesn't necessarily have to be between romantic partners - it could be between a mother and a son. There are so many things that I didn't realise about it and what can happen in these situations. Our story is about a man hitting a woman, but it isn't always that way.

    "A lot has really shocked me to the core and I've met some amazing people who, in my opinion, are extremely strong for speaking up about it. It's been a very enlightening process, so Jeremy and I really want to get behind this now and raise awareness. We want to get a positive message out there to help people."

    Are you feeling any pressure to be taking on such a serious story?
    "I'm not really feeling any pressure, just because we've got a fantastic team around us. Obviously I want to portray the storyline as realistically as I can. I also want people to believe in the story and for it to make a real impact. I hope people watching the storyline who might be in the initial stages of a similar situation will be able to spot the signs."

    How does Maxine feel after Patrick has hit her for the first time?
    "She's devastated - absolutely devastated. She's also extremely confused. Here's this man who she's in love with and is fantastic, but then he can do this horrific thing to her. Maxine's confidence is shattered because she doesn't know what to do.

    "She's intelligent enough to know that she should leave Patrick because of what he's done, but it's hard for her because she loves him and he's the only person she has. It's a massive battle within herself, because she doesn't know what to do. Her heart is breaking, because the man she loves has physically abused her."

    Does Maxine stand up for herself at all, or has she become too fearful of upsetting Patrick?
    "It's hard. One of the reasons the writers chose Maxine and Patrick for this story is that they're complete opposites. Maxine was a very vibrant, happy character and a strong woman. You've seen that gradually chipped away by Patrick. There are still elements of that in Maxine, but she isn't herself at the moment. She's like a really watered down version of herself.

    "Maxine wants to fight back and become that really strong character again, but it's hard when you've got someone who's even stronger knocking you down."

    Does Patrick show any remorse afterwards?
    "Patrick knows that he's done something wrong, but he justifies it in his own head - thinking that it wouldn't have happened if Maxine hadn't caused it. Even though nobody ever deserves to be hit, Patrick twists the situation to make it Maxine's fault. He feels remorse, but he doesn't accept the blame."

    Will this continue to be a long-running storyline?
    "Yes. I can't tell you what's going to be happening in the future, but it will be a long-running story because that is true-to-life."

    How are the domestic abuse scenes to film? Are they complex to do?
    "They are, because again we're trying to make the storyline as real as possible. Sometimes you might get a little bump or bruise here or there, but fortunately myself and Jeremy get along really well in real life, so we really trust each other. Sometimes I'll tell Jeremy to grab me harder or push things further, because we want it to look real. We're really invested in this storyline and it's worth it because the scenes look so much better."

    Do you think Maxine and Dodger could make a good couple in the future?
    "I think they make the perfect couple, and that's what is so sad about this situation. Maxine knows that Dodger is the right person for her, and Dodger wants to be with Maxine. But Maxine is already at the point where she'd do anything to be with Patrick, because she's been so heavily manipulated by him.

    "It's like a 'head or heart?' situation. Her head is telling her that she should be with Patrick, but her heart is telling her that she belongs with Dodger."

    What advice would you give to anyone experiencing domestic violence in real life?
    "My advice would be to speak up. Don't speak up to the person who is responsible for the violence, instead speak up to somebody else by phoning a helpline or a refuge. They can speak to you with confidentiality and privacy. They're fully trained and professional people who can give excellent advice."

  2. #22
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    Jason gets blamed for maxine's bruises

  3. #23
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    Maxine Minniver and Sienna Blake look set to become unlikely allies as they start to protect each other's secrets.

    Maxine receives yet another setback next month as she is ordered to carry out community service as punishment for lying to the police.

    The surprise twist comes after Maxine's abusive partner Patrick (Jeremy Sheffield) orders her to change the statement she made against Jason Roscoe, which accused the teenager of assaulting her.

    As Maxine still can't bring herself to be honest about Patrick's violence, she accepts her punishment and is put to work litter-picking around the village.

    Maxine lies to Patrick by telling him that she merely walked away with a warning, as she fears his reaction to her 'embarrassing' community service task. However, when Sienna spots her cleaning up the village, Maxine fears that she will reveal all to her ruthless father.

    Nikki Sanderson, who plays Maxine, told All About Soap: "Maxine tries to make up an excuse, saying she'd been round there the other day and thought it was a bit messy so decided to clean it up.

    "Sienna sees right through it, and although Maxine's scared she'll tell Patrick, Sienna actually supports her. But unfortunately, it comes at a price."

    Maxine's life takes another twist when Patrick comes up with a new way of controlling her. His actions soon have an unexpected outcome as Maxine uncovers one of Sienna's secrets.

    Sanderson added: "He gets Maxine a little pooch called Dexter and everyone thinks he's being really sweet, but what they don't realise is it's another way of controlling her. He tells her she can't leave the house as she's got to stay in with the dog and she has to walk it at specific times.

    "Then Dexter, being a puppy, runs around and chews up something very personal of Sienna's - a diary. [Maxine] learns something Sienna probably didn't want her to know, and then the bargaining starts."

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    Hollyoaks star Nikki Sanderson has revealed more details of her upcoming pregnancy storyline, confirming that Maxine Minniver's troubles are far from over.

    As first teased in Hollyoaks' spring trailer last week, Maxine will be left confused and fearful in a new story as she discovers that she is expecting a baby.

    As Maxine's abusive fiancé Patrick Blake (Jeremy Sheffield) has had a vasectomy, she decides that the father must be the man she supposedly got close to during her recent night out at The Loft. However, viewers will know that this isn't the case as Patrick made this story up to control her.

    Patrick's daughter Sienna (Anna Passey) and son Dodger (Danny Mac) are the first to discover Maxine's secret, and the revelation leads to Dodger and Maxine becoming close again.

    Sanderson told All About Soap: "[Dodger] finds out she's pregnant and comes to the flat to talk about it. They have a heated row because there's a lot of tension between them. They love each other and want to be together, and he ends up telling her that he wishes he was the father of her baby. But just as they're about to kiss, Patrick comes home."

    Asked whether Patrick catches them, she replied: "No, but Patrick really isn't happy to find Dodger in the flat. Maxine knows there'll be consequences and there are, because Patrick's temper explodes again. He grabs a belt and tells her that he's going to punish her for having Dodger over.

    "Patrick's just about to hit Maxine when she screams out, telling him that she's pregnant. He's angry and demands to know who the father of the baby is. They fight and Maxine decides she can't take any more. Maxine goes to stay at the boarding house and finally thinks she's got away from Patrick's clutches - but she hasn't."

    In the aftermath of Maxine's revelation, her ordeal continues as twisted Patrick fails to change his ways and makes her feel guilty by repeatedly accusing her of cheating on him.

    Sanderson added: "Just because Maxine's expecting a baby, it doesn't mean the abuse will stop. It's a horrible situation. She's always frightened for her safety and walking on eggshells because she doesn't know how Patrick is going to react to even simple things."

    Women's Aid is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. Its helpline is 0808 2000 247.

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  7. #25
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    Be good if she was pregnant by Dodger as they make a good couple imo

  8. #26
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    Hollyoaks star Nikki Sanderson is currently involved in one of the soap's darkest storylines, as her character Maxine Minniver remains in an abusive relationship with Hollyoaks High headteacher Patrick Blake.

    Last week, Maxine finally found the strength to leave Patrick (Jeremy Sheffield), but it wasn't long before he manipulated her into giving him another chance.

    Off-screen, Nikki has been working with the Home Office to raise awareness of domestic violence. She has also been nominated for Best Actress in the British Soap Awards 2014 longlist, which is currently being voted for by fans.

    Digital Spy recently caught up with Nikki to chat about the Soap Awards recognition and the latest twists in the Maxine and Patrick story.

    How does it feel to be in the running for Best Actress at the Soap Awards?
    "It feels fantastic and I'm so grateful to Hollyoaks and Lime Pictures for all they've done for me over the time I've been here. This is the first award I've ever been nominated for over my whole career, so it means a hell of a lot to me. I feel extremely blessed to have been put in this position.

    "It's a very difficult category and I know it'll be difficult to get put through to the shortlist, but just to be nominated has been amazing - especially because we've worked so hard on the Maxine and Patrick storyline over the past year. It's great to be acknowledged for the hard work we've put into that."

    Since our last interview, the story has really intensified. How have you found it to film?
    "It's been an experience and something that every actor would dream of, because it's such an important storyline. There have been so many twists and turns, so I've been able to show my depth as an actress and explore a wide spectrum of material. Everyone usually knows me as a comedic actress, so it's nice to show that I'm not a one-trick pony and I can do other things.

    "It's also been great to work with Jeremy. We get on so well in real life - I trust him completely and it's the same in return, so that means we can push the boundaries. I've been hurt a few times doing this storyline and filming these scenes, because we want to make it as realistic as possible and for the audience to see the reality of the situation.

    "It's been such a journey and I've learned so much from it. As an actress, you're always learning your craft and new skills - and in this storyline I've definitely learned a lot."

    Is it difficult to switch off after filming such difficult scenes?
    "It depends - sometimes it's actually quite easy to switch off because of the people who are around you, or where you're going after work. Other times I've had a really emotional day for Maxine where I've been crying a lot, and it is hard because you get yourself into a certain mental state in order to perform the best you possibly can. It can be difficult to switch your mind off once you get yourself into that state."

    Why did Maxine go back to Patrick last week?
    "It's a hard one - she made that decision because she's so heavily controlled and manipulated, so it's not easy to just walk away. As much as people say, 'Just walk away', it's not so easy. There's been a year's worth of manipulation and controlling behaviour from Patrick which has led to this point.

    "Maxine loves Dodger and wants to be with him, and Dodger feels the same way. But as much as Maxine doesn't want to be with Patrick, she can't leave him because mentally he has a huge hold over her."

    Do you enjoy filming those rare moments where Maxine does stand up to Patrick?
    "I do - because they're so few and far between at the moment. We're now into the proper depths of the storyline, so it's very rare that Maxine does stand up to Patrick, because she's so scared of him. When we do get those brief moments where Maxine does defend herself, it's quite liberating - but it never lasts long because Maxine is so fearful of Patrick and she worries about what the repercussions will be."

    Now that Maxine is pregnant, will the physical abuse from Patrick stop?
    "Not necessarily. You would assume that if a woman fell pregnant, their partner would stop being violent towards them - but in the research we've done, that's not always true. Unfortunately, just because you're carrying someone's child doesn't mean that the abuse will stop, so you'll just have to wait and see how things play out between Maxine and Patrick."

    It's been a very long-running storyline, which is true to life. Is there still a long way to go?
    "We've had some people asking, 'Why is it going on for so long?' Soaps can tend to rush things, but what Hollyoaks wanted to do with this storyline was to give it a real-life timescale. It takes months of manipulation and control to get to the point we're at now. There's still a little bit of a journey to go with Maxine and Patrick."

    Do you hope the eventual outcome is Maxine and Dodger getting together?
    "Yeah - I hope the outcome is that Maxine is happy, and the person she would be happy with is Dodger. It would be great for the audience to see that even if you've been in a situation like this, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It'd be nice if the audience saw that you can have a happy life afterwards and meet somebody who makes you happy. I hope we see Maxine become herself again, rather than a puppet of Patrick's."

    The Sienna and Maxine scenes have proved popular. Would you like them to maybe team up against Patrick in the future?
    "Definitely. I absolutely love Anna Passey [who plays Sienna] - she's so fabulous in every way, so we're having a great time filming together. I'd love to see Maxine and Sienna become a little twosome, because it'd be great to be able to film more with her. She's phenomenal and so good at her job."

    Will we see Dexter the dog make a return?
    "Unfortunately no! He was absolutely amazing, but we can't have him back because Patrick told Maxine that he's dead! It's so sad, because he's so cute!"

    You and Jeremy are both appearing as Maxine and Patrick in Home Office adverts at the moment. Is the campaign going well?
    "It's going amazingly well. We've heard that the figures have been fantastic with the number of people who have called in and left their abusive partners. We always say that even if we help one person, we've done our job - but it turns out that the campaign has made a huge difference and it's brought the issue of domestic violence to the forefront."

    Do you think soap characters appearing in real-life campaigns could happen more often?
    "I think it'd be great, because I think people find you more approachable and relatable when you're in a soap and you're appearing in their living rooms so often. The audience feel like they know you already, so I think it'd be brilliant."

    How did you feel about turning 30 recently?
    "I had an amazing time - I really embraced it and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I had a party for my 30th, but I also made it a fundraiser and raised over £10,000 for charity that night, so it was a very good day!"

  9. #27
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    Maxine Minniver will take the brave step of visiting a women's refuge on Hollyoaks later this month as she seeks an escape from her violent fiancé Patrick Blake.

    Pregnant Maxine makes the decision after ending up back in hospital following another heated argument with evil Patrick (Jeremy Sheffield).

    Maxine finds herself on the receiving end of more abuse from Patrick after she sneaks out to a surprise hen party that Blessing Chambers has organised for her at The Loft.

    When Patrick finds out that Maxine has left the flat without his permission, he confronts her on the balcony outside the club - causing her to lose her balance and fall down the stairs.

    Nikki Sanderson, who plays Maxine, told All About Soap: "Maxine gets taken to hospital because she feels like she might have lost the baby, which would be horrific.

    "Thank God everything is okay with the kid, although Maxine's hurt. She's got bumps and bruises and she's hurt mentally as well. I think that's when she realises she has to leave, if not for herself then for her baby.

    "There's a doctor at the hospital who clocks Patrick's behaviour. She pulls Maxine to one side and hands her a card that's a referral to a women's refuge. Maxine decides to act on it and when she gets home she contacts Dennis, and he helps her go to the refuge."

    While Dennis is pleased that Maxine has done the right thing, she is soon plagued with doubts over whether she can really stay away from Patrick.

    Sanderson added: "Even though she knows she needs to get out, Patrick still has that control over her. When Maxine's in the refuge, she starts questioning her strength. She's on her own, away from her friends and family, and she wonders if she can really do this."

    Hollyoaks airs these scenes on Wednesday, July 16 at 6.30pm on Channel 4.

    Women's Aid is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. Its helpline is 0808 2000 247.

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    Hollyoaks will also air a wedding episode for Maxine Minniver and her abusive fiancé Patrick Blake. However, fans will no doubt be hoping that Maxine finds the courage not to go through with the ceremony on the big day.

    "Maxine and Patrick's domestic abuse storyline has had a huge response from viewers, and like all of our issue-led stories, we're proud that it's helped to change the attitudes of what domestic abuse really is," Richardson said.

    "We've been contacted by several victims of domestic violence who have left abusive relationships as a consequence of our storyline. It has been so important that this story is true-to-life, and what we hope to have shown is how difficult it can be to leave any abusive relationship.

    "Maxine now faces more hurdles, and we as much as you want her to escape from Patrick and find happiness - whether that's with Dodger or maybe a new love interest. Or maybe she just wants to live a very happy life with a much-longed-for baby."

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