Corrie's Lucy Fallon fought back the tears after being thanked by sexual exploitation victims
The actress said acting out the hard-hitting story was nothing compared to those who face the ordeal in real life.
Coronation Street star Lucy Fallon broke down in tears as she told she had been thanked by victims of sexual exploitation for her role in the soap.
The 21-year-old plays Bethany Platt, who is groomed by her older fiance Nathan Curtis (Chris Harper) and forced to sleep with his friends.
Speaking ahead of this week’s episodes, which see the storyline reach new extremes, Lucy said she had been approached in the street by people who had been through similar ordeals.
She fought back tears as she said: “I went to Manchester to put some flowers down at St Ann’s Square (following the Manchester Arena bombing) and a lady of about 60 came and tapped me on the shoulder and said “Can I just whisper something to you?”
“I thought she was just going to say that she really likes Corrie, but she said “I was sexually abused by my dad when I was younger”…she got really upset and said she really appreciated what I had done.
“It makes me feel really proud when people say stuff like that.”
The ITV soap has been broadcast at the later time slot of 9pm this week due to the nature of the plots, and Friday will see Bethany involved in scenes with a number of men.
Commenting on the filming process, Lucy said: “We do the difficult scenes very quickly and I get to go home after.
“I have a long drive home and I listen to music, but you can’t completely switch off just like that.”
As Bethany’s family are about to find out the extent of what she has been through, viewers are hopeful that it will spell the end of the teen’s abuse.
But Lucy said the psychological trauma will still weigh heavily on her.
“It’s going to be a really long road to recovery,” Fallon said of her character.
“After speaking to various charities and people that this has happened to in real life, it’s quite clear that while they may have come to terms with what has happened to them, they haven’t gotten over it.”
“It has been hard and all the crying scenes are tiring, but when you realise it does actually happen to people, acting it is nothing. For me it isn’t real and I get to go home and have a normal life, whereas those people don’t.”
Corrie producer Kate Oates said the team were “achingly proud” of both Fallon and Harper and promised that there would be light at the end of the tunnel.
“I definitely want to keep Lucy central to the show because she has shone through all of this,” she said.
“We have got some plans for her and when the scales do fall from her eyes she takes power and responsibility back.
“It is important that we see Bethany being active in saving herself rather than just being pulled out of the situation.”
Coronation Street continues on ITV at 9pm on Friday.