Coronation Street is about to embark on one of its most torturous storylines next week as Alina Pop becomes the centre of a harrowing modern slavery twist.
Actress Ruxandra Porojnicu appeared on today’s Lorraine with Christine Lampard and remained coy over the next stages in Alina’s tragic turn, but she did reveal that she shares her own parallels with the character after coming to the UK with just £300 in her pocket.
Alina’s boyfriend Seb Franklin (played by Harry Visinoni) will discover she’s been trapped as part of an Eastern European human trafficking ring, and while Ruxandra hasn’t endured quite the same brutality, her own experiences have helped cope with playing such a distressing part.
‘The thing what really helped me, at least at the beginning, was the fact that I find myself in Alina’s situation when I came here I the UK with big dreams,’ the star told Christine. ‘I just wanted to work for a better future and earn money, that was it.
‘I was a bit naive – I didn’t know I’d need to sign a contract or I to know about these people more.At the beginning, at least, I was back to what I was living before in my experience but after that I was doing loads of research like I was looking at documentaries.
‘Also, in my first day at Corrie, we had a meeting with the Salvation Army and the team of modern slavery and they helped me so much.’
Producer Iain MacLeod recently confirmed Corrie would be diving into uncharted territories for Alina’s next chapter.
He said: ‘This is one of the biggest hidden scandals in the UK today. Our research has shown us that in many towns and cities across Britain, people are being forced to work against their will, living in extreme poverty and in fear for their safety, all so ruthless criminal gangs can get rich at their expense.
‘We are keen to highlight that slavery hides in plain sight – the salon which does your nails for a too-good-to-be-true price, the car wash which valets your hatchback for half the going rate… these could all be staffed by people who are being coerced, threatened and exploited.’
Coronation Street continues tomorrow night at 7.30pm on ITV.
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