Julie Hesmondhalgh: I'll always be seen as Hayley Cropper

Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh has admitted she'll always be remembered as Hayley Cropper in ITV's 'Coronation Street'

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Julie Hesmondhalgh

Julie Hesmondhalgh

Julie Hesmondhalgh thinks she'll always be remembered as Hayley Cropper in 'Coronation Street'.

The 46-year-old actress starred as the transgender character in the ITV soap from 1998 until 2014 and despite subsequent roles in 'Happy Valley' and 'Cucumber', Julie doesn't think she'll ever be able to disassociate herself with her most famous on-screen part.

She shared: "I don't think I will ever move on from Hayley.

"When you have played a part that has been so much part of culture as Hayley was, you know your obituary picture is going to be that.

"I think Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher said it about their 'Star Wars' roles. No matter what you do, no matter what you achieve after that.

"My obituary picture will be me, there, drinking pineapple juice, as Hayley. It is part of who I am - it was 16 years and I was 27 when I went into that show."

Consequently, Julie finds it hugely thrilling when she is recognised for some of her more recent roles.

She told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "It is only professional pride that makes me want people to ask, 'Are you that lady in 'Cucumber'?'

"It is the best thing in the world. I could kiss them. I am like, 'Yes I am'."

Meanwhile, the actress also revealed she is delighted to have been cast in the acclaimed drama series 'Broadchurch', which stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman.

However, Julie admitted she was surprised to have been handed the role, which sees her play a rape victim.

She explained: "I feel like there is a lot of criticism about how sexual assault and rape is portrayed on television with it being sexualised.

"It is not an act of sex, it is an act of violence. It is very often young beautiful girls that it is happening to. I agree and I am sick of seeing it.

"So the very fact they cast me was immediately interesting. Obviously rape and sexual assault can happen to anybody, it happens to babies and old ladies and huge numbers of people every day.

"But to get someone like me in, as an ordinary middle-aged woman, that is one of the things they wanted to get across, that this could happen to anybody."

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