Earlier this week we were lucky enough to go to a screening of last night’s dramatic Emmerdale double bill where we said goodbye to Donna Windsor after an stint back in the soap that was just too short for our liking. We were sworn to secrecy about how she died but if you watched last night you’ll know that Donna went out a hero, handcuffing herself to criminal Gary North and throwing herself off the top of a multi-storey car park killing both herself and Gary.
The explosive scene was given an emotional overtone with her lover Ross watching on and pleading for her not to jump not realising she only had weeks to live anyway. In the end Donna decided to protect Ross and her daughter April from any potential backlash from Gary North by taking him with her when she jumped.
We had a quick chat with Verity Rushmore who plays Donna and Michael Parr who plays Ross to find out how they’ve enjoyed their whirlwind romance and Bonnie and Clyde esque partnership.
“I was lucky enough to have the whole story laid out for me before I came back to the show. I was just so excited by the storyline as an actress and it’s not often you get to know your beginning, middle and end” said Verity about her return to Emmerdale. “I thought the ending was fantastic, it was high drama rather than dragging on deteriorating over a year. There’s a massive stunt and I felt like an action woman and loved it!” she continued.
What about the stunt itself, was she scared? She told us “I’m scared of everything, never been on a rollercoaster and don’t have any piercings or anything. I was absolutely petrified but luckily we had a practise. The worst thing was going backwards as psychologically I thought ‘ah they’ve taken the mats away’. I ended up jumping about 5ft and it was backwards and I was handcuffed. It was quite scary.”
With Ross seeing Donna’s leap, how will he cope going forward? We asked Michael what the coming weeks had in store for his character and he said “It’s all really difficult for him as he’s lost the love of his life. He only really loves two people, his little brother Finn and Donna and she’s died very quickly on him. Then as the tale unfolds he learns that she’d been lying to him and it sends him off the rails. You’re going to see his darker side and his need and want to hurt people because he’s hurting.”
Filming the funeral scene was a strange one as Michael explains “It was so surreal because I was in the dressing room and the hearse was going past and I was taking pictures and texting them to Verity. You had to watch the coffin go into the ground and it’s hard to do. It felt like a real life funeral and everyone was down. It was easy to film and not easy at the same time.”
Series producer Kate Oates was also at the screening and she gave us a couple of hints about other storylines that we can look forward to in the coming months as Ross’ mother Emma Barton makes an appearance and perhaps causes chaos. Plus, she hinted that Charity will be in the firing line in their big Autumn story. After her and Declan stitched up Rachel for starting the fire at Home Farm and then she pretended her abortion was a miscarriage, there’s all sorts of ways things could go badly for her. More news on that when we have it.