Exclusive: Hollyoaks star shares "abuse" she received for playing evil Clare
Hollyoaks star Gemma Bissix has opened up about the "abuse" she used to receive from fans of the soap, admitting that viewers "really hated" the evil Clare Devine.
Gemma, whose Hollyoaks Favourites episodes are currently airing on E4, spoke exclusively to Digital Spy about the real-life hate she dealt with when Clare was at the height of her villainy.
"There was no character like her before. It was the first time that people really hated someone," Gemma explained. "The audience knew she was evil, but everybody else in the show didn't. That's what was so frustrating for the audience – they were screaming at the television. She was awful. I used to get so much abuse!"
Related: Hollyoaks star Gemma Bissix addresses fan disappointment over Clare Devine's death
Recalling a time she was almost refused service at her local supermarket, Gemma revealed that a woman told her she should be "ashamed" of herself. "I was so embarrassed," the actress admitted.
"In the end, obviously she had to serve me, but she made quite a song and dance about it! I said, 'I promise you, I'm nice! I don't kill people or plot against children in real life!'"
Gemma didn't always receive such negative feedback about her character, however – telling us that Clare was once the inspiration for fan-mail from prison.
Related: 9 Hollyoaks stars who've addressed the flashforward death and wedding theories
"I also got a letter from someone in prison saying that I was amazing and their idol, and they were there if I ever needed a sidekick!" she said. "I was thinking, 'It's not real, I promise you!'"
Ahead of Clare Devine's final Hollyoaks Favourites episode, Gemma has been busy reflecting on her time at the Channel 4 soap, recently arguing that the character ultimately deserved to meet her death.
"I think at the time, Clare had had so many ups and downs," she said. "The character has to expire at some point — you can't be that evil and not get your comeuppance."
Hollyoaks currently airs new episodes on Mondays and Tuesdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4. Classic episodes, titled Hollyoaks Favourites, air on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 7pm on E4.
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