Hollyoaks star Gemma Bissix says Clare's 2013 return didn't work because she wasn't likeable
Former Hollyoaks star Gemma Bissix reckons she knows why Clare Devine's return in 2013 didn't go down well with fans, despite her being one of the soap's most popular baddies just a few years prior.
Clare was introduced on screen back in 2006, and was initially portrayed by Samantha Rowley before Bissix took over the following year.
She had been hired by Max Cunningham and Sam 'OB' O'Brien as The Loft's event supervisor, but things got complicated between the trio when the besties started vying for her attention.
Related: Hollyoaks star Tamara Wall reveals Grace Black was nearly axed
Clare eventually chose to be with Max. But it wasn't their romance that had viewers interested in the newbie, it was her secret scheming. From her numerous affairs and driving a wedge between her partner and his long-term pal to kidnapping rival Warren Fox – something that saw her arrested in 2009.
When she made a comeback four years later though, Clare's penchant for villainy seemed very exaggerated – she locked Mercedes McQueen in a cage and threatened her with vicious dogs, for crying out loud – and Bissix believes it turned audiences off.
"When I went back in 2013, [executive producer] Bryan [Kirkwood] will be the first to admit, it was all about the red lips... blonde hair and it was all the stuff with Mercedes and Doctor Browning," the actor recalled while appearing on The Dog In The Pond, an unofficial Hollyoaks podcast hosted by ex-cast member Kelly Condron.
"There was no smiles, you didn't know the depth of it.
"The thing that made me win an award in 2007 and made Clare so good back then, you're talking 13 years ago, was because you watched it and the audience knew she was evil but none of the village did.
"The audience need to love you. It's like when you watch Killing Eve, Jodie Comer is incredible. Even though she's the bad one, that's what excites you. [The character] has to be likeable."
Hollyoaks currently airs new episodes on Mondays and Tuesdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.
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