Hollyoaks used intimacy coordinator for harrowing Maxine scenes

Hollyoaks' Nikki Sanderson collaborated with an intimacy coordinator for her character's brutal attack scenes.

Earlier this week, the Maxine Minniver actress was in attendance at a special screening for her Home Office-advocated episode (titled 'The Long Walk Home') exploring violence against women, where she told Digital Spy and other press of how the action was caught for the cameras.

"With the attack, we wanted to make it as real as possible so the audience can watch it and it feels as real as possible to them too," she said. "When we were doing it, we had a fight coordinator and an intimacy coach.

embargo 01112022 maxine minniver in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

Related: Guardians of the Galaxy star says working without an intimacy co-ordinator is "unthinkable"

"Ben, who played the attacker, was a wonderful man – he was lovely – but we had to be in each other's faces and he had to physically attack me. It is as brutal as it looks. We had them to make sure we were completely looked after and were okay.

"We had other things as well," the former Coronation Street star added.

"There were people available to us whenever we needed it – if we needed to talk or express how we were feeling or if we felt triggered by anything. Everything was available to us to make sure that, in the most brutal environments, we felt safe and we felt protected."

maxine minniver in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

Related: Hollyoaks writer explains why she pitched Maxine's dark story

Sanderson also opened up about what it means to her to be part of such a socially-conscious piece of TV.

"It was such a privilege to do the episode," she said. "It's been a fantastic experience, from the very beginning since I found out Maxine would be the one doing it, right through to getting it to the floor with incredible people.

"It's just been an honour for me to do this episode and an honour to work with the people who I have done. It's heartbreaking and so many people are going to be able to relate. I am super proud of the whole thing, it's phenomenal.".

Hollyoaks streams first on All 4, with new episodes dropping each weekday morning. The show airs Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, and at 7pm on E4.

Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland's helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.

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