Hollyoaks Jennifer Metcalfe: “I Don’t think Mercedes should be hated”

Fans of Hollyoaks would have watched in horror last night as Mercedes McQueen lied through her teeth telling everyone that love rival Mitzeee Minniver had stabbed her, when in fact we all know that she inflicted the injury on herself.

Mercedes (Jennifer Metcalfe) has been Mitzeee’s (Rachel Shenton) secret stalker for weeks, driving the wannabe-WAG to the brink of insanity with all crazy behaviour.  Things came to a head on Tuesday night when Mercedes upped the ante on her intimidation by letting herself into Mitzeee’s flat after discovering that she was seeing Riley (Rob Norbury), Mercy’s ex.

Convincing best friend Lynsey (Karen Hassan) that Mitzeee was a danger to herself and to go and get help, leaving them alone, Mercedes hit Mitzeee over the head from behind, knocking her unconscious and then used the kitchen knife that Mitzeee had been holding in self-defence to stab herself in the stomach.

When Mitzeee came round and saw the scene she had no recollection of what had happened and cannot be sure that she didn’t stab Mercy so runs to Brendan (Emmett J Scanalan) for help, after Riley and Lynsey return and find Mitzeee over Mercedes, covered in her blood and phone for an ambulance.  However, believing that she did it, Brendan phones the police and Mitzeee is arrested.

Meanwhile, after coming round from her surgery, Mercedes points the finger at Mitzeee…

With such an explosive storyline underway it’s an easy option to start hating characters that have once been loved in the past, but actress Jennifer Metcalfe, who plays Mercedes in the hit Channel 4 teen drama, insists that people should not hate her character.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Metcalfe explained why she thought her character had sunk to such depths, but how the current storyline has not surprised her.

“I think it was pure desperation – the thought of Mitzeee, Riley and Bobby as a family together was too much for her to take, and she just saw red. I don’t think it’s something that Mercedes thought about or planned – she wouldn’t have even dreamed of doing it to herself. But at the time, she saw it as the only way out of the situation.”

“It’s always shocking, but then it takes about two seconds for me to snap back to reality and say, ‘Do you know what, it really doesn’t surprise me – that girl can do anything!'”

“It’s pretty bad, and Mercedes is hospitalised. But she does start to feel better and that’s when she starts putting it on to get sympathy. She’s determined to get what she wants…”

When asked whether Mercedes feels remorse for her actions, Metcalfe commented:  “Mercedes doesn’t feel guilt at all – she just wants Riley back and she’ll do whatever it takes to get him. I think she finds it easy to lie – hence why she does it so much and so well! She can’t tell anybody the truth, so she has no option but to lie. When she needs to turn on the tears, she’ll turn them on – especially if it will benefit her.”

She then went on to discuss whether she thinks this latest stunt will have the desired effect in winning Riley back:”Riley’s really sad for Mercedes, but at the same time, he knows Mitzeee. He doesn’t think that Mitzeee would do anything like this, but Mercedes is very, very persuasive. Riley is going to be pretty torn and confused over the whole thing.”

“I don’t know – she’s doing her utmost, we can say that! I think in soapland there’s always a chance for anything…”

When asked if she thought her character would be hated for what she has done, Metcalfe said:

“I don’t know – it’s pretty ruthless! I’ve been very careful with how I’ve played some of the scenes, as I don’t want to be hated and I don’t think Mercedes is a character to be hated. I hope I’ve done a good job and people still feel sorry for her.

“Mercedes is completely broken over the Riley and Mitzeee situation. It’s so funny – I don’t know how I do it sometimes, but over the past few weeks the viewers have still been feeling some sympathy for Mercedes. I was getting lots of tweets saying, ‘I feel so sorry for Mercedes, she needs to get back with Riley’ and ‘Mitzeee is being a bitch’. I just thought, ‘Oh my God, do you really think that, because even I don’t – and I love the character!'”

Those of you watching last night may have noticed a very familiar face amongst the medical staff as Dr Browning (Joe Thompson) lead the team caring for Mercedes, which can only mean more trouble.  Jennifer explains how much:

“Joe Thompson who plays him is great. He came in about six months ago now, when we established the escorting storyline in the hospital. We loved that block – it was brilliant to film. He came back a little bit later and I always thought that he’s a really good addition to the Hollyoaks cast. He’s come back for a little bit longer this time to stir things up!”

Watch some of this weeks action in the clip below:

Hollyoaks can be seen week nights at 6.30pm on Channel 4 / Channel 4 HD.