Tina is headed down a self-destructive path next week when she bottles up her emotions as baby Jake’s homecoming is held at the Rovers. After losing her cool, Tina has a vicious row with a mocking Tracy Barlow before heading off into the night. In an interview with Radio Times, Michelle reveals what’s in store as Tina’s evening goes from bad to worse.
So, Michelle, how hard do you think it was for Tina to give up baby Jake?
It was the hardest thing she’s ever had to do, but she’d finally come to a point where she knew she had to give him back to Izzy and Gary. She knew she was doing the right thing at that point, no matter how hard she knew it would be.
Will she always feel like Jake’s mum?
I don’t know whether she’ll feel like his mum for the rest of her life, but I do think Tina will always have a connection with Jake. There’s certainly a special bond that she feels she has with him that nobody else can understand.
When Tina and Tommy go away for a holiday, does Tina use that time to try and get her head around the whole situation with Izzy and Gary?
I think she uses the time to try and forget. I don’t think she manages to forget about Jake but while she’s away she uses it as an opportunity to try and move on and not think about the moment when she had to hand Jake over to Izzy and Gary. But I don’t think Tina quite understands or even thinks about what it’ll be like when she gets back to the Street.
How big of a support is Tommy being throughout all of this?
He is being so supportive. Tommy always knows when something’s on Tina’s mind, but she’s constantly got her barriers up. She’s always telling him she’s fine and that nothing is up with her. But he’s sticking by her throughout it all.
So when Tina returns home, she discovers that Jake is out of hospital – how does this leave her feeling?
Back at square one and as though nothing has changed. I think at the time she thought the holiday was doing her some good, but when she gets back it feels as though reality has really hits home. She can’t escape it at all. Izzy seems to be there constantly with the baby and obviously they are all celebrating Jake’s arrival. At this point Tina still sees Jake as the baby that she carried and she can’t escape that.
Yes, and then we see Gloria suggesting to Izzy that she should have Jake’s homecoming drinks in the Rovers where Tina works?
Yes, Tina being Tina she obviously pretends that she’s OK with it all, but she does know deep down that she’s going to struggle with it and that she’ll have to put a brave face on.
Could she ever go back to being friends with Gary and Izzy?
She’d really like it to all go back to how it was before Jake arrived, but whether that’s possible or not is another matter. At the moment she’s really struggling. She struggles to see Izzy and Gary so happy, even though they’ve done nothing wrong. Tina knows that and she does want to be their friend, but at the moment it’s proving difficult. Plus it’s tough for her see the celebrations and not feel a part of them.
Does she think the party will be a good opportunity to get closure by seeing Jake with his new family?
She definitely wants closure and she thinks that the chance to see Jake with all of his family may well help her with that. But the whole thing actually blows up entirely and goes in the complete opposite direction. The entire Windass family are all celebrating and Owen then decides to give a speech in which he publicly thanks Tina for what she’s done. Tracy Barlow starts to wind Tina up about snatching the baby and in the end Tina completely loses it with her. She then shouts at Tommy to leave her alone and to stop constantly asking her if she’s OK, and she tells Rita that she doesn’t want her sympathy either. At that point she leaves.
So she’s even starting to push Tommy away by this point?
Yes. She feels isolated and as though nobody else could understand what she’s going through. No matter what Tommy does for her he can’t seem to get through to her or make her feel better and that’s why she leaves on her own. Tina doesn’t want anybody else around her.
After things have kicked off with Tracy in the pub and Tina’s gone off on her own, we see her turn to the bottle. Is this the first time she’s turned to drink to numb the pain?
She’s quite extreme. When her dad died, Tina believed she could cope on her own when in reality she got very ill. She pushes people away when she’s got something weighing on her mind and she does exactly the same thing this time too. I think at this point the only thing she can think to use to block out the pain is alcohol.
Does it ever occur to her while she’s on the Red Rec that Tommy and Rita might be really worried about her?
I think at that time all Tina is interested in is blocking the rest of the world out. It isn’t until she listens to a voicemail Rita has sent that she comes to her senses and asks herself what on earth she is playing at. She then throws the vodka away and goes home. When she hears Rita’s voice she comes to her sense and she snaps out of it. She knows she was out of order for the way she spoke to her. But this has definitely been Tina at her lowest.
So, how does she feel when she gets back to the Street to learn that Rita had gone out looking for her and is now missing?
She feels terribly guilty. Tina knows that this is all her fault and she wants to do everything in her power to find Rita.
Do you think putting Rita in possible danger might be the further wake-up call that Tina needs?
Yes, she definitely needed something drastic to happen and the fact that Rita is missing really shakes her up.
Do you think she could start to look to the future after all this?
She does, actually. She starts to look at Gary and Izzy differently and begins to understand that she isn’t the parent anymore, they are. She realizes that it will be easier for both her and them if she agrees to see Jake on a regular basis, rather than try and block them out completely.
Would having a baby with Tommy help?
Tina has never mentioned that. If she did I think it would be completely the wrong decision to make. At the end of the day she’s a 21-year-old who has been through too much already. Having a baby would only mask the pain; it wouldn’t solve her problems. Jake will always be a part of her, so having another baby wouldn’t help. It would make the situation worse.