Fair City star Martina Stanley says she has massive admiration for stuntwomen and said: “Never in a million years could I do that.”
The veteran actress, who plays Dolores, was speaking after filming one of the most explosive storylines in her 28 years in the soap.
In tonight’s episode she’s involved in a car crash after being distracted by a massive explosion in Carol’s Cabs following a petrol bomb attack.
Stunned by the blast, she crashes into a skip and is almost knocked unconscious.
The car bursts into flames but her foot is trapped under the pedal and she only escapes when hero Tommy rushes to her rescue.
Martina said she loved every second of the drama, which will have fans riveted.
“It was so exciting and it actually turned out to be even more exciting than I had envisaged because I didn’t realize how much I would be involved in the action,” she said.
“It was brilliant. Obviously, there was a stunt girl who did the actual crash and she was incredible. I remember hearing the bang and I thought,
‘Please God, let her be OK.’
“She was amazing, not a bother on her. Literally not a bother. I was absolutely full of admiration for her.
“Not in a million years would I do that. Wimp, sorry! Oh no, no, no, not for me, absolutely not for me.”
The actress said it was definitely one of the most dramatic storylines she had ever been involved in.
“It’s my first car crash – and let’s hope we won’t have another one as the next one might not work out so well for me,” she laughed.
Dolores said she had to climb into the crashed car once the stunt driver and bracing equipment was removed and the seats put back in.
“Then I’m in the car in the aftermath of the crash waking up on the deflated airbag and you see the airbag burns on my face,” she said.
“Dolores’ foot gets stuck underneath the pedal and the smoke is coming into the car and Tommy comes to the rescue.
“He almost gets killed himself because at this stage the car is on fire and Carol is screaming at him to get away and then we just run away and then the car blows up.
“It was really exciting. There were a few takes of us running away from the car. The fire would be put out, then they would relight the fire gel and we would go for another take. It was amazing.
“The special effects people are incredible. It was so exciting and I really, really enjoyed it.
“There’s loads of drama and I can’t wait to see the episodes myself to be honest with you.”
Martina said she was lucky because Dolores had been involved in two other big storylines recently, including the court case where bullying Will was on trial for abusing her friend Cristiano.
Cleo has also now returned to Carrigstown to visit Dolores after many years away.
“Sometimes it can happen that there’s a slump after a big story but they had this car crash story building so it was great,” said Martina.
“It does generate great excitement on set it because it isn’t the norm to have stunt people in and explosions going off. When something like that happens there is a lot of excitement.
“Fair City is back with a bang and there are more twists to come.”
One of those is that Dolores, as owner of the Market Place where bombed out Carol’s Cabs is located, has to deal with the insurance assessor…who turns out to be Lucy, a dark figure from her past.
“Lucy was a psycho girl. She is a pathological liar and is a very mentally disturbed person, who kind of groomed Dolores,” said the actress.
“Lorna Quinn who plays her is amazing and she hasn’t changed a bit in ten years. It’s crazy. She will be easily recognizable to people who’ve been watching the show that long.
“There is a big twist coming and it’s all very exciting, I’m telling you.
I’m dying to get the scripts to see what’s happening next.”
The actress and mother of four said she never dreamt she would still be in Fair City after joining in the 90s.
“I came in thinking I would be there for a season. It’s like a time warp, I just cannot believe I’ve been in it for that long,” she said.
“It has been brilliant. I enjoy it enormously and there is always something new and different happening. It has been wonderful.”
Fair City is on RTE One tonight (Thursday) at 8pm