Hollyoaks star confirms exit for Summer but reveals she wants to return
Summer Ranger (Rhiannon Clements) has schemed, terrorised and caused nothing but chaos since rocking up in Hollyoaks last year.
The crazed cupcake maker arrived in the eponymous village to care for her dad Cormac (James Gaddas), who had been violently attacked and left in a coma.
Brody Hudson (Adam Woodward) struck up a bond with her, but when his role in her father’s assault came to light, Summer decided that revenge was a dish best served cold.
For months, she plotted Brody’s downfall, and ultimately fell in love with former nemesis Sienna Blake (Anna Passey) in the process! Things reached an explosive conclusion this week, as Summer returned to complete her mission and destroy both Brody and Sienna.
Brody wound up dead, but – in a shock twist – Summer was not to blame, as Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas) was driving the car that knocked the mainstay down.
Summer, meanwhile, has been implicated in the crime, after Sienna lied to the police, claiming she saw her behind the wheel. The schemer’s fate regarding the murder has yet to be revealed, but Metro.co.uk can confirm that actress Rhiannon will be leaving the show.
No, you’re crying.
Ahead of her final scenes, we caught up with Rhiannon to reflect on her journey on the Channel 4 soap, discuss the iconic Sienna and Summer relationship, and to find out if we’ve really seen the last of Summer Ranger.
What can you tell us about what’s next? Have we seen the last of Summer?
You haven’t seen the last of Summer just yet. There are possibly a couple of visits from Sienna to Summer.
But after that she will be paying her dues in prison, and she will be staying there for a little while. I was only on for a 12-month contract, and that contract is finished now. But I’m so happy that it’s been kept open. There’s a possibility that she might come back and redeem herself.
I’d love to go back somewhere along the line. Not just yet, it’s been a really massive learning curve, and I found it tough at times. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
The people who have been there for years, I have nothing for respect and admiration for them, because it is so, so hard. To do the quality [of performance] that they do every day… and the crew as well! To keep that well-oiled machine going as well as they do and, in a pandemic too is just mind-blowing. I’m giving it a little breather, but then I’d love to [go back] somewhere along the line.
It’s been quite a few weeks! How have you been since we last spoke?
Yes, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind! Wrapping up and doing all the stuff towards the end of the storyline. It was really nice to finish it off by going to the NTAs and having that night with everyone there. It’s been quite calm now, I’m a bit lost, I don’t know what to do with myself!
It’s got really intense in the last couple of weeks of Summer’s arc!
Yes, definitely! We wanted to get it right and doing that under the constraints of the speed of soap, it was a real challenge, but I was really happy to be a part of that!
This was such an explosive week for Summer’s return! How much fun was it shooting these scenes on location?
It was brilliant! And it was tough, because we knew this was going to be the last time we were going to be filming together. The episodes we did that come after that we’d already shot, so we didn’t have much left to shoot with each other. I think that was mine and Adam’s last scenes we shot together, so it was brilliant, we had so much fun! As actors we have a great time on set and stuff, but it was like “Oh god this is a bit of an end of an..” I won’t say ‘era’ because it’s only been a year! But you know what I mean, the end of a time. It as a double-edged sword, but so much fun. It always is with those guys!
Summer made several attempts on Sienna’s life, do you think she would’ve actually gone through with it?
I don’t think she would have! I think towards the end it was all very mixed up – I don’t know if she would’ve gone through with any of it. She just wanted some sort of expulsion of the way she was feeling and the way she was grieving, because I don’t think she’d dealt with anything. I feel like maybe it came to a head in a way that she wasn’t expecting. She was hellbent on revenge and taking Brody down, but I think there is a very decent side to Summer among all this horror that she is – she is a little witch at times! There is a lot to uncover there about what would’ve went down.
Brody was killed, but it wasn’t Summer who did it! How did you feel when you first found out this was all going to happen?
I was shocked, actually! We didn’t get it too far in advance, so it was like: “oh wow!”, and what does this mean for Summer, and what does that mean going forward for all the other characters? It’s such a massive twist and turning point for the action.
The repercussions are going to felt for a while. What will that mean for Summer? She didn’t murder anyone, but she does need to be punished, so where do we go from there for that? And it was really sad, I was going: ‘Aw, Adam!’ – we were going to have to film that, and that’s going to be horrible!
Does Summer feel angry that someone else robbed her of the chance to kill Brody?
I think it’s a split. She’s angry that she feels like she’s failed her dad. In her warped way this was her way of getting justice for him. But on the flipside, this ‘justice’ has happened and she didn’t have to do it herself. I don’t know if she would have it in her to do it – go the full villain.
Is she just this really hurt, confused and broken person who is just really damaged and doesn’t know how to communicate things and it just comes out in this way? Her response to the killing of Brody is keeping in with how untouched she is from the reality of what’s going on. She has no grasp of the magnitude of everything, and how she reacts is all very flippant, and very comical. She’s not right with it, there’s something that’s come loose within her.
With Brody out of the way, do you think in Summer’s mind, she could see a future for her and Sienna?
Yes, in her heart she would love it. She could definitely see a future with Sienna. She’s the person she’s felt the most affinity to ever. She understands her in ways she’s never met before, and can give as good as she gets.
I think it would take a massive journey for her to get to the point where her and Sienna are even on talking terms.
I think the way Sienna’s come along in terms of character progression, she understands things from a lot of different perspectives. She’s done bad things and always had reasons for the bad things, and that’s the justification of them. If she could see that in Summer and find the justification of [what she’s done], then possibly there could be a future for them.
Would you like Summer to be redeemed? It is possible, because they redeemed Sienna, who seemed really unredeemable at one stage
I think it would be a hard graft! [The role she had] in taking away a character like Brody, and to take away the companionship of ‘Brienna’ is a massive thing, because they were a really good couple, so I think it would be hard work to do a redemption, but I think for Summer there is so much to redeem!
There is so much that’s come out of her grief and so much that has come out of the lack of stability she’s got. With reason and development, I think there could be a redemption. If she actually saw what went on from a perspective that isn’t grief, then she’d see it wasn’t actually Brody [who killed Cormac], it was all three of them! And [if she saw] that her dad was a racist – that needs to be dealt with. She’s not dealt with those things, she’s just hit out at the first thing that’s been amenable to her.
Yes, Summer’s revenge has all been on the basis of her dad being this wonderful person, but if she found out that this wasn’t actually the case, then maybe she’d realise the error of her ways and make steps to redeem herself?
Absolutely! Part of me’s like maybe the way she’s reacted is the grief over the fact that she knows her dad was this person and she can’t deal with that. She’s not built to cope with all those things. But if those things were dealt with and she could work through them, then maybe she would have a very different take on the way things have panned out.
What’s next for you?
There are bits and bobs at the minute. I’m back to working for auditions, and seeing what comes. This was my first job where I had a big chunk of time to work on and develop a character. I’d love to do something where I am immersed in it for that amount of time again. [I’d love] something I can get my teeth into, as Summer has give me a right taste for it!
You’ve been part of so many incredible Hollyoaks moments. Do you have a favourite?
Oooooh! I know a hundred percent if you asked this question to Anna, it would be the boot sniff! (laughs) She loves the boot sniff! Me, less so! (laughs) It was really funny, and it’s more funny now looking back on it and knowing where me and Anna where at that time. It was just us in the school hall for a couple of days, and we were having an absolute ball with it.
Probably [for me], it was the stuff on location. I feel like we all pulled together and did some of our strongest work. And me and Anna in the interrogation room, I really enjoyed those days where it was just two people who had gone through all of this mayhem, talking about everything that happened. It was really calm and quite sinister.
And all the stuff with Jess [Stoddart, who plays Liberty] in the storeroom, that was great – the prep for the wedding where Summer just completely lost it!
I loved the storeroom stuff!
It was good fun! Me and Jess, again, just howled for a week straight. It was brilliant!
One scene that everyone enjoyed was when Summer jumped out of the box at Sienna!
Oh that was too much! (laughs) Too funny! I had the beret on, and it was written in the script that Summer jumps out, and I was like there is not a chance I can fit in that box! Anyway, I did fit in the box and the beret kept flying off each time! And each time, I’d move position so Anna didn’t know where I was coming, so the reaction was genuinely that she was terrified.
We could not keep it together (laughs), The amount of takes, it was just too funny.
Did it take many takes?
It was a fair few times! But it got to the point where we were like: “We need to get this. We’re getting cross, we need to pull this together!”. Anna is really good at telling me to pull it back. Because I just lose it, and then when I see her losing it that makes me go even more, that just sends me! We’re like two naughty school girls sometimes, which is quite funny.
What would you like to say to the fans that have supported you and grown to love Summer?
The Hollyoaks fans are like no other. They are just incredible. The amount of love they have for the show, and for the characters is amazing. Especially for Summer, she’s not been an easy character to take on board at times! But the response has just been absolutely gorgeous.
And the way they’ve taken me on board too, because coming into a soap it’s a split thing as to whether people are going to like the way you’re playing her, but it’s been absolutely lovely, and I want to thank everybody for that, because it’s made it really really fun. I’ll never forget the response that I’ve got. It’s made my year.
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