In her short time in the show, bubbly actress Rebekah Gibbs has already made a big impact. Her feisty character, technician Nina Farr, has been one of great discussion by the fans – some who love her and those that love to hate her.
This season, viewers will see a more softer, vulnerable side to Nina, as well as her tough exterior which may make fans warm to her even more.
In the opening episodes, in typical Nina-style when an emergency arises – Nina makes a solo decision which again risks not only the patient’s life but hers as well.
A young boy is trapped in an underground sewer, as Luke and Nina arrive at the scene, Nina takes no time in deciding to head down the sewer to reach him. Things however, don’t go to plan but after finally rescuing the boy – Nina falls back into the drain and is injured.
Filming the scenes were enjoyable but tough for newcomer Rebekah, ‘I was in there for two days – from about 8am – 7pm,’ she says. ‘It was great to do however the conditions were hard’
‘At first we were all positive, my boyfriend even said to me, “Kate Winslet didn’t moan once on the Set of Titanic” and I thought well if she didn’t moan and look at what she achieved, then I’m not going to moan but then ofcourse within two hours I was like “Eeeew!”
‘Matt Wait and I ended up doing aerobics to keep ourselves warm – I was like “Come on – if we keep our arms above our hearts it will keep us warm!” she joked.
After the hard days of filming, Rebekah did aim to treat herself though ‘I don’t drink but I promised myself a brandy at the end of the 48 hours!’
CASUALTY built an imitation drain for the storyline ‘In the ninth hour, when you’re cold and dark – it does feel pretty real,’ she reveals. ‘The only thing it didn’t have was the smell but obviously six men down there after lunch…!’
When Nina is taken back to Holby, Harry examines her and she is warned that she may be a quadriplegic as a result of her injuries, which obviously has a huge effect on Nina. ‘She’s panicked she’s got a physcial injury,’ says Rebekah. ‘Being in the front line, she’s distraught that it could mean her career could be over. So this freaks her out.’
The harrowing ordeal will show a softer side to Nina, ‘It does affect her more than she realizes – being previously in the army she never experienced children and being their responsibility.’
‘She does take that on her shoulders quite a lot. She progresses through it, being helped by Abs and has to make herself understand she did her best.’
‘She obviously feels, being quite competitive, that she wanted to do the best job she could and that meant saving the child,’ she continues. ‘So there’s a lot of regret on her side. But she did give it 100% and it does alleviate itself and eventually she come to terms with it.’
Nina is forced to admit vulnerability, ‘She puts her hand up and says ‘I’m confused and I don’t know what I’m doing,’ adding ‘As all bitches and hard faced characters you see in life – they all have a flip side I think. She’d be boring if she didn’t.’
Playing such a three dimensional character such as Nina has been something Rebekah has loved getting her teeth into, ‘She’s a great character to play. I have had a lot of feedback saying ‘She’s a real bitch!’
Asked if there were any similarities with Nina she admitted, ‘Ofcourse there is an element of me in her. My partner has said he’s seen that side of me before if I get extremely annoyed!’
‘I think they’ll always be an element of yourself in a character,’ she continues. ‘As an actress you tap into where you have been before. But hopefully I’m not a constant bitch as Nina seems to be!’
‘But she does have a softer side, She’s a girl’s best friend and is loyal unless she’s crossed. She just wants to do a good job, she’s a professional and wants to get in there and be ‘Queen Paramedic’. She wants to win!’
Rebekah has also been keen to impress viewers since joining such a well established show, ‘I’ve been doing the show for four or five weeks previous to going down the sewer and I was still a nervous wreck. There’s only so much research you can do.’
‘With every contract there’s a fear, I’m sure most actors would say that with every new job – you just want to be good and ofcourse you’re battling with anxiety and nerves. I was scared shitless!’
With CASUALTY nearly reaches it’s 19th year, Rebekah remembers watching the show, ‘I grew up with it as a kid,’ she says.
As well as coming to terms with the opening storyline, Nina has more trouble lined up when her step-sister Ellen turns up unannounced from episode 3 and makes a play for Abs.
‘She turns up at a real point – it’s my first moment with Abs and it’s been built and then comes my step sister, who Nina’s never had any common ground with so there’s a real point of confliction.’
‘There’s an ongoing friction between the pair – she’s not very happy at all.’