Corries Samia Longchambon fears daughter Freya will be ‘an easy target’ for trolling
Coronation Street actress Samia Longchambon has revealed that online trolling has taken its toll on her over the years, affecting her mental health.
The 39-year-old actress – who is mum to 12-year-old daughter Freya and seven-year-old son Yves – opened up on her fears about her kids being trolled online as well as all young people.
Samia has called for tougher rules around online activity: “I feel like things should be more regulated online, especially for young people," she said.
"My daughter is 12, so I'm really nervous about it because you're such an easy target."
She discussed her new hard-hitting Corrie plot, which will see her character, local councillor Maria Connor, targeted by online trolls.
The ordeal will see Maria start to hide away in her house after the abuse escalates. Samia, who has played Maria for 20 years, revealed that she too has struggled with online trolls. “It knocks your confidence," she said.
“When if you get 99 nice comments, you only remember the one awful one. Over the years, it does affect your mental health, definitely.”
The actress reveals that, like Maria, the bullying made her question and change her behaviour. “I've let it get to me a lot,” she admits.
“Whether it’s thinking, I don't want to go out today or not posting things because people might think that I'm showing off or it’s an opinion which might upset someone.”
Maria’s nightmare on the show starts with a joke video edited around an interview she does with a journalist.
However, things take a darker turn when a "deep fake" video is posted online using Maria’s face, which makes it look like she’s in a pornographic film.
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Maria is mortified. But terror follows when she starts receiving death threats. Soon, she’s worried for her family – hubby Gary, son Liam and lodger Kelly.
She finds herself drawing the blinds during family dinner, worried that she’s being watched. Maria also decides to give up her role on the council to keep her out of the spotlight.
“It makes her want to withdraw as a councillor and also be really aware of what she puts online,” explains Samia. “We definitely see a change in her.”
Samia – who opened up about her anxiety being misdiagnosed as asthma – is pleased the show is covering the issue, which affects many in the public eye: “I'm also glad that I've been given it because I feel I’ve had a lot of experience over the years."
“Not to the extent of death threats, thank goodness, but I've had trolls where it’s been really upsetting.”
The actress – who is married to professional ice skater Sylvain – does however share her one trick for dealing with the trolls: “Just block!”
Coronation Street screens Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm on ITV.
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