It’s been an emotional few weeks in Casualty (when isn’t it!). We said goodbye to Duffy (Cathy Shipton), watched Ruby’s (Maddy Hill) sister Violette (Kelly Gough) sadly die after taking drugs, and ACP Faith Cadogan (Kirsty Mitchell) and husband Paramedic Lev Malinovsky (Uriel Emil) have had to deal with the tragic news that their son Luka has a brain tumour.
Luka was brought into hospital after falling from his bunk bed and after a scan, Dylan Keogh (William Beck) announced the news to Faith and Lev that their son was a lot sicker than they first thought. We’ve already seen Lev distract himself with his work and Faith bury her head in copious amounts of medical books in an attempt to understand more about Luka’s tumour, and last week we saw Dylan video-call the mighty Zsa Zsa Harper-Jenkinson (Sharon Gless) – a world-renowned brain surgeon – to see if she could help Luka.
Zsa Zsa’s most recent return to the ED was October 2018, when she visited to help Dylan after his breakup with Ciara and the loss of their child. After Zsa Zsa, David (Jason Durr) and Jeffers found Dylan and his estranged father in the pub heavily drinking, Zsa Zsa had to perform brain surgery on Dylan’s father after he fell and hit his head.
As Zsa Zsa returns to the ED tonight to perform Luka’s surgery, Metro.co.uk caught up with Hollywood actor Sharon Gless where she told us how it felt to return to the show.
She said: ‘Oh, it was sweet. I love getting to work with that family, they’ve been so kind to me, and three years now! I get worried now about whether they’ll invite me back for a fourth year, but we’ll see, it’s been a lovely ride and the character is really wonderful and well intact! Zsa Zsa is this world-famous brain surgeon as she doesn’t hesitate to tell anyone, she’s funny but she’s very good at what she does, the jokes stop in the operating room.’
Sharon only appears in a couple of episodes each time she visits the Casualty set, and she revealed how much of a surprise it was for her when she was asked to return again.
She continued: ‘It was a huge surprise! I thought it was a one shot, you know? I didn’t think I’d see anybody again; you know you’d swear you’d never part and all of that and the next year I was invited back! And then the next year I wasn’t invited back as quickly so I thought ‘I guess they’ve ran their course with Zsa Zsa’ and then a few months later, I got the call again saying ‘will you come back and play her again’ and I said ‘absolutely!’.
She is used to working with Will Beck and Jason Durr now, but this time around Sharon worked with Kirsty and Uriel who are both new to the show. Sharon gave us the gossip on what it’s like behind the scenes during filming, and how we always see a different side to Dylan when Zsa Zsa visits him:
‘Well I have a different relationship with each of them behind the camera which is great, but in the storyline when nobody’s around, and with Dylan especially, we really see the vulnerability and we see who they really are, Zsa Zsa raised Dylan you know? She was his mentor and he’s just so vulnerable and so kind of screwed up but with her, he doesn’t hide his pain.
‘I love the complications of the things they write, how the characters intertwine and of course I love working with Amanda Mealing. She’s so wonderful and 2018 was the first year I had the chance to work with her, and she certainly gives Zsa Zsa a run for her money! They are perfect together and we were planning on them writing some more for us but this time what I was brought in to do was more complicated so I didn’t have a lot of time to work with Amanda, she’s such a wonderful actress.’
Normally we don’t tend to see Zsa Zsa so early on in the year, so how does Sharon hope the audience will react to her arrival?
‘Well I hope that they’re glad! I think it will come as a surprise because it is normally later in the year than what it is this time. We have a kid’s TV show in Canada called Mighty Mouse who wears a cape and always goes to places and saves the day, and Zsa Zsa is just like that!’
Ahead of Zsa Zsa’s return, Sharon filled us in on what to expect, and how Zsa Zsa is quick to notice her beloved Dee Dee’s attraction to Faith:
‘Zsa Zsa is brought in to perform an operation on a young boy, who is the child of Faith, and Faith is someone who Zsa Zsa thinks Dee Dee is attracted to and I’m not sure that Zsa Zsa is smitten with the idea which was an interesting direction to go in. I think she knows there is something there! Zsa Zsa definitely spots it.’
Many viewers have began speculating as to whether Dylan does like Faith, and with Zsa Zsa being one of the very few people that knows so much about Dylan, Sharon revealed that Zsa Zsa could be the person that makes Dylan realise his true feelings towards Faith:
‘I think it’s Zsa Zsa that does it. I mean, he flies her all the way over from America for this woman’s son! In my mind when these surgeries are done, not all the time, but for a brain surgeon, it can be very dangerous. In Dylan’s mind, Faith means so much to him so he wanted who he thought is the world’s best to operate on her son, and he wouldn’t let anybody else touch this boy except Zsa Zsa – and that was his choice.’
‘She is always there for him; she’s been there for him since he was young, and she was his mentor. Zsa Zsa knows all of his personal life, how screwed up his family was and the damage that was done to him, but she also knows how brilliant he is if he’s handled correctly.’
But would Sharon ever return to Casualty permanently?
‘Oh yes! However, I just don’t know if you bring her back too much, I don’t know how believable it is, and I don’t know if she’d move from New York either. But yeah, if they invited me back and it was to continue permanently, oh I’d be there! I love Wales, I love London, I’ve done three plays in the West End, so I’ve spent quite a bit of time in London. I grew to love Wales when I was there and I made friends, it was nice! It’s always very sad for me every time I leave.’
Sharon Gless returns to Casualty as Zsa Zsa Harper-Jenkinson tonight on Casualty at 9:10pm
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