Entertainment

Corrie star Melissa Johns says role as one-armed lesbian made her ‘proud’ of her disability

Meka Beresford September 24, 2017
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Coronation Street star Melissa Johns has opened up about how her role on the soap as a one-armed lesbian helped her take pride in her disability.

Born with one functioning arm, Johns always used to go to extreme lengths to hide.

Now, the 27-year-old is learning to be proud of herself through her character, Imogen.

The relatively new addition to the cast is brimming with confidence.

“I love that I play a blonde, I have one arm, I’m feisty as hell and I am gay,” Johns explained.

Since starting on the show she has had to overcome obstacles.

Related: Coronation Street actor was originally cast in transgender role as ‘a joke’

She said: “I’m so lucky that Imogen is a great character and has a real attitude.

“But it was nerve-racking being on set for the first time and I wasn’t sure if my one arm was in shot.”

For a long time Johns wore a prosthetic limb and in school, she was badly bullied.

“I wore a prosthetic arm and some boys threw stones at me,” she explained. “But we can all get bullied.

“If you have freckles you can get bullied, if you wear glasses you can get bullied, if you do something uncool you can get bullied.”

For Johns, she has never let the bullying deter her or get in the way of achieving her dreams.

“When you have a disability, it’s ­almost seen as a disadvantage before you even get in the room,” she explained.

Related: Coronation Street star hits back at ‘homophobes’ blasting show for gay kiss

However, she quickly realised that she was set apart from other actors in a positive way as an acting teacher once told her “your arm is your gold”.

Johns, who previously appeared on the BBC dramas The Interceptor, Silk and Casualty, feels that other shows need to follow Coronation Street’s direction.

“I think Corrie is good at showing disabled people but TV needs to catch up. We are moving in the right direction but we are not moving fast enough.

“I’m the second disabled actress in Corrie but it’s amazing because they currently have three disabled ­people in their show.”

Related topics: actor, Coronation Street, disability, lesbian, LGBT, Pride, Soap

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