Emmerdale’s Lydia actress Karen Blick put healing crystals in bra for character’s dramatic rape

Emmerdale actress Karen Blick reveals she resorted to crystal healing to cope with the trauma of filming her character's rape scenes.

The 48-year-old has played Lydia, who is married to Sam Dingle, for seven years. Bereavement counsellor Lydia recently reconnected with a man from her past, Craig [Ben Addis] – the father of her son Toby, who was stillborn. But the story will take a dark turn when Craig sexually assaults Lydia.

When Karen heard about her character's fate, she was so upset she had tears in her eyes.

“My friend is a crystal healer – she’s very talented,” says Karen. “She came to my house and gave me a complimentary session before we started filming. Then she gave me three crystals and said, ‘Keep that one in your bra, and put these two in Lydia’s shoes,
then take them out when you put Lydia’s shoes on and put them in your shoes.’

“I have a crystal grid that she advised me on in the dressing room I share with Claire [King, who plays Kim]. For this storyline in particular, I feel like it’s given me an extra boost.”

Karen wasn't surprised by her emotional reaction – she loves playing Lydia and feels like the character has become a friend.

“I’ve played Lydia for seven years, and she’s become part of me, so I feel very protective of her,” explains Karen. “She’s like a really good friend, and if somebody was telling me this is going to happen to a really good friend, I would have an emotional reaction.

“James [Hooton, who plays Sam] had no idea – he kept saying, ‘I know where this is going’ and then when Jane [Hudson, the show’s executive producer] said, ‘Then Craig rapes Lydia’, it was shocking. Both of us had tears in our eyes.”

The assault happens after the pair share a special moment when they go to visit their son’s grave. There’s a charged moment between them, but Lydia puts a stop to it.

The next day, Lydia goes to hand in her resignation to Craig, but he reveals his true feelings and while she tries to leave, Craig forces himself on her.

“Lydia’s at her place of work with somebody she knows and trusts, it’s a huge violation,” says Karen. “We never have any inclination in terms of how Craig would behave in the future towards Lydia. He was respectful and ‘normal’, and I think that’s a key part of the story. As women, we don’t know who’s going to perpetrate this sort of behaviour when it’s not overtly showing.”

Following the rape, Lydia doesn’t confide in anyone. She keeps the trauma to herself, which results in “anger and frustration” emerging in the aftermath. Karen hopes that Lydia and Sam can find a way through as she and on-screen husband James are very close.

“James recently turned 50 and his Dingle family organised a surprise meal for him. He was really moved when we were all together in this restaurant,” laughs Karen. “James and Simon [Karen’s husband] have met many, many times, and sometimes we’ll all head off for tea on a Friday evening somewhere. Me and Nancy [James’ fiancée] and the kids went to watch a theatre performance in Otley together when James was away.

“We spent New Year’s Eve together because our children are of similar ages. Lily, James’ eldest daughter, is a bit older than Ruby. And Ava-Rose is a bit younger than my son, Oliver, but they get on really well.”

Having an acting parent means that often their children are desensitised to seeing them on-screen, and that was the case for Karen’s kids – up until a certain character piqued her daughter’s interest.

“Ruby wasn’t that interested in Emmerdale when I started because she was seven,” explains Karen. “She dipped in and out, but then the Meena [Jutla, played by Paige Sandhu] storyline started, and Ruby was fascinated. She loved Meena’s character, and that’s when she started avidly watching it.

“I’ve not spoken to her about this [storyline] actually, but if she is going to be watching it I will have a conversation regarding what’s happening.”

So are Ruby and Oliver likely to follow in their mum’s footsteps when it comes to acting?

“I introduced them both to acting and dancing when they were younger,” explains Karen. “My daughter was in the leavers’ play at
school and the teacher said, ‘Oh, are we going to be following in Mummy’s footsteps?’ And Ruby said, ‘Absolutely not, 90% of actors are unemployed!’”

Emmerdale airs Monday to Thursday on ITV1

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