Hollyoaks star Rhiannon Clements confirms exit for Summer

·9 min read

Hollyoaks spoilers follow.

Hollyoaks star Rhiannon Clements has confirmed her departure from the soap after a one-year stint as Summer Ranger.

Summer finally paid the price for her crimes this week when she was arrested by the police after months of twisted scheming to avenge the death of her father Cormac.

Viewers also saw Summer blamed for Brody Hudson's murder, which had been committed by Warren Fox, after Sienna Blake gave a false witness statement against her.

Digital Spy recently caught up with Rhiannon for a final chat about the dark storyline.

How did you feel about Summer finally getting her comeuppance?

"It needed to happen, didn't it? She's been allowed to get away with too much for too long, I think! I really like the fact that Summer has gone to jail and not died. That's nice, because she will serve her time and she'll have to mull over the things that she's done."

After their cat and mouse game, did you like that Sienna was the one responsible for sending Summer down?

"Yeah, I think the fans love Sienna to be feisty and one step ahead all the time. She had the upper hand in the end… if you can call it that, having just lost the love of her life.

"For Sienna to put Summer behind bars is the right thing. The cat and mouse game could only go on for so long without the cat catching the mouse.

"I think it worked out well and Sienna's going to have a lot of other things to deal with now. Summer is away and out of the picture, so Sienna can deal with everything. I thought it was very fitting."

Photo credit: Lime Pictures
Photo credit: Lime Pictures

Were you disappointed that Summer wasn't the one to kill Brody?

"I quite like the fact that Summer didn't get to exact her revenge. I think her desire for revenge came from somewhere that she didn't understand, because she was still grieving for her father. Summer is hurt by things that have gone on, so she has been pointing the blame in the wrong directions.

"All of the things that came out about Summer's dad changed her entire perception of the man he was. This man was a racist abuser and that was never dealt with for her.

"Summer wasn't equipped to manage everything and her revenge came about because she was just losing it completely. She detached herself from any sort of reality. I'm glad she didn't get to go through with it, because it didn't come from a place of her fully understanding what was going on."

Could Summer's lack of success pave the way for a redemption too?

"Summer will have time now to think about what has gone down, where the blame needs to be pointed and what has happened, as for a year it's just been madness.

"It'll give Summer time to think about things and put things into perspective. It also doesn't put another person into that system of abuse and murder, and maybe it allows room for her to redeem herself."

Have you left Hollyoaks now?

"I've got one more scene that's still to air, which is in the prison, but I think that's the last we see of Summer for a while. My contract was only for 12 months, so I've finished filming now.

"But you never know – she might come back, she might not. She might just disappear. For now, that's it but I'm very glad that the door has been left open so Summer could come back and redeem herself, or she might just get forgotten. It's quite nice to keep that storyline not completely ended but on ice indefinitely."

Photo credit: Lime Pictures
Photo credit: Lime Pictures

Do you think Summer genuinely loved Sienna, or was Sienna only ever a pawn in her revenge plans?

"I think Summer genuinely loved Sienna. Sienna is the first person Summer met who understood her in a way that nobody else really does. All of the terrible things that Summer has done or thought about, are things that Sienna has done herself.

"Sienna has the same darkness in her, which Summer has never seen in another person. They had a very special relationship and bond, before it all turned very toxic and very sinister.

"I think the core of what they offer each other could be quite a nice relationship, if they both sorted out all of the horrible things that have gone on. That would take a lot of graft from Summer's side!

"But the feelings were definitely genuine and something that really threw a curveball towards Summer. She'd never felt like this about anybody. It also often took her away from the main goal of her revenge.

"Had Summer not loved Sienna, I don't think it would have derailed her as much as it did. It's similar for Sienna. Summer understood Sienna on a level that nobody else did. Without all the toxicity and a bit of graft, it could be something nice."

Were you surprised that Summer threatened to kill Sienna? Would she have gone through with it?

"I was surprised on one level but then also not, because it was very in keeping with Summer – she will do anything. I don't think Summer would have gone through with killing Sienna, because she had nobody else in her world.

"Summer was on her own completely and Sienna really offered her a place to be her real self and offered her a bit of solace. Her threats were very much shock tactics and something that came out as a reactionary thing.

"It was definitely Brody that Summer was after the entire time, whereas Sienna just happened to be dragged along for the ride. I don't think she could have gone through with it, because those feelings are still there even after all of the hurt that's gone down."

Photo credit: Lime Pictures
Photo credit: Lime Pictures

Were you surprised that Summer and Sienna's relationship picked up support online?

"Definitely! Me and Anna [Passey, who plays Sienna] thought that people would hate it or struggle to accept it. Because 'Brienna' had such a solid fanbase and were a bit of a power couple in Hollyoaks, we thought people wouldn't like the fact that Brody and Sienna would be split up.

"When we started to do all of our scenes, the reaction was brilliant. There is a split reaction, as some people love it and some people hate it. But it's really lovely to have a storyline where people are enjoying it, so we were really wrong about that.

"It was really nice to go to set every day and say: 'Right, what can we do now to keep this alive and fresh, and keep people on board with it?' That was really fun for me and Anna. I'm really grateful for the reaction."

Will you stay friends with Anna?

"Oh, absolutely. Me and Anna have such a good time. All the group I was working with are people that I'd definitely stay in touch with – Anna, Jessamy Stoddart (Liberty), Adam Woodward (Brody) and Jacob Roberts (Damon). We had so much fun when we were working and outside of work we got on really well too.

"Going into such an established soap, I was quite nervous. Especially during COVID because I couldn't mix with many other cast members. I was scared because I didn't want to tread on anyone's toes by coming into their friendship group.

"It wasn't like that at all, because Hollyoaks was the most un-cliquey, loveliest place in the end. Once I got there, I wondered what I'd worried about beforehand.

"I went in, had so much fun on set every day and laughed constantly. We produced some really good work because we get on so well as people. So we'll definitely be having a wine!"

Did you always know the storyline was leading to Brody's exit?

"Not at all, no. I thought Summer would die in the end. That was my prediction, because I knew my story was just a 12-month thing and there was nothing in the pipeline to keep her on.

"I think the story also twisted and changed a lot. A lot of the stuff that was going to go one way then twisted another way. When we got the scripts through, that was when I knew what was happening next.

"I didn't know what would happen when I joined, so it was really exciting to get the scripts through and see what would happen. I definitely didn't know that Brody, bless him, was going to take the hit."

Photo credit: Lime Pictures
Photo credit: Lime Pictures

How would you sum up your time on Hollyoaks?

"It's just been the most incredible experience of my life. It's been very hard work and I think every soap actor is an absolute don, because the workload and the speed of everything was something I found so hard.

"To do that consistently just blows my mind, so massive respect to everyone and all the crew for keeping Hollyoaks going as it does. They have this well-oiled machine that creates what you see every day on telly.

"I just feel so grateful and so blessed to have been given the opportunity by Peter Hunt and Gill Charnock, who cast me in the show. I'm also grateful for the storylines that I was given.

"It's been an experience I'll never forget, especially everything that I've learned. They're the most valuable things to have under my belt, because you've got no choice but to learn quickly.

"The support from the fans has also been fantastic. I couldn't have asked for a better fanbase to have on our side. I'm really going to miss it."

What are you hoping to do next?

"At the moment, literally anything because I'm back to auditioning again. I'm enjoying the break, because for the last year I've been filming every single day. Hopefully something comes along soon.

"What I've loved is that I've had 12 months to really get to grips with the character of Summer and get my teeth into it. I've been able to do a solid stint somewhere and create the character. I'd love to do something like that again, where I can immerse myself in a character.

"One thing I really enjoyed within the Hollyoaks storylines was the hard drama of it. I found that the most challenging, but it pushed me as an actor and I'd like to do more."

Hollyoaks airs new episodes from Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first-look screenings at 7pm on E4. Selected omnibus episodes are available via Amazon Prime Video.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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