shock storyline | 

Fair City's Ella Barton says playing 'sugar baby' role has been 'really cool and exciting'

Viewers have watched eagerly as Juliet set up her own sugar baby website and met up with a prospective sugar daddy.

Alex is horrified by Juliet's sugarbaby website, while she resents his snooping

Neasa Cumiskey

Fair City’s Ella Barton has revealed that playing a sugar baby on the soap has been “really cool” and exciting.

The Maynooth teenager plays Juliet O’Connell in the long-running RTÉ series and over the last few weeks, viewers have watched eagerly as Juliet set up her own sugar baby website and met up with a prospective sugar daddy.

Ella recalled feeling “shocked and surprised” when she first saw the storyline in a read-through, and added that she had to do some research before arriving on set to film.

She told the Sunday World: “I don’t get my scripts until the week before I film so I’m always pleasantly surprised or I’m disappointed. You never know what your reaction will be.

“When I read ‘sugar daddy’ in the script, I was like, ‘What?’ - I was so shocked and surprised. I didn’t really know much about that whole world but then I started to get quite excited because I was like, ‘Oh, this is a really cool storyline.’

“It’s quite different and I hadn’t really heard of it being done before.

“I needed to look up what a sugar daddy was. I’d heard of it but only in jokes, I never really took it seriously. And then I started to research it and look at interviews and YouTube videos and I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is a whole industry.’”

Ella confessed that she doesn’t think Juliet’s venture with sugar daddy James will end well but remained tight-lipped on how the drama will unfold.

“With a topic like this and seeing what I’ve filmed already, I think it will end badly. You have like power dynamics in the storyline; he’s so much older than her and he has so much control,” the actor explained.

“She’s so young and naïve. I think she’s a smart girl but she’s just trying to follow her dreams and I can kind of sense that she might be taken advantage of or she’s losing herself a little bit in this whole world. It’s so crazy and lucrative.

“I don’t want to say too much but definitely people are going to find out her secret. You can’t keep something like that a secret for very long.”

The 19-year-old added that she is thankful for the experience she has gained so far on Fair City, and laughed that she’ll work on the drama “as long as they want” her.

“Playing Juliet is just fun. She’s so different to me in real life so I get to be a moody teenager sometimes. But I think she’s definitely turning into an adult now which is so fun to play and see her grow. She’s moving away from that teenage stereotype,” Ella said.

“I’m a young actress so I’m constantly learning. Every day on set I’m learning from everyone around me like George, who plays my dad. It’s just an amazing learning environment, I have so much fun doing it and I feel like I’m constantly improving.

“I feel so fortunate to be able to work on Fair City during this pandemic. It’s keeping me sane so I’m putting all my energy into that and I’m really grateful.”

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