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Grace Black

Grace Black is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera, Hollyoaks, played by Tamara Wall. The character made her first on-screen appearance on 8 November 2013. Wall had three auditions for the role on the show's set in Liverpool. The character is introduced as the sister of Clare Devine (Gemma Bissix), who had been killed-off in earlier episodes. Grace arrives to investigate her death and get reacquainted with her estranged father Fraser Black (Jesse Birdsall).

Grace's characterization initially played her as a ruthless gangster. The character received an extensive character development from Hollyoaks' executive producer Bryan Kirkwood and his team. He believed he had let Wall down with Grace's original characterization. Focusing on the character's personality and style, he and Wall transformed her from a gangster who fought for "bags of money" to a more family oriented woman fighting for "love and loyalty". Production also created a unique style for the character with long acrylic nails and black suits. They later gave Grace a big bouffant hair style, that became a trademark of the character and gave her a bigger personality. Her introductory storyline focused on her damaged relationship with Fraser. He was soon killed-off in a "whodunit" storyline, which placed Grace as a main suspect. Writers also created a long-term relationship for Grace alongside Trevor Royle (Greg Wood) and their relationship was centric to the character's storyline for three years. Grace gained a best friend in Esther Bloom (Jazmine Franks) and writers used the friendship to transform Grace into a more likeable character with viewers.

The character has been involved in many of the show's stories of her time. She has portrayed numerous kidnappings, fights, feuds and stunts. She has feuded with Mercedes McQueen (Jennifer Metcalfe), Big Bob (Vincent Ebrahim), Joe Roscoe (Ayden Callaghan) and Freddie Roscoe (Charlie Clapham). She has been pushed from a balcony, held hostage, shot, electrocuted, nearly killed Joe with a wrecking ball and has also been stalked by her secret lover Kim Butterfield (Daisy Wood-Davis). Grace's storylines have been both topical and dramatic – her relationship with Trevor and Esther explored the issue of surrogacy, while her affair with Kim culminated in a dramatic car crash stunt. In 2016, writers brought about the end of Grace's relationship with Trevor. They played Trevor having an affair with Sienna Blake (Anna Passey) and later murdered by Sienna's teenage daughter Nico Blake (Persephone Swales-Dawson) during his wedding to Grace. Producers then introduced Grace's extended family, consisting of three half-brothers and her mother.

Wall has received four award nominations for her portrayal of Grace, including one "Best Actress" nomination at the 2016 Inside Soap Awards. The character has been generally well received by critics of the genre. Wall has received praise for her performances of grief and others branded the character "ruthless".

CastingEdit

Wall attended three auditions for the role. Her first was on the Hollyoaks set in Liverpool, where she also acted out some scenes alongside regular cast members Jesse Birdsall and Greg Wood, who play Fraser Black and Trevor Royle respectively. On 24 October 2013, Wall's casting as Grace was made public. The actress had already begun filming with Hollyoaks and a promotional image was released of her in character. Grace was given immediate links with other characters in the show. She arrives wanting to investigate the death of her sister Clare Devine (Gemma Bissix). It was also revealed she would share screen time with her father Fraser and his bodyguard Trevor. The character made her first on-screen appearance on 8 November 2013.

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