Belfast Telegraph - In the meantime, Karen (33) will appear in the upcoming second series of the hit thriller The Fall, starring the equally chiselled Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson.
She will reprise her role as accountant Annie Brawley, who will recover from an attack in the last series by Dornan's creepy serial killer character, Paul Spector.
"The question is, what effect has the horrific strangulation had on her brain," says the actress in that young, unaffected voice.
"The script's a real page turner – I love thrillers and scary movies. My friends were all watching me being attacked in the first series behind cushions, but that's my genre and I'm really excited about it. The audience definitely won't be disappointed by the new series."
She was involved in some of the soap's [Hollyoaks] most dramatic storylines and was the only character to work out the true identity of the village serial killer, before she was found murdered in the episode aired on June 29, 2012.
Sounds a bit familiar – but she shrugs off those critics of The Fall, who have claimed that violence against women is being increasingly used to titillate in modern TV drama.
"I definitely didn't feel exploited in any way and I was treated very well as an actress," she says, clearing her throat. "I don't think it was the writer's intention to offend anyone.
"A lot of it was shot in shadow, movie macabre style. Alan Cubitt, the writer of The Fall, knows his stuff so well and how to build up suspense.
"It's as scary to see Spector just standing on the victim's stairs or looking through the window. I think you're affected by the anticipation more than anything – you have to make it believable but I don't think it goes too far with the violence at all."
But the burning question remains: is Jamie Dornan as dreamy in real life?
"Yeah, of course!" she giggles. "He's lovely, a real gentleman from Belfast. I don't know any other male models to compare him to for height but I'm only five foot four, so he's tall to me!"
Karen Hassan stars in the second series of The Fall which returns to BBC2 in October. @karenhassan2