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Soaps Interview

Jonny Clarke - 'Hollyoaks' Bart McQueen

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Bart McQueen from Hollyoaks

© Lime Pictures

Hollyoaks' teen runaway storyline reaches a dramatic climax next week as rebellious Bart McQueen finds himself in big trouble. When Bart calls up his loyal friend Jason Costello for help because he and Sinead are struggling with life on the run, the atmosphere quickly turns sour as Jason and Sinead fight bitterly for his affections. The situation reaches boiling point when Sinead storms off as the trio explore an abandoned farmhouse, but Bart's love life dilemma soon becomes the least of his worries when the owner of the building arrives and angrily points a shotgun at him and Jason… Digital Spy recently caught up with Jonny Clarke, who plays Bart, to hear more about the storyline.

Have you enjoyed all of the on-location filming that you've been doing recently?
"Yeah, it's been absolutely brilliant working out on location - it feels like a film and that's what I've always wanted to do, so I've really enjoyed it. It's been a challenge and it's pushed me to want to be a better actor."

We're about to see Bart call up Jason for help while he's on the run with Sinead. What drives him to that?
"Well, Bart and Sinead have run out of money, and Bart knows Jason has money and will be able to help. But, to be honest, it's not just about the money - Bart is best mates with Jason and he obviously still has feelings for him, so it's very convenient that he contacts him for help! And Jason will obviously feel the need to help Bart however he can, because he still feels so strongly for him."

As Sinead doesn't like Jason very much, Bart seems to be playing with fire by inviting him along…
"Oh definitely, Sinead's totally annoyed and can't believe that Bart would do that. But Bart acts like he's surprised and didn't know anything about it, although obviously it's a bit strange that Jason knew exactly where they'd be in the woods, so that might come out. Sinead's definitely annoyed, though, and there's a lot of scenes showing her and Jason having a go at each other behind Bart's back. At first, Bart doesn't realise that the tension is rising between the two of them."

3148: Bart and Jason
Everything comes to a head when the three of them visit a farmhouse, doesn't it?
"Yes. What happens is that Bart finds a poster on a tree saying that they need fruit pickers in a farmhouse across town, but when they go there, they find that the house is abandoned. They go inside and hunt for food, because they literally have no food and no money. As they think nobody's living there, they hunt around and start eating the food there. But all of a sudden, Sinead runs off, and when Bart tries to go after her, he finds a shotgun in his face! The farmer has caught Bart and Jason, he holds them at gunpoint and then he locks them in the cellar."

3148: Farmer
What happens next?
"Bart and Jason are alone, and they come up with this attempt to break free from the cellar. Jason pretends that he's having an asthma attack, so the farmer comes down to find out what's going on. At that point, Bart tries to make a run for it - but he's unsuccessful. The farmer catches him, holds him by the neck and then pushes him to the floor. When that happens, Bart cracks his head open and it's really frightening from that point on. They're in fear for their lives, they don't know what this farmer is capable of and whether he wants to kill them or not…"

While they're trapped, we see Jason open up to Bart over his feelings, don't we?
"Yes, you do see that - but there's also a lot of focus on what Bart feels for Jason. They pretty much round up the whole storyline by discussing honestly where they're at and their relationship with each other."

Do you think Bart's feelings for Sinead aren't as strong as the ones he's had for Jason in the past?
"I think, for Bart, he would never judge the two of them in the same way or try to compare them, because there's so many different things about them. So I think at the moment, Bart loves Jason but it's different to his love for Sinead."

3149: Bart and Jason
Are you pleased that there seem to be so many fans of Jason and Bart as a couple?
"Yeah, I think it's a very good thing. It's a very gritty storyline and I don't think you'd ever normally see two characters like that come together and try to make it work. So I can understand why there's a lot of fans supporting the two of them. I think what the storyline is showing is that it doesn't matter what you are, it's who you are inside that people are going to care about."

Jason's storyline is also one that's never really been done on a soap before, which must be nice for you to be involved in…
"Definitely - it's groundbreaking for soap, because nobody's ever tried a transgender story like this before - especially focusing on a transgender character who's at a very young age. It's a pleasure to be involved in it. It was really nice that I could be involved in this storyline straight away - as soon as I started at Hollyoaks."

You've been at Hollyoaks for a year now and it feels like Bart is getting more screen time and more storylines lately. Is it an exciting time for you on the show?
"Yeah, I'm loving it! And I hope for bigger and better things, too. I'd love Gareth Philips and Tony Wood to come up with something major for Bart - maybe by himself rather than with the other characters. So far, the character has always been in a relationship and his storylines have always been to do with girls, but I'd quite like a big storyline just for himself. Hopefully that can happen in the future."

> Read more from Hollyoaks star Jonny Clarke in Soap Scoop Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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