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'Hollyoaks' newcomer Neil Newbon talks Walker role - interview

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Neil Newbon

© Lia Toby/WENN.com

Hollyoaks adds another bad boy to its cast in the coming days as new character Walker joins the village.

As previously announced, Walker has a history with local club owner Brendan Brady (Emmett Scanlan), and the pair will be going head-to-head in the coming months.

Show bosses are keeping tight-lipped over exactly what viewers can expect from the new arrival, but it looks like Brendan could have met his match! Digital Spy recently chatted to actor Neil Newbon - who plays Walker - to hear his thoughts on the role.

How are you settling in at Hollyoaks?
"I've been filming for a few weeks now and it's been fantastic. The cast and crew are lovely and it's a very welcoming environment. Everyone has looked after me very well, from Emma the series producer to the kitchen staff at lunch.

"It's been a wonderful experience so far. I'm incredibly lucky to have been given this role and to be working with some great actors."

How did the part come about?
"I was auditioned in London for the role of Walker. When I first read the script, I was very surprised by how unusual the character was for Hollyoaks. I don't really watch television that much and I hadn't seen Hollyoaks for a very long time, but I did have an impression of what the show was like from the last time I'd watched it.

"I was also very surprised by the nature of the themes and where the story will eventually lead up to, which I can't say too much about. When I spoke to Emma, we got on very well and they made the decision to cast me. So because of the script, the character and Emma, I was really happy to come on board."

What can viewers expect from the character of Walker?
"I can't give too much away, but I can say that he's going to be a great sparring partner for Brendan, and he's going to be full of surprises. There's going to be some very exciting moments between Walker and Brendan.

"Walker is also naturally charismatic and he understands people quite quickly. He's very intuitive, so there are times when he can choose to be charismatic and the centre of attention, and times when he'll deliberately blend into the background. It's a very powerful tool to have.

"It'll be very interesting to hear what the fans think as the story unfolds, because they're the ones we're doing this for. We're here to entertain people - that's our job."

Walker feels Brendan's wrath.

© Lime Pictures

Brendan is furious with Walker.

© Lime Pictures



Is Walker tough enough to be a match for Brendan?
"Well, the storyline is going to be very edgy, full of conflict and packed with surprising twists and turns. I think the two of them are evenly matched, but as for exactly what happens between them, it really is something that you're going to have to watch yourself. There's going to be so many interesting things happening, so I don't want to give the game away too early!"

Walker catches Cheryl's eye when he joins the village. How does Walker feel about her?
"I think Walker responds to the fact that Cheryl is a very strong character and is her own woman. At the same time, he also sees her vulnerability. Walker thinks that she's an attractive woman because she's strong and yet vulnerable, so I think he's just drawn to her in that way.

"I think Cheryl also sees Walker in a different light at certain points. That's exciting for Walker, so there's definitely an element of attraction between the two of them."

Are you used to playing villains on screen?
"I never class any of the characters that I play as villains as such, as that's for other people to decide. But I've often played people who have been up to no good. I really enjoy portraying characters who are not straightforward and do things that I couldn't possibly do in real life.

"It's fun for an actor to tap into the dark side of human nature. To explore that is very exciting, because you really get a chance to find out what humans are capable of. It's very interesting to explore."

You have TV drama, stage and film work on your CV. How does working on a soap compare?
"To be honest with you, I don't make a distinction between different projects. Obviously there is a distinction between being on stage and being on camera, simply because the techniques are different.

"But for me as an actor, dramas, film and soaps are exactly the same process and I don't see any difference when it comes to my work in them. I treat them all with equal respect and with the equal discipline that they all demand. It's about doing the best job you can to tell a story for the character, and to be generous to the other actors and crew involved."

Cheryl and Cindy meet a handsome new stranger.

© Lime Pictures

Walker makes an impression on Cindy and Cheryl.

© Lime Pictures



How are you finding working with Emmett?
"Emmett is very generous and a lovely actor to work with. I found him instantly accepting. We're also quite similar actors in some respects - in terms of our methodology and the way that we approach our work. Both of us believe in being in the moment and trying to play characters truthfully and honestly.

"I've been incredibly lucky that Emmett, Bronagh Waugh and Andrew Still are the main actors that I'm working with. I feel very blessed as the people that I'm working with are giving me a lot of inspiration."

Have you moved to Liverpool for the part?
"At the moment I'm just travelling a lot, because obviously at the moment my character isn't coming in as much as some of the others. I'm still based down in London."

You had your first big night out with the cast at the British Soap Awards recently. Did you enjoy it?
"It was a lovely night. It was a bit overwhelming to not even be on air yet and still have people asking me about the show, but it was lovely to be asked. I really enjoyed hanging out with the rest of the cast and meeting some people from the other soaps too.

"ITV looked after us incredibly well, so I have to say a personal thanks to them and to all of fans who turned up to watch the other actors. It was a really lovely experience to see so much support for the work that everybody does!"

> 'Hollyoaks' stabbing, 'EastEnders' confession, 'Coronation Street' Kylie, 'Emmerdale' kiss
> Read more 'Hollyoaks' spoilers and news

Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with a first-look screening at 7pm on E4. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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