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'Hollyoaks' Emmett Scanlan talks Brendan Brady future - interview

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Brendan Brady - played by Emmett Scanlan

© Lime Pictures

Hollyoaks bad boy Brendan Brady remains one of soapland's most talked-about characters. Most recently, fans have seen the club owner fail to win back on-off lover Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson) and develop a new bond with mysterious Walker (Neil Newbon).

With a big few months ahead for Brendan and a post-watershed outing in Hollyoaks Later on the way, Digital Spy recently caught up with Emmett Scanlan for a chat about his popular alter ego and his other recent projects.

Now that Ste and Doug are together, do you think there's any hope for the future where Ste and Brendan are concerned?
"I think there's a lot of fire and a lot of passion where Steven and Brendan are concerned. As I've said before, nobody plays with Brendan's toys without his permission. I could be wrong, but I can only talk as far as Brendan is concerned at the moment, and I can't really see anybody getting in the way of Brendan and Steven.

"I think that if anyone is going to mess things up between Brendan and Steven, it'll be Brendan - it won't be Douglas. I can see a future for Steven and Brendan, I just don't know if it's a bright one!"

There's been a lot of discussion online about whether a reunion for Brendan and Ste would condone domestic violence. Do you have any thoughts on this?
"I think if people enjoy the 'Stendan' thing, they're interested in the tormented souls of two people. We're definitely not condoning domestic violence in any way, shape or form.

"The only way I can talk about Brendan is coming from a non-judgemental point of view. I know that the way he goes about things is wrong and unacceptable, but for him it's just normal. It's just a different kind of love.

"I'm hoping that people who like 'Stendan' are holding out some hope that maybe Brendan can change, because he's a tortured soul and people always have hope for a happy ending. They're not hoping for more violence, they're not hoping for Brendan to beat up Steven - they're hoping for that happy ending. What I love about the 'Stendan' fans is that there's a hope that this guy can change."

Ste and Brendan kiss.

© Lime Pictures

Ste and Doug find Brendan in their lounge.

© Lime Pictures



What do you make of the huge reaction to the Ste, Brendan and Doug love triangle?
"Well, I know that they've had a vote on E4 which has had nearly 80,000 votes of who's in favour of what! I'm totally thrilled and humbled by the reaction. For me, it doesn't matter whether the reaction is positive or negative - so long as it evokes some emotion. That's why we invest our time into TV shows, because we want to be saturated with storylines which give more questions than answers.

"I've lucky to have been put in a storyline like this, because it's so controversial but yet real. They allowed the love between Steven and Brendan to evolve and people can see that it is real love - it's just tainted with various things. People have really invested a lot of time into it as well - the writers have, the crew have and the cast have. To be part of something that is controversial and thought-provoking is a great thing to have as an actor."

What can we expect from you in Hollyoaks Later this year?
"I won't spoil the storyline, because ultimately I want it to be a surprise. The last time that I was in a late-night episode was in King of Hearts, which was a great thing to be part of. And then to be asked to be part of Later this year was just fantastic. I'm very pleased to be involved, as something that I've always wanted is for Brendan Brady to be in a 10pm show where there is no censorship and no emasculating of any scenes.

"If you slap Brendan Brady in a late-night show, knowing the person that he is, then you can forget about censorship - it's going to be him full-on. Brendan is going to change dramatically in the next few months, coming up to September when Hollyoaks Later is on. Episodes four and five of Later, from what I've read in the scripts, catapult the character into actions that you just wouldn't expect. I could be wrong, but I don't think it's been done on Hollyoaks before - I don't think it's been this graphic.

"In Later this year, you've got myself, you've got Walker, you've got Joel and you've got Cheryl. It's going to be a massive, massive storyline which is just going to escalate. I was sitting on a train to London when I read the script for the last episode. When I read the last scene, I just said, 'Yep, this is the way it should be'. So long as they keep that going, then I'm a happy guy. I think it's going to be hard-hitting, right in your face."

Walker feels Brendan's wrath.

© Lime Pictures

Brendan is furious with Walker.

© Lime Pictures



What's going on between Brendan and Walker? The kiss we've just seen shocked everyone…
"Walker was in Brendan's life when he was in prison and helped him out. He came over and the criminal code is 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth', so Brendan paid him back. He then realised that Walker could be of more use and help him to play his game. Brendan likes a challenge and he likes to be unpredictable, so regardless of anything, he gets turned on by Walker's alpha male status.

"When Walker told Brendan that he was like him this week, Brendan - like any child - wanted to play with his toy, pushed him against the wall and said, 'Nah, mate - you ain't like me, I'm like me!' He schools the new resident bad boy on how to be bad.

"But there's a lot more twists and turns with these guys. A lot more stuff is going to happen and hit the fan. We've got a lot of good stuff coming up. Walker is a fascinating character, and Neil Newbon - who plays him - is a beautiful person. We get on very well and it's a pleasure to act with him, because he's an incredibly generous actor."

Brendan fans seem very keen to meet his father, or other members of his family. Would you like Brendan's background to be explored?
"There might be more Bradys in Hollyoaks Later. I do think it's important to introduce Brendan and Cheryl's family, whether it's the mother, the father or the grandmother - it doesn't matter which one. You can tell more about a character when you meet their family.

"When I first arrived, they were bringing in various characters from Brendan's past. But to get to the core and the root of who Brendan is - and why he is the way he is - you have to get to his family."

3051: Cheryl and Brendan

© Lime Pictures

3051: Cheryl and Brendan

© Lime Pictures



You recently filmed The Fall for the BBC. What was that experience like?
"Superb! It was filmed in Belfast with actors like John Lynch, Simon Delaney and Gillian Anderson - actors that I've watched on TV for a long time and who always do thought-provoking projects. To be sitting at a table with these guys and working with them with beautiful, beautiful scripts was just a dream.

"My role in it is a small part - well, there's no such thing as a small part, it's what you do with it. I play DC Glen Martin, who's part of a detective force with Gillian Anderson, hunting down a serial killer. During filming, I was flying back and forth to do Hollyoaks - being hunted myself as a sociopath.

"Hollyoaks were totally selfless and accommodating in allowing me to do the show. None of this would have happened without their blessing. I said that I'd do whatever it took to make it work, and I think I worked out that I did 14 flights in 11 days at one point!"

How does Glen Martin compare to Brendan?
"I had to keep the 'tache for continuity purposes with Hollyoaks, but I had my hair brushed over to the side and I wanted to give it that Mad Men, '50s kind of style. He's a little bit better-spoken than Brendan and he's definitely nicer than Brendan.

"You'd go out drinking with DC Glen Martin because he's a player - he's cocky but he's ultimately a good guy and he really wants to catch the bad guy. And then you have Brendan, who's the kind of guy you'd buy a drink for at the bar just to give you time to run out of the club!"

Your film Charlie Casanova had a big reaction when it was released a few weeks back. Were you pleased with the response?
"Absolutely. It's ultimately about being part of a storyline that provokes a visceral reaction. You want to make people think and you want to make people fight for your character, fight for their beliefs or fight for whatever it evokes in them. The film got anywhere from no stars to five stars - anything from, 'I absolutely hate this movie with every fibre of my being' to 'This is the best thing that I've seen all year'.

"We knew that it was a divisive movie and we knew that it would split audiences. We knew that it wasn't a 'happy ever after' type of story and we knew that it wasn't your big blockbuster. It's an indie movie which was later released in cinemas across Ireland and in London once Studio Canal came on board, so regardless of any critique, I'm proud of what I've seen, the journey that we went on and how far we got.

"Before the cinema release, Charlie Casanova was picking up awards all over the world - in Paris, Orlando, England, everywhere. It wasn't until it hit cinemas that a couple of Irish journalists tore it to pieces, but it really, really has no effect on me. I think it'll be a success when it goes out onto DVD. I think it's definitely a film that you'd pay £4.50 to watch on DVD at home with your missus or your boyfriend. Hopefully it will spark some debate."

> Read more 'Hollyoaks' spoilers and news

Hollyoaks airs weekdays 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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