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'Home and Away' Steve Peacocke talks Charlie death, Brax's future

By
Darryl 'Brax' Braxton from Home and Away

© Channel 5

Home and Away aired heartbreaking scenes on Channel 5 tonight (February 14) as Charlie Buckton passed away in hospital - leaving her lover Brax devastated.

In the aftermath of the much-loved character's tragic shooting, Brax and the rest of Charlie's loved ones were forced to accept that her ventilator should be turned off as there was nothing more that the doctors could do.

In real life, Esther Anderson decided to bow out from her role as Charlie last year in a bid to pursue new projects, which prompted show bosses to create her explosive exit plot.

Digital Spy recently caught up with Steve Peacocke, who plays Brax, to hear his thoughts on the emotional storyline and his alter ego's future.

How did you first hear that Esther Anderson would be leaving Home and Away?
"Esther told me that she was coming to the end of her contract and that they were writing Charlie out in a way that was pretty final. Because she'd had such an awesome time playing Charlie and had so many different and exciting storylines, she thought it was a good time to leave. Though she was sad!"

How did you feel about the writers killing off Charlie?
"I was initially pretty sad, because I really enjoyed working with Esther and our scenes were always the best fun to film. But I also thought that it was a really gutsy decision from her. She's so loved by everyone on the show and in production that I'm sure if she'd wanted to, they would have found a way to write her out in a less final way.

"But Esther thought she'd given the show and the fans her best and was ready for new challenges without the comfort of a fallback plan. I really respect that and I think that attitude along with her talent will ensure fans will be seeing her work for a long time to come."

Home & Away Week 7: Brax is distraught by Charlie's bedside
Was it emotional filming the tragic hospital scenes at Charlie's bedside?
"It was pretty full-on stuff, but it all just happened for me in terms of the emotional stuff, and thankfully the cameras were rolling. I don't find it hard to dig up that kind of thing, and I found that I was able to just get sucked up into what was happening around me.

"But as draining as it was shooting all those scenes, we still found time to joke around. Esther and the crew are funny people no matter how deep the stories get!"

You also had to film scenes showing Brax vengeful and furious with Jake. Was it challenging to portray such a wide range of emotions?
"Not really, as I love all the aggressive stuff, and I found it easy to get caught up in the emotional scenes. All those medical machines, the gun, the set, make it pretty easy to make the imaginative leap into those circumstances. It was the only time I've been truly exhausted at the end of a week's shooting, but I reckon it turned out okay. I hope it did, anyway!"

What was it like saying goodbye to Esther after you had filmed your final scenes together?
"I was pretty sad, but as soon as they called cut on the last scene, which was literally the shot where you see Charlie's heart rate flat-lining, there were cakes and flowers and the whole of the production office was down to celebrate and give Esther big clap. It was like the full time whistle at a game of footy - if it's been a good game, everybody's happy and ready for a beer."

Esther Anderson, Steve Peacocke from Home and Away
Are you planning to stay in touch with Esther?
"Hopefully I'll bump into her somewhere around the traps. I'll be interested to follow her career post Home and Away. With her mix of talent, humility and craziness, I know she'll be a success. Everyone - from cast to crew to production - loved working with her. It's one thing to have talent, but having people loving to work with you is what keeps you employed."

Charlie's fate was kept under wraps until the episodes were first broadcast. Was it difficult to keep quiet over such a huge storyline twist?
"It was pretty difficult, because you can't give storylines away, but you can't lie to people either. I just chose to say very little!"

How long can you see this affecting Brax for?
"A long time! Charlie is still motivating Brax in the stuff we're shooting now."

Are you hoping that Brax stays single for a while out of respect for Charlie?
"Yes, but he's a man in dire straits. And no-one knows what they're going to do when he really hits rock bottom."

Fans are already speculating over a possible Brax and Leah romance. Do you think there's any chance of that, or is the speculation wide off the mark?
"I can't say. All I can say is he really misses Charlie!"

Home & Away Week 7: Brax and Ruby are devastated over Charlie's condition
We see Ruby blame Brax for Charlie's death. How does Brax feel about that?
"He understands Ruby's feelings towards him and he does feel guilty about what's happened. He's absolutely gutted. And for that reason, he'll always feel obligated to look out for Ruby, whether she likes him or not."

Brax left the River Boys for Charlie. Can you see him slipping back into his old ways without her around?
"Charlie is still a big part of his motivation. He knows she made a big impact on his life and he wants to honour that as much as he can."

Are you sticking around in Home and Away for the foreseeable future?
"Hopefully! There's still a lot to explore with Brax and some of the stuff coming up has been awesome to shoot. I can genuinely say that one day of filming we did for an upcoming storyline was the best day of my life. Stay tuned."

> Read more Home and Away spoilers and news

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5 in the UK and weekdays at 7pm on Network Seven in Australia. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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