Mikey North has been thanked by high-ranking members of the Army for his portrayal of post-traumatic stress syndrome.
The ‘Coronation Street’ actor – who plays soldier Gary Windass in the ITV1 soap – explained being told by people who have experienced life on the frontline in Afghanistan that he is playing his disturbed alter-ego in a convincing manner was a “big relief”.
He said: “I’ve had guys from quite high up in the army contacting me to thank me for the work that I’ve done on the storyline and for portraying it in the way that I have, which is really nice. That’s a big relief for me, because obviously you want to keep it realistic when it’s such a current issue.
“One guy even came up to me in the street and said that he’d joined up for the Army because he’d been inspired by Gary and he saw it as a way to do something with his life. That’s a massive compliment for me.”
Despite the hard-hitting nature of the storyline, Mikey admitted he enjoys being able to show the character’s wide range of emotions as he struggles to overcome the condition.
He added to Digital Spy: “Gary came into the show as a bit of a rogue and a bad boy, but now he’s grown up a lot and I’m getting to show a much more mature side of him. He’s turned into a man, really. It’s nice getting to play a wide range of emotions.
“I think it’ll run and run. The thing with post-traumatic stress is that it can return at any time – so I think this is something that will affect Gary for the next year at least. It’s a nice storyline, as it makes a person really unpredictable, so Gary could be up to all sorts! I’m looking forward to portraying that.”