Hollyoaks Later: Emmett J Scanlan talks about the possible end of Brendan Brady (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW AND PICTIRES!)

by Anna Howell

We are under a week away from this year’s, much-anticipated  Hollyoaks Later, and whilst we all wonder what we have to look forward to, Unreality TV can confirm the main players, and some of the gossip, in this years, deep, dark series.

Fans of Hollyoaks would have watched the situation surrounding JoelBrendan and Walker, bubbling away constantly, and would have already enjoyed some of the best storylines and drama from these amazing characters throughout the year so far.  Of course what we know, that Brendan (Emmet J Scanlan) does not necessarily, is that both of these characters are secretly out to get him!  Walker (Neil Newbon) is actually an undercover policeman out to get revenge on him for selling his brother the drugs that has left him brain dead in hospital, which has been made more intense by Friday’s episode when he was advised his brother would not be revived if his condition should worsen.

Joel is out to prove he can be as underhand as his idol, but when things get messy, it is left for Brendan to pick up the pieces again, but none of them could prepare themselves for the journey they are about to embark on!

Joel, Brendan, Walker and Cheryl all feature in this year’s Hollyoaks Later, along with Joel’s girlfriend, Theresa McQueen (Jorgie Porter) and Mitzeee (Rachel Shenton) who is currently just starting a seven year prison sentence for the attempted murder of Mercedes Fisher (Jennifer Metcalfe), so with the amount of darkness already surrounding these main characters, it does leave the question remaining, just how much darker can the lifted restriction of a pre-watershed time slot take them?

Unreality TV caught up with Emmett J Scanlan, who plays Brendan Brady, on set of Hollyoaks, to ask him, exclusively, about his part in this year’s Hollyoaks Later!

How pleased were you to be given the main part in this year’s Hollyoaks Later?

“I’ve been here for two and a half years now and have always loved Laters, it just gives you that opportunity, that freedom to do whatever it is you want to do.  With the 6.30 show you almost have lobotomise your performance for the audience, as there are kids watching, so there are certain things, like violence and sex, that you just can’t show.  Laters gives you that chance to show and express your character in a different way, for Brendan Brady, and for me to be asked to do Laters, I jumped at it with both hands.

“I have so much fun playing Brendan Brady on the 6.30 show, and to be fair we do get away with a lot of stuff by what we insinuate rather than what is shown, it leaves it up to the imagination, but Laters shows it.”

How can Brendan Brady get any darker?

“By showing it.  He bathes in the deep end of the darkness! Laters builds up the darkness in episodes one, two and three, by episode four and five it is a different breed all together.

“I’ve always been very lucky that they keep on bringing in people from my past, family, past lovers and gangsters, and Laters really touches on the family aspect, in particular the parent side of things and it’s almost like that helps describe who Brendan is, and why he has become the animal he has over the years, which is a shark. “

How does Hollyoaks Later affect Brendan’s character moving forward?

“Indefinitely, there is no going back from this I think at this stage.  Otherwise what’s the point? You end up falling back into the same routine, repeating same storylines and the same situations just with different characters, and it’s not fair on the show, or the characters, the show is much cleverer than that.

“An evolution is needed, which Hollyoaks is going through right now for the better, and I need that as an actor, I need Brendan to either grow up, or f*** off really to be honest.  He needs to evolve, and he is, he is changing, and there is no way back!”

Obviously the viewer’s now know that Walker is an undercover policeman and this will have to come out at some point, but it is going to be such a shame as the relationship between Brendan and Walker is so intense and enjoyable to watch, could you ever see a way back for them as a partnership?

“He’s a what??????  Don’t worry, I won’t tell Brendan!

“No, that is partnership over, game over for them.  I know where you are coming from, it’s the same with Brendan and foxy (Jamie Lomas) it was so much fun to film, with that it was almost like a dark comedy, whereas Brendan and Walker is more like an action show.  It’s always the same when you get a couple of bad guys together, they don’t trust each other, but they need each other so when they come together its explosive – a bit like the Mitchell brothers in EastEnders, old school sort of stuff.

“But as much fun as that is, you do risk it becoming repetitive, so you need to push that relationship on and see what other places you can go to, or knock it on the head!   Saying that though, it was a shame to knock this particular one on the head.  When Brendan finds out that Walker is an undercover policeman, it floors him.

“Brendan is a very clever cat, and he trusts no one so he is always suspicious, but he definitely doesn’t see that coming, and when it does, that will change the relationship for good, one of those guys is going to die, it’s going to have to be something like that, that kind of thing!”

After Lynsey’s murder, viewers have watched Brendan and Cheryl’s relationship pushed to the limits; can you see them coming back from that, especially after what happens in Hollyoaks Later?

“It’s so dark.  Cheryl witnesses Brendan doing something that he really shouldn’t do.  It’s all very good and well she is his sister, and she lets him get away with so much because she is the only person who has ever seen any good in him, plus there is a huge family tie, this bond of unbreakable, unconditional love, not just with him and her, but also she sees him with his son Declan, and loves him, so will always stand by her family.

“But what she witnesses shakes her to her very core, you can only turn a blind eye for so long, but when it’s thrown in your face there’s no avoiding it, something’s going to break, it’s inevitable.”

With this big change happening between Cheryl and Brendan, and the recent relationship between Ste (Keiron Richardson) and Doug (PJ Brennan) all deeply affecting Brendan, where will he go from here after Hollyoaks Later?

“I think he is going to have to make a couple of life choices, a few changes and a few sacrifices and stop being so possessive and selfish.  Ste is no longer the toy that he wants to play with, but he will always be his one love, and I don’t think that will ever change, or should.

“Laters ends on a cliff hanger, you will be left wondering if Brendan lives or dies, and I don’t think you should know whether he does, it deserves a proper ending and I think it’s good that it has a few more furlongs to go, but he definitely needs to sacrifice himself for a bit.”

How much creativity and freedom have you found with the non-watershed restricted Hollyoaks Later episodes, and with the location shoots both for that and with the heist?

“It’s like being a kid in a playground really.  When you spend most of your time hanging around Hollyoaks village, to go away on location is almost like going on holiday.

“To film it was great, there was a lot of laughing and a lot of joking around, and a lot of immaturity but when the cameras are on we all took it very seriously.

“It was great, but very hard, but because Hollyoaks is going through this change, and taking on new direction, it meant that we were filming Laters and Hollyoaks almost simultaneously, working six days a week, which was great though.”

Unreality TV’s Anna Howell with Emmett J. Scanlan on the set of Hollyoaks

Finally, if you had to sum up Hollyoaks Later in one line, what would it be?

“Dark as f***

“I hope it’s as good as the way I read it, there was a lot of work went into it, and a lot of sacrifices made, and I just hope I have done it justice, and hope the fans like it as I would hate to let them down in any way.  I probably won’t watch it live, I am so nervous.”

Watch the superb promo for Hollyoaks Later in the clip below:

Hollyoaks Later begins on Monday 17th September at 10pm on E4!