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 Joel, Brendan 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, 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 these them?
Unreality TV caught up with Neil Newbon, who plays Walker, to talk to him, exclusively on the set of Hollyoaks, about his part in this year’s Hollyoaks Later!
As an actor, how pleased were you to be taking part in this year’s Hollyoaks Later?
Oh, it’s a privilege. It was a huge privilege for me personally. When I took on the role of Walker, they did tell me that there would be a Later involving the Brendan/Walker storyline, what they didn’t tell me was that I would be doing the heist, which was an amazing experience and had such an amazing reveal, especially to be able to delve back into this relationship of Brendan and Walkers, and also to Walkers past to show where he has come from and who he really is. So I am incredibly lucky, not only to be given the character of Walker, but also for the two amazing experiences, one being the heist and of course Laters.”
With Hollyoaks Later comes the lifting of watershed restrictions, how much extra creativity do you feel that gave you as an actor, and how did it help contribute to the storyline?
I would say it gave us the same amount of creativity as normal, what we were able to do however, was to have slightly loser compliances, we were able to show more graphic situations of violence and sex, but I don’t think at any point we used them for the sake of using them. It wasn’t like just because we had a 10pm show, therefore we can swear and have sex and kill everyone in sight, it was more a case of that in real life, these storylines are way more horrific than you ever see on television. The situation between real human beings are more dangerous, more upsetting, more torturous and more graphic than you will ever see on television, but it also goes the other way, life is more joyful, life is better than TV, TV just makes it look sexier!
“So from that point of view it allowed us to explore more real elements of the darker sides of characters than we can normally do in the 6.30 show, the language can be a bit more malleable in as much as when you really are angry, and only a swear word could emphasise it, we could do that in Laters, but I wouldn’t say we did prodigiously or just abused the fact that we could, it was more a case of what would really happen without those restraints we normally have to work around. Saying that, I believe we were still very respectful, this is still a drama, and we all worked really hard to maintain its proper presence. Not just those in Laters, but the rest of the cast and the crew, especially the crew, to really show something unusual in the Hollyoaks universe and to really capture something special, it takes more than just the actors, it takes the entire team, and it’s the same team that is still running the day to day show, so a lot of credit is due to them. Hollyoaks later, or Hollyoaks the normal show, wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the wonderful crew, who go above and beyond, physically grafting more than anyone else, more than actors. Production are unsung heroes too, and it would be wrong to not acknowledge the fact that we, the actors, are just another part of production, and we wouldn’t get to go and play these wonderful characters without every other member of productions part in the show.”
Now that all the viewer’s know that Walker is an undercover policeman, have Hollyoaks used this later watershed to bring in the reveal?
“I can’t tell you that, you will just have to watch, but brace yourselves!”
And what can you tell us of Walkers part in the series?
“I can tell you there is going to be a journey, and it’s going to split the audience.”
Obviously you have worked incredibly closely with Emmet (Scanlan who plays Brendan Brady) and the audience has already got used to seeing this deep dark relationship grow, was it fun to take both characters to a darker level together in the new series of Laters?
“Emmett is just fun period, whether we are doing a menu scene where we introduce the episode without monologue, or an action scene. I have been very lucky to be partnered with Emmett; the first day I met him was at a photo shoot he turned around, looked me up and down and said ‘Hi, I’m Emmett. Let’s play’ form literally that second on I knew exactly what kind of actor he was and thought this is going to be very interesting, and I was right, from that moment on he and I have just had so much fun together. No matter what scene it is we are doing together, whether it be a dark scene or a lighter scene, he inspires me to be my best all the time, we bounce of each other, we have a very interesting kind of chemistry between us, and I’m incredibly grateful to be put with such an excellent sparring partner.”
How do you think Hollyoaks Later is going to develop your character going back into the 6.30 series?
“I think Hollyoaks Later is going to allow Walker to be complete, you are going to really be able to see all the edges of him. Obviously we now know about Cam (his brother) and the audience also knows that he is a cop, what they haven’t seen yet, which I hope Laters will bring, is the other aspects how driven he is, how goal orientated he is, almost to any cost, and I think it’s going to be quite shocking. As an actor it actually allowed me to, ironically, find even more humanity than we have already found, and actually it allows me to really understand Walker more than I had before.”
How isolated away from the rest of the cast did you feel shooting Hollyoaks Laters?
“Not much really, it’s a huge cast, and so there is a lot of time when you don’t see certain people, it makes it a very intense experience working in my mini ensemble with Andrew and Emmett, but with regards to everyone else there are times on the normal show where I can go for weeks without seeing someone. Not just that, but Hollyoaks is still the only soap that shoots with only one camera, we don’t use multiple camera shots across one another, and we shoot like a drama and because of that we are unique, it has more of a dramatic angle. Hollyoaks has always torn up the rules; we push the boundaries and have a huge dramatic angle to all our storylines, which makes something like Laters a fantastic project!”
Finally, if you had to sum up Hollyoaks Later in one line, what would it be?
“Prepare for Hollyoaks universe to be shattered.”
Watch the superb promo for Hollyoaks Later in the clip below:
Hollyoaks Later begins on Monday 17th September at 10pm on E4!