Fans of Hollyoaks will know how the once, slightly odd but always kind hearted Will Savage has turned a very dark corner in deed in recent weeks, and now the actor who plays him, James Atherton, has discussed how he thinks this change will affect his character, and the show.
Will Savage has not quite been the same ever since it was revealed that he had been secretly visiting serial killer, Silas Blissett (Jeff Rawle) in prison and copying his signature stalking moves in order to prove he could be trusted to the villain.
With Silas now loose on the streets following his prison break last year, the legacy he seems to have left with Will means that he isn’t the only one Hollyoaks residents should be fearful of.
Having convinced his family that his involvement with Silas was only to write a book about him to make money, Wil shocked fans when, knowing that it was all a misunderstanding, he slept with his brother Dodger’s (Danny Mac) girlfriend Texas (Bianca Hendrickse-Spendlove) when she thought Dodger was cheating on her.
He upped the stakes somewhat when he exposed the one night stand to the entire village at his father’s engagement party, which caused a showdown between him and Texas at the top of the stairs outside Chez Chez during which he threw himself down, leaving him paralysed, and leaving Texas believing that she pushed him.
As we reported, things are about to get even heavier when, having already manipulated Texas into being at his every beck and call, Will manages to convince her to marry him, which leads to tragic events (read original article here).
Now, ahead of this massive storyline, which will become the first who-dunnit of the Hollyoaks year, James Atherton has been discussing his characters behaviour with Digital Spy:
On the subject of Will’s darker side, Atherton commented:
“I’ve absolutely loved it. It’s so much more interesting to play. The reasons behind his madness are all to do with jealousy – it’s a horrible emotion and it causes people to do crazy things!
“I just love the fact that Will is just suddenly so rash about things, and he’s taking pleasure in the fact that he has control over people. It’s been really fun getting into that darker mindset.
“We were talking about it, we made the decision that Will could have had this obsessive streak as far back as when he first arrived in Hollyoaks. We saw him sketching Theresa and he did seem a little bit obsessed with her, so we felt like it had always been there a little bit.
“More recently, we had the stuff with Silas in the summer. Will was meeting up with him to write a book, and then recording girls in the woods to get into his mindset. I don’t think you can do that sort of thing without being a little bit unhinged yourself! I think it’s always been there under the surface, but now it’s nice to see it coming to the forefront of the character.”
However, the actor went on to explain that he still feel’s some compassion towards his character:
“Even though the audience has seen that Will chucked himself down the stairs, he did it as a cry for help and attention. He didn’t expect to find himself in the wheelchair, and I think there are definitely moments where the audience are still supposed to feel sorry for him.
“Those moments are getting few and far between now, though, I have to admit! But I still would like the audience to see that it’s terrible what he’s done to himself.”
Originally Will seemed to want Texas simply to take her away from his big brother, who he is resentfully jealous of, but in recent weeks things seem to have changed somewhat, of which Atherton explained:
“I think Texas is someone who Will has placed on a pedestal. Now he’s getting closer to Texas, she is something Will has that Dodger wants. It’s the first time that Will’s had one over on Dodger, so it’s a lot more to do with Will’s relationship with his brother. It’s sick and twisted in that way – Texas is like a trophy that he has.”
Wil has been living under Dodger’s care whilst their father, Dirk (David Kennedy) has been away working on the oil rigs, but when he returns next week things aren’t as he expected:
“Once Dirk is back, there’s an expectation that Will is going to go back to living on the boat. But throughout next week, you’ll see Will manipulating every situation possible to stay in the lads’ pad with Texas. Texas is helping Will out of guilt, but the more the week goes on, he manoeuvres that guilt to make her think that she has genuine feelings for him.
“At one point, Texas goes on a girls’ night out and Will deliberately throws himself out of his wheelchair. Once Texas is back, Will acts all pathetic, as if he’s completely reliant on her. He’s pushing his luck further and further, and he snatches a kiss from her at the end of that night.
“Will just keeps putting ideas into Texas’s head, and the week culminates in him putting on a massive act as he claims that he’ll check himself into an assisted living facility. Actually what he wants – and what he does get – is Texas and the whole of his family running about after him, pleading with him not to go!
“Because of that, Will actually feels wanted – possibly for the first time in his life. By putting himself in this horrible position of being paralysed, suddenly he’s got everything that he wants. He’s going to use this situation to get everything he can now, which is really sick!”
On the subject of what the future holds for Wil and Texas, Atherton teased:
“That’s what’s great about it – he’s going to use it to his advantage as much as he can. Even in the moment of him throwing himself down the stairs, Will didn’t think it through. He’s prone to doing rash things, and he’s a terrible decision-maker. I think that might continue.”