Thursday night on Channel 4 sees the start of one of Hollyoaks most hard-hitting storylines to date as student, Finn O’Connor, rapes his English teacher, John Paul McQueen.
As we have previously reported John Paul (James Sutton) is about to see his homophobic bully, Finn (Keith Rice) take his cruel treatment to new levels when he subjects him to rape in the class room.
Much of what happens will be played off-screen, with the focus of the storyline being centred on the aftermath for both characters, as James Sutton, who plays John Paul, has been explaining to Unreality TV exclusively:
“On Thursday’s episode on Channel 4 after Finn has attacked John Paul’s Nana [McQueen played by Diane Langton] John Paul finds out and threatens to go to the police. Robbie tells Finn that he has to go and stop him, that he has to stop this from happening now as he doesn’t want to go to jail.
“Finn and John Paul have a huge scene together in which Finn does something to John Paul, which I am sure everyone has already heard about.
“Then Friday’s episode is a direct continuation of that same day, and that is all the coming back from that for both characters – There are only two strands in the episode, and that is John Paul and Finn, and how they are both dealing with what has happened.
“It is my favourite episode that I think I have ever shot, I am very, very proud of it and I hope that the hard work we have put in comes across.”
On how John Paul deals with what happens, Sutton continued:
“He tries to be brave and just get on with his life, which is very silly really because that is just not going to work, you have to get help, you have to go through the right channels, but he just tries to get on with things and that is when things really start to fall apart for him.”
One of the worst things for John Paul is that after this incident he not only has to share a village, but also a classroom with his attacker, on which Sutton commented:
“It is not only living in the same village, John Paul is Finn’s teacher and he has to see him every single day which is just horrible.
“There are so many different stories we could tell, and scenes we could shoot with just this set up. It has been really exciting and really enjoyable but we have got some really dramatic scenes coming up.
“John Paul has no fight left in him by this point, it is really really sad to watch, but I am just so proud of it, I can’t wait for people to see it to be honest.”
John Paul is one of Hollyoaks best loved characters, so it will be hard for fans to watch him go through the transition this attack forces him to:
“Absolutely, he is a survivor, he is a fighter, but the next few months are going to be very very difficult. He is going to go through some stuff that people don’t expect and put himself in situations that he shouldn’t be, doing thing he shouldn’t do and you are basically going to see a different side to someone you thought you knew, and respected – I can’t wait to start showing people really.”
Watch all the drama unfold in Hollyoaks Thursday and Friday (January 9th & 10th), at 6.30pm on Channel 4 / Channel 4 HD..