Friday, 27 October 2017

Connor McIntyre interview: Pat Phelan the Corrie Killer


Millions of viewers were stunned tonight when Pat Phelan took his evil deeds to another level - forcing Andy Carver to shoot Vinny Ashford and then turning the gun on Andy, before dumping both their bodies in a lake as a deserted mill.

Now Pat Phelan has finally crossed the rubicon, actor Connor McIntyre talks about filming the chilling scenes and what is to come for Coronation Street’s resident villain.

We’ve finally seen Phelan murder someone, up until now we’ve only ever seen him watch people die. What made him cross over the rubicon this time?
Phelan has been promising the world to Andy but he is two, three steps ahead. The Vinny problem has evaporated and it was in that moment that Phelan realised how easy it is to solve a problem.  As soon as he got the gun off Andy, he registered, ‘two birds, one stone.’ He saw that opportunity and he is the architect of his own downfall. And now Nicola’s gone, that was a catalyst as well, he’s really at a dangerous moment. 

Did he always plan to kill Andy?
No. So dark and deep is this thing, the replacement plan presented an opportunity to get Phelan’s money back and solve Vinny once and for all because he has proved that he is a dangerous guy. Phelan bullied and cajoled Andy into killing him but in that moment Phelan saw an opportunity to solve a problem. Andy said, “I know you Pat, you’re not a murderer,”  but Phelan said, “you don’t know me,” and he speaks for all of us. No, we don’t know you!

It’s interesting that Andy was the one to say that because Andy is probably the only one person who has seen all the shades of Phelan?
Correct. There are much darker waters here.

Now that he's murdered someone, is this the beginning of the end for Phelan?
No question, this is the pebble that starts the avalanche.

Will the Soap Gods get justice?
It must be so and we have just woken them up out of their slumber - ‘hey, this needs sorting out.’ But while we run up to that, whenever that is, Pat Phelan is now a very dangerous person. Now he’s crossed the rubicon whereas before he would go to great lengths, for example the cellar, complicating things. The journey towards his comeuppance will be very lively I’m sure, because now he has a direct root to solving problems.

Phelan said to Andy, after he killed him, that he had no choice because he (Andy) would never have been able to live with himself for killing Vinny. Do you think Phelan really believes that and felt that he was doing Andy a favour?
It’s the logic of a narcissist, psychopathic thinking, that actually he’s done him a favour. Although frighteningly, in terms of the writing, there is a certain logic to it and it will be very interesting to see how our viewers see it because I don’t think he was ever getting out of there, was he? So yes, those moments are all true for Pat Phelan.

When you came back into the show to play Phelan, did you ever imagine he would become so evil and such a classic Corrie villain?
No but I knew the quality of writers that we have here, even in that short stint at the beginning. For those three scenes he was a straight up and down dodgy character but he’s grown and the writers and Kate Oates have given him that latitude. ‘How far can we fold this guy, how many dimensions can we put on this guy?’ - What a lovely thing.

You’ve said before that sometimes you spot people in the street being quite scared of you and you like to go up to them and put people at ease, why?
First of all it disturbs me to see somebody genuinely frightened so I think anybody would do that. It’s worth pointing out that some are certainly not frightened! Some of them are quite the opposite, quite feisty they come.

In the coming weeks, Anna and other people are going to start to get more suspicious about Phelan - is anybody safe?
No. He never forgets, Vinny is a classic example. Remember the last scene in The Rovers, “best day ever,” now what does that mean…?! That’s where you see the danger.

What was it like filming those scenes in the paper factory? It felt very intense…
Fabulous, it was like a movie set. We are used to working in studios so everybody was really excited, there was a real atmosphere to what was going on. It was cold and wet but everybody was well up for it.

Were the three of you able to have a laugh and relax or did it remain very intense throughout?
These guys are professionals so we will stay in the mood as we need to. I don’t mind the intensity and Ian Kelsey doesn’t mind it either, Oli the same and we don’t often get a chance to do those scenes. I’d be worried if anybody wasn’t intense.

How much did the location help you, playing those scenes?
No question, it’s all about atmosphere. But when you are going in there, it charges the atmosphere. Just great.

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22 comments:

Humpty Dumpty said...

I feel so angry with the writers that I feel compelled to post again tonight. OK, Connor M is a marvellous actor and great with the fans. OK, Phelan's the character we love to hate and we'll all cheer when he gets his comeuppance. But that thinking doesn't work for me. To have a Corrie character shoot two people in cold blood takes us down a dingy path. The psychopath belongs in a late evening crime thriller. It's totally wrong to show it before the watershed. Probably, some fans will say they were on the edge of their seats. I would be if it was another show, but not Corrie.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Humpty. That was not the twist I wanted or expected.

Graeme N said...

It was vile and just not Corrie. Gone too far.

maryfromcanada said...

Have to admit, when you despise the character, the actor is very good.

Rebecca said...

I love to hate Phelan. Unfortunately this twist means it will either end in his death or a life time in prison for him. I joke about Phelan getting out of prison on a technicality à la Tracy Barlow, but realistically I know that it won't happen. Maybe Connor will show up on Murdoch Mysteries so those of us in Canada will see him again!

maryfromcanada said...

Humpty, The Corrie today is not the Corrie of forty years ago, for sure. I admit there have been some story lines that I really did/do not want to see on Corrie. But that's me and my era, I guess. Like, too much information. And I'm not as religious on keeping up as I once was, as there are too many stories going on at once. It's similar to going into a huge department store with too much merchandise to choose from. You just get overwhelmed and leave. Am glad they're taking a break from Maria. And I wish that other one ( the Connor girl who was with Steve, and lost her baby-her name evades me at the moment), well I wish her issues would get resolved and she moves onto something more than her high level anxiety.

Zagg said...

How is this any further or more vile that the whole Richard Hillman storyline? He killed and tried to drown a whole family in the canal.Or John Stape? He killed 2 people in cold blood by suffocating and bludgeoning. That's actually more disturbing than shooting a gun. Then there's Tony Gordon, he had 2 murders under his belt. And let's not forget Tracy! She's got a laundry list of dead people she's responsible for and acts like nothing happened. How creepy and weird is that?
Maybe Phelan's story was dragged out longer and it just feels nastier because of his psychological games he's played on so many. But to me, Corrie has for a long time, had some nasty ruthless killers, that are no different today than they were years ago.

coconno196 said...

Rebecca: I love Murdoch Mysteries. Watching on our Drama channel, but we're only up to series 7 from 2013. I was never keen on Thomas Craig but find him really funny as Inspector Brackenreid. Sue Thomas FBI/ eye has just started on Drama too, and though it's rather sentimental, I have to watch it for Yannick Bisson 💘.

Rebecca said...

Coconno, glad to see you're enjoying Murdoch. We're in the middle of season 11 here. Like you I wasn't a huge fan of Thomas Craig, but the only thing I had seen him in was Corrie and I didn't like the whole Harris family. I love him in Murdoch though! Every once in a while there is a guest appearance from actors I know from Corrie. It would be fun to see Connor show up as a character totally different from Phelan just to throw those of us who are fans of both shows for a loop.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Zagg, I think it's that many other Corrie villains have been played to 99% realism. The 1% window allowed the viewer to appreciate that it's only a soap and could enjoy the ride. Jez Quigley had his swagger; John Stape didn't really mean to kill all those people; Tracy Barlow was very panto. I really believe the writers weren't sure which way to take Phelan. In the end, they made him a psychopath and he has been played to 100% realism. Without that window to let in some fresh air, his storyline has felt suffocating. You could argue that the character suffers from the actor being too realistic. Maybe the director should have told him to loosen his grip. Some storylines need to be shocking if they are reflecting real life. Phelan's didn't.

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant actor.

Anonymous said...

Jeanie (anon):

I think what makes it a lot darker and more disturbing than other psycho story lines is the explicit sadism-explored so lovingly by the writers-- that seems quite out of place in a soap/family show. Phelan didn't just kill Andy; he had to violate and destroy his spirit and sense of who he was first. So Andy died with truly everything stripped away from him, knowing he was a murderer and a coward. Really a very cruel and sadistic end.

By contrast Stape was very black humor, bungling into a number of almost accidental killings; Tony was tormented and killed the person who had wronged him--you could see his humanity in the brilliant hostage scenes with Hayley and Roy. Hillman was very motivated by money, very cold, focused. Imagine if, during the hostage scenes, Tony Gordon after terrorizing Hayley and Roy had killed one or both of them.That's how the Andy scenes played out--kept alive for ten months, tortured, half-starved, only to be killed anyways. Very gratuitous presentation of suffering for the sake of suffering; they might just as well have killed Andy at the beginning.

Anonymous said...

The rest of the murderers in the past were just that, murderers. Phelan is pretty much something out of Criminal Minds at this point, torturing and then killing more for his own sadistic pleasure than anything else.

We all knew that we was never going to let Andy go, as far back as when Andy assaulted him and then Phelan taunted him in the hospital by saying that he should've went all the way and killed him.

My guess for what is going to happen next is that his frameup of Anna won't work (for long), so he'll decide to just try and get rid of her to "settle things" since he's gotten away with it already.

Anonymous said...

Then again, maybe Andy didn't die (again). We heard the gunshot, didn't see it. On verra.

Louby said...

I agree, it was more suited to Taggart.

Louby said...

This was way too much for me. I've no problem watching the occasional violent film or drama, but I also feel that pre watershed Corrie isn't the place for it.

I'm more bothered about the outcome. We've been subjected to the scenes of Andy in the cellar for so long, personally I hoped he would escape or be saved, and now he's dead!

And where on earth is Flora?!

Aussie Pete said...

Finally just watched it and I am genuinely shocked. I did see spoilers but to watch it... just gahhhh!
I've never criticised Corrie apart from when they forgot Kevin had lost a baby, but I think it went a bit too far. To have the shock of Andy being alive after all those months and hoping he and Steph may still get a happy reunion someday was nice. Having Phelan both physically and psychologically mess with poor Andy for so long and then just kill him was disturbingly cruel.
I can only hope that by some divine intervention (Michael's spirit?) that Andy did survive and will reappear just Phelan's story comes to an end.

Anonymous said...

We all know they're having fun with us, right? Our comments reflect the degree to which we're hooked on the story, for better or worse. Behind the scenes we learn how thrilled the actors are to have a cinematic storyline. Connor continues to play a blinder. If Andy turns up alive 6 months from now, we'll be chuffed to bits all over again that no one saw it coming.

maggie muggins said...

I don't think that because many viewers are talking about this disturbing storyline that is automatically follows that we want Corrie to be more like this. The public speaking up in disagreement very often brings change from entities we think might not listen. In fact, it's often the only think that does.

Sure, there have been murders on Corrie for many years. But Phelan's psychopathy is being played way outside of the tradition. And I'm not talking about black & white TV and cute ducks on a muriel. There's not enough emotional oxygen on this soap to contain a realistic, deadly mental illness like Pat's. Crikey, Corrie can't even handle repeated unplanned pregnancy and cheating spouses very well, and they are weekly occurrences. If we see a character in therapy, it's for one visit and then they discount it as not for them. Or they just take a pill.

I'd be interested to know more about the background politics of how the production team developed the increased darkness and gratuitous violence of this character and story. I can see how actors would be willing to partake in more juicy acting opportunities to develop and garner gongs and bigger jobs in future. When we first met Andy and Pat, I thought the actors were fine in terms of skills for the show. But I didn't think "Oh wow, are they ever phenomenal!"

I just think actors could be more thoughtful before agreeing to go down a dark tunnel like this one has been. And the production team can win awards without trying be be Cor-Enders. Just because our friends are all jumping off a bridge, doesn't that mean we should do it too.



coconno196 said...

Rebecca: I remember Connor McIntyre as a nurse in a hospital soap years ago and he's done a lot of different stuff before Corrie, so can certainly act, but now I'd find it hard to dissociate him from Phelan! As you say, Murdoch Mysteries seems to attract British actors. Chris Gascoigne played an Irish Republican, and Lisa Faulkner (Spooks, Holby City, now Eastenders ) was an occasional love interest for William.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was brilliant. We get day after day of plot lines consisting of either gossip, cheating or hypocrisy (of which Fiz seems to be the latest hypocrite - She's normally forcing her "superior and perfect" opinions on Tyrone - Why is she so dumb (and a liar) all of a sudden?!). It was a treat to see Pat, Andy and Vinny in such powerful scenes. I think neither the viewers nor the character of Pat Phelan himself knew how far this would go. I look forward to seeing this played out. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Wonder what Tony Warren would think...

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