Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Jack P Shepherd Interview: David reports Josh to cops


Why now does David tell Emma that he wants her to move out?

The reason why David went for Emma is because he was trying to prove that he is a real man and to distract himself from what was going on inside his head. But after telling Shona that he has been raped and asking Emma to move out, these are steps towards David facing his demons head on. But they are still small steps, he still feels shame about what happened to him and that is stopping him from going to the police. 

How does David feel when Dec confesses he is also a victim of Josh?

Dec tells David that he has had enough of Shona bothering him. Dec says he can’t go to the police too and it makes a difference to David to know that he is not the only one but he still feels that going public and letting the whole street know is too much for him.

Does it hit home for David when Dec says he can’t go to the police too?

David should feel like with both their words against Josh’s that they have a stronger chance of being believed but he blames himself because he feels like he should have been able to stop Josh and that’s because of the mind games that Josh has been playing with him and probably with Dec too. But this is the point of the storyline, he shouldn’t be scared that he isn’t going to be believed, he shouldn’t feel embarrassed, he should open up and not keep it all bottled up inside him.

What is going through David’s head when he listens to Johnny talk about Aidan?

He hears Johnny pouring his heart out to Peter, saying he wished that Aidan would have talked to him about what was going on in his head and it really hits home. He has been making rash decisions and hurting the ones he loves along the way when the one thing he needs to do is talk. 

Can he see a likeness in his and Aidan’s situation?

Even though David is very extreme in his behaviour sometimes, no one knew what Aidan was dealing with in the same way that no one really knows what David is dealing with, apart from now Shona. We have David at his lowest ebb but he realises that he wants to live, he wants to fight these feelings. And he realises he can’t move on until he opens up and for Josh to get punished he has to talk.   

How much courage does it take for David to tell Shona he wants to report Josh?

It’s what he has been afraid of since the ordeal but everything changed from the moment he told Shona and she believed him. And after hearing Johnny pour his heart out to Peter, he knows that talking about it is the only way to move forward.

How much does Shona’s support mean to him?

He is so grateful. Even when David tried to push Shona away and hurt her by moving Emma in, Shona never retaliated to hurt him back. They have always loved each other so it is a massive thing for David that she is with him every step of the way.

Does David feel like a weight has been lifted when he tells the police?

In David’s head it is all about Josh owning up to what he has done and admitting that he raped David because at the moment he is still saying that it was consensual and that’s really eating David up. 

Why does David want Shona to tell Alya the truth?

David knows that Josh is a dangerous piece of work so he wants Alya to be warned about what he really is like. When David thought that Josh was getting too close to Chesney he wanted to make sure Chesney was safe and in the same way he now wants Alya to see Josh for who he really is.

How hard is it for David to tell Gail and Audrey about his rape ordeal?

When it comes to Gail and Audrey David has always got something up his sleeve but in that moment David seems powerless and he never really is. This is a men’s mental health story and about encouraging men to talk about things that happen to them rather than bottling them up.

Does it help David to realise he has done the right thing by talking to people?

This is the most important part of the storyline because it has always been less about the ordeal and more about how David deals with the aftermath. Hopefully people will start talking about the storyline and it could help someone who has gone through something similar to realise they need to open up and speak to somebody.

What do you make of Gary and David’s relationship?

Gary cheated on his sister and got another woman on the street pregnant and they’ve been at loggerheads for ages. But Gary sees some of himself in David and is in David’s corner when it comes down to it. 

Have you had a positive response from viewers?

Yes the storyline has got people taking which is exactly what we set out to do. When you are playing a part, you get on with telling the story but to see the effect it has had is very rewarding so it has been great.

What’s been the most challenging part of the story so far?

I just wanted to get it right because it is such an important story to tell. The team here have done a great job with the scripts and getting the message across.

How do you relax after the more challenging scenes?

I take myself off for a short while to shake off David. I have to take myself into quite a dark place to get that emotion so it is important to get yourself back in reality quickly.

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