Friday, 12 October 2018

James Burrows interview: Ali struggles with his conscience


What we’ve seen so far, Ali Neeson has been a somewhat sheltered character... until now. Tonight we saw the darker side of the doctor when he made the decision to save his family from Ronan. Even though his family seem to be out of danger, James Burrows told us that Ali is now left to struggle with the consequences.

“When we first started it was, sort of introducing Ali slowly, he’s been a little bit sort of flat, and he’s quite a moody character anyway, like you say, he’s a bit square. So yeah, it’s been great for me as an actor to sort of switch that off and give him that dark side.”

“The next, I don’t know, ten episodes or whatever, he’s going to be on this huge rollercoaster”, James teased. “He’s going to be up and down and he’s going to be angry, he’s going to be okay one minute and then… yeah I think we will see more of that.”

One of the shock twists in tonight’s episodes was Ali becoming Ronan’s undoing, and I was interested to know if he was conflicted in his action. “I don’t think it was an easy decision for him because there was a lot going on, you know, his brothers been hit, he was attending to him, then he was with Leanne, trying to save her life. I think actually there was a moment where he was going to walk away from the car, and then when he mentioned something about his mother… that really got him and I think that’s what made him go back and do what he did.”

“He’s really regretting it and I think he’s really struggling with it emotionally.”

Talking about the difference between on set and location work, James said, “I think for me, before I started Coronation Street I was doing a lot of dramas and stuff like that and you know, films and stuff so I’ve really enjoyed doing Coronation Street because it’s been very different, you know, I’ve been doing a lot more studio work.”

“But I think because we were doing it for so long, it was lovely for me to just get away from the street for a few days and get back out on location and do some fun stuff, so yeah I really enjoyed it.”

After the events of tonight, James discussed Ali’s future as a doctor. “I think emotionally for him, he’s a doctor, he’s supposed to be saving people’s lives. I think with what he’s done, I don’t know whether that’s going to affect him too much to say, “I can’t do this anymore” or whether he might be able to put that in the past and move forward. So it’ll be interesting to see how it’s played out.”

He also told us that since his character has been suspended from his job, he’s enjoyed a break from the medical lingo. “My mum’s a nurse in real life and when I started the show there was a few terms I’d not heard of before, you know, so for reference I’d call my mum and she’d help me out a little bit with that.”

“I think it’s really starting to get there now, you know now Ryan’s back and there’s this whole sort of love/hate relationship between them two and it feels like a real family, you know?” James told of Ali and Ryan’s complicated relationship. “We just saw when they’re in the car getting chased by Ronan, being chased by a murderer, yet they’re arguing like a normal family would. So it’s quite fun actually, sometimes there seems to be a lot of shouting going off which just feels like a normal family to me, but you know, yeah, it’s good.”

“We’ve seen them having a bit of a giggle, a bit of banter together which was quite nice to play.” Despite the brotherly bond the pair might be forming, the question of who has the closest bond with Michelle will always be an issue. “There’s always going to be that thing about who’s loved more by their mum; they’re always going to have that thing going on with Michelle.”

An avenue that hasn’t been explored yet is Ali’s love life, which made our interview bubble with speculation. “It’s been an emotional journey. I think it’d be nice to have a little bit of normality again.”

“He’s not really had any romance but I don’t think he’s been in the head space recently to get into a relationship. I think that’d be quite nice seeing him settle down with someone.”

A new side coming out of Ali tonight has thrown his future into turmoil. How will he cope knowing he’s responsible for Ronan’s death and how will his family react if they find out Ali isn’t everything he seems?

Sophie Williams

Read some more of my general natterings on Twitter @sophie_jw26






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1 comment:

James Knight said...

I'm really annoyed with what they have done to Ali.

He had a lot of potential as a character as a doctor in the hospital.

I hope they can put things right for him and keep him.

They've kept Tracey despite all her crimes. Put Ali back in the hospital - allow him to meet his potential as a doctor and lets forget about this storyline!

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