Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Rob Mallard interview: Daniel finds out the truth


How has Daniel been feeling since the wedding?

He is elated he is in his own little bubble and completely unaware of what has been happening. In his own self involved way, it is something that he has always wanted so he is trying to write that story and keep it that way for as long as possible. He doesn’t notice, in the same way that someone else might do, that the scenery is changing around him and he is stuck in the same moment. Everybody else has caught u and he is left behind.

Does that way of thinking come from his history and his background?

Yes he is very solitary in some ways and reading all those romantic novels he fancies himself as a bit of a Heathcliffe standing on a blustery moor,  I think he is playing that fantasy out in his head with Sinead as his Cathy and he doesn’t notice that everything has gone wrong. To say this is the love of his life he is clearly not paying her enough attention. She is doing everything to try and make sure he doesn’t find out but he’s making it quite easy for her. He is not an insensitive person, but because he feel so hard done by in life he wants to really enjoy the good bits and not look any deeper than that, he thinks he deserves it.

How does Daniel find out the truth and how does he feel?

Shocked at first and then denial and then everything falls into place logically and he understands what has been happening and it is like a cold bath. He has gone from one extreme to the other, extreme happiness and all the optimism of the future to being forced to deal with being the possibility of being a widower aged 23. It is a complete collapse of his narrative, the story does not have the ending he had dreamed of.

How does he feel when he finds out that Ken knew and he kept it from him?

Last time after the abortion when Sinead and Daniel got back together they said no more secrets between them. They said they would tell each other everything and decide between them what other people would be told. Because it is Ken again it is an echo of the time before and Daniel doesn’t really trust Ken. He didn’t think Ken would want to come to the wedding and they had that lovely moment on the bench. Sinead comes across as very innocent and very sweet but she has lied a lot to Daniel so he really struggles with this.

How does he find out?

He has bought a big teddy bear, even bigger than, him for the flat as he wants to start sorting out the nursery. As he arrives home he sees an ambulance driving off and he sees Peter and the way that Peter looks at him he knows that it is Sinead. Obviously he doesn’t know that she is seriously ill he just assumes she has fainted because of the pregnancy or something.But there is a weirdness at the hospital and everyone seems to know a bit more than he does, and Ken is a little more somber than he is as he knows the truth about what it is. The doctor is the one who ends up bursting the bubble by mentioning her illness and Daniel asks him what he is talking about, the doctor says Daniel needs to talk to his wife but once Daniel starts talking to Ken it becomes clear that Ken knows, so he has to deal with the news and also that other people knew about it before he did.

How did you feel when you heard that an entire episode would be devoted to Daniel’s discovery and the fallout from it?

I was delighted, it was a real vote of confidence not only in us but in the characters and the story that they thought it could support a whole half hour episode. Also I love working with Chris and Bill and Katie, it was like doing a play, we had a read through and rehearsals. The pressure was on because in a normal episode they cut away to another storyline ut this one is all on us. We had a great time filming it.

How does it unfold?

When Daniel finds out from Ken about the cancer he doesn’t believe it at first, then it starts to make sense with the way she has been feeling. He immediately withdraws and goes into petulant teenager mode and blames Ken, back to that default. Then he has it out with Sinead and discovers that she has also put off having chemo.

What is going through his mind during the conversation with Sinead?

He is trying to process it and for the first time the baby becomes a fetus not a baby to him. He de-personalises from it and he says to Sinead that whilst she is trying to be this mother hero that can throw her child to safety even if it costs her her life, Daniel has been on the other side knowing what it is like to grow up without a mum so he feels that she is not being brave she is doing something that could eventually be very cruel. There is a whole other layer for Daniel in a of this, he thinks it is cruel to bring a child into the word if you are not going to be there to bring it up.

Is he angry with her?

Deep down he is but because he can’t be angry with her because of how he feels about her and because he could never take it out on her that anger still has to go somewhere so it finds its home in Ken, the rage redirects that way.

There are some very moving scenes between Daniel, Peter and Ken back at the Barlows. What happens there?

They are scenes that imagine replicate the scenes that we didn’t see when Daniel pushed Ken down the stairs, daniel rushes back from the hospital ranting and raving to himself, quite unhinged and paranoid and then he is running down the ginnel and fortunately Peter is outside and intervenes and cams him down and they have a conversation where older brother and younger brother dissect Ken basically and Ken hears most of it because he is in the kitchen but neither of them are aware of this.

What does Ken do?

Ken comes out and says that he has heard it and that he is not too old to change.

How does it feel doing scenes like that that go back over the history of the show to things that even pre date you being in the show?

It is great fun because it has weight to it, people who have been watching the show for many years will remember those things. Also you as an actor the interactions aren’t shallow as there is that entire history behind the words you are saying. Even though I wasn’t in it years ago the character was so there are sections that have real provenance that I can play off.

Was it very different to do so many scenes, to devote a whole episode to just a few of you?

It was like a workshop and to do those scenes in the Barlows with two established actors like Bill and Chris it felt like doing an acting master class, I felt very lucky. It was something that made me take a sharpitake of breath, it was very challenging and I got to flex acting muscles that I don’t necessarily use every day.

How do you think that Daniel is going to cope going forward? 

He takes Peter’s advice and he goes to be with his wife and help her. He is more concerned with her well being than the baby’s. He has also has a feeling of self preservation which is not uncommon, as much as he is worried about Sinead there is something in the back of his mind saying ‘how will I cope’. He needs her to survive so he doesn’t have to go through that. He is still annoyed with Ken because of the secrets and he has done it twice and both times it has involved a child of  his. It is even harder because Ken let him believe at the wedding that things had changed but Ken seems to say one thing and does another. He finds it very hard to trust him because of that.

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed that Ken not Sinead is the one blamed for not telling Daniel about Sinead's cancer.He always insisted she tell him but Sinead refused and now thanks to her there is another rift between father and son
What's worse Sinead also kept the news from her family and knowing Beth,Ken will probably be blamed for that too.

Anonymous said...

Don't really care much for Ken, Daniel or Sinead so these episodes are boring to me.

Laura said...

This is one of those rare times when I actually feel a bit sorry for Ken. He was really in a no-win situation here. He wants to have a relationship with his daughter-in-law, he feels guilty about what happened the last time she was pregnant with Daniel's child, and no one wants to devastate their child with horrible news.

On the other hand, Daniel is his son, their relationship is only really starting to develop, and he knows from past experience that keeping secrets from him isn't a good idea.

When Sinead decided not to tell Daniel, Ken didn't have an option that wouldn't alienate someone, but he made the wrong choice. He should have told Daniel. When people keep secrets like this, the people they're keeping them from never thank them for it. There is always a feeling of betrayal. Ken is old enough and experienced enough to know that.

Anonymous said...

Emotion often trumps logic. I can understand Ken's dilemma and decision.

Shells said...

Looking forward to this ep!

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