Gritty sagas by Corrie blog editor Glenda Young, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Ian Bartholomew interview: Evil Geoff gets worse

Did you always know how dark and controlling his behaviour would become?

There was a moment of transition, I knew where it was going but I wasn't sure how far it was going to go. All the early stuff was deliberately ambiguous as I wasn't entirely sure how it was going to develop. Since then it has become clearer that his behaviour is becoming more and more unacceptable in a sociological sense and it is very interesting to play, it is difficult, he is not a moustache twirling villain so with that comes challenges as he is the sort of villain who has very few if any redeeming features. I am not apologising for his behaviour at all but it will be interesting going forward if we find any sort of clues as to where it has come from, what it is in his make-up that has created this person. I am shocked each week when I get my scripts and find out what he is going to do next.

What do you think has been the defining moment so far?

The crab eating moment was a real shift, the ripping up of the photograph gave an early indication that he was not right and now we are starting to see the more psychological side of him and that is very interesting to play.

Is he an interesting character to play?

I am having to find a way through it that makes it believable and also real but remember that it is a drama and there are certain limitations. The darkness is really interesting to explore and it has made me question my own behaviour and the behaviour of people around me and that is the reason we are doing this, the best reason I can think of that someone sees it and says ‘that is me’ or that is happening to someone I know and then something can be done about it.

Are you conscious of the responsibility that comes with playing this storyline?

Yes it does transcend drama and there is a weight of responsibility with it and actually I welcome that because we do so much that is ephemeral and is gone straight away but a lot of people watch this and if it helps one person get out of a similar situation then that is great.

What do you think is making him act in this way?

I am interested to see down the line if we start to understand why he is like he is. I am keen to find out things from his past and what has brought him to the place he is today. I have my own ideas which help me to play him, I think it is to do with his upbringing. To play Geoff I have to have some sort of back story. There is a misogyny that is ingrained, he needs to be loved and he needs love. Because of his psychological make up there is a disconnect between what love is and being able to show it.

Does he love Yasmeen?

Oh yes he absolutely does, he has convinced himself that this is possibly his last chance, if he doesn't get this right he wouldn't know what to do, he can’t bear to be on his own, he can’t bear not to be loved. It is as much being loved as it is loving. He loves the idea of being in love, he doesn’t know what it is or how to do it but he wants to love and be loved. Geoff is desperate to be loved.

His public face is a very different ne to the one behind closed doors

He is Mr Jokey, Mr Affable in public. He is an entertainer, a magician, to the outside world these people are often someone who’s public persona is completely the opposite to what they are like behind closed doors. That is another really important part of telling this story, it is so isolating, it is such a small world that the people who experience this abuse live in because you can never tell what is going on behind closed doors. It is really important for that to be understood. In doing this story in taking it outside the closed doors and putting it out there to so many viewers, particularly with a character like Yasmeen who is a really strong character then someone my recognise something that is happening to someone they know or even themselves.

Do you think he has done this before?

We don't know much about Geoff’s previous relationship but I am sure this is not the first time he has behaved like this in a relationship, because of that need to be loved, that need to be in control, the need to be with someone and there is a fear and a strange vulnerability in that, there is something deep within him that is not right but he can’t admit that to himself because if he admits it to himself or even gets anywhere close to admitting what he is doing his word will crumble and he is left in the place where he couldn’t bear to be which is lonely.

What do you make of his relationship with Tim?

On the face of it it’s very straightforward but I think because he has kept the details of the relationship with Tim’s mother as his own version, it  has been airbrushed and is always frm Geoff's point of view. Tim only  knows his mother from Geoff’’s point of view. There is a whole wealth of stuff to explore.

What happens this week when he ends up being injured?

It stems from the need to make sure that Yasmeen tows the line and stays indoors and doesn't go out and have a life of her own. He keeps her busy doing the housework. He tells her that he is ill and it is partly because he is allergic to the dust and the place has to be spotless. He has history of course of feigning an illness for sympathy and that has reared its head again as she is starting to have a life if her own without him and he can't bear it, he is feeling left behind so he ties her to the house by saying it has to be really clean, he says he has terrible allergies and it is affecting his chest. She is not doing it properly in his opinion and he is telling her how to do it, they have a tussle with the hoover and it is a complete accident, it comes apart sending him falling backwards and hitting his head. He blames her because she should have done it properly in the first place.

Will he use this incident to his advantage?

That incident plays into his hands because he now has a black eye so he starts to use that as another way of isolating her from her friends by starting to say she has a drink problem.

She doesn't have a problem with alcohol. Why does he say she does?

He does that to stop her having that life and partly it is revenge for the night when he made a big meal for Sally and Tim and he went to a lot of effort and she came back from being out with Cathy at the wine tasting evening and she was a little bit drunk. He was furious about that and got into his head that it was a deliberate act of sabotage and destruction of his male pride and his effort. He sees these things and makes assumptions. He thinks the only way to stop her behaving like that and undermining him is to isolate her even further.

Cathy witnesses him shouting at Yasmeen. Is he worried about Cathy and Brian thinking bad of him?

The last thing he wants is Cathy questioning his behaviour, he wants everyone to think well of him so if he puts the blame on her. It is self preservation and it goes back to the fact that he can't not be liked or loved and if word got out that there is something not quite right going on and there is something wrong with their relationship then it reflects badly on him. He can’t countenance that, he has to be the hero, as far as he is concerned he is saving her from herself and he believes his version of the truth, he has to otherwise the whole edifice crumbles and all those lies and that deceit comes out and he has failed.

Why is he taking her money?

I don't think he is after her money, it is about being in control of the situation so that she can’t do things without him, he gives her access to a small amount of money so he is in control of her spending. I don't think he is syphoning it off in a bid to run away with her money.

What does he really think of Alya?

She is the one fly in the ointment, she is a threat to his dominance and his manhood in a way. She is the closest thing to Yasmeen and what he has been doing systematically is exorcising everything in her past. Alya is a still part of her life so he’s trying to drive a wedge between them and there is no one stopping him having total control.

Glenda Young
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Anonymous said...

This character and storyline is very uncomfortable. However, its being done very well if it makes me feel that. I hate his character but I think the actors are playing it superbly!

Humpty Dumpty said...

The actor says he kept it deliberately ambiguous at the beginning. It was the writers keeping their options open and I think the acting has suffered as a consequence. Even before this storyline got under way, Geoff never seemed particularly charming, charismatic, affable. He's still pretty dull in his relations with the outside world. A lot of people will say that's perfectly normal, not every villain has to have a Phelan-type split personality. To be really authentic, the writers should tone down the control knob a bit and keep this storyline going forever. But this is Soapland so I expect it will escalate and the character will get his comeuppance.

Bobby Dazzler said...

Reminds me of the Charlie Stubbs/Shelley storyline.

I love the character of Jasmine and would love to see Geoff exposed. I'd also like to know how he and his first wife parted ways. Clearly fun loving but dopey Tim takes after his mother.
It would appear behind that meek mild radio guy beats the heart of a beast

popcorn said...

I don't know whether it is the story line or the acting, but I can't bear to watch this, and now fast-forward through these bits. I think what troubles me is that this behavior is so out-of-character for Yasmeen. No amount of "explaining" from itv is going to make me feel otherwise. They are just trying to justify the path they have chosen.

Anonymous said...

"Out of character for Yasmeen". Why? I totally agree with what Corrie are doing with this.
I was a hard working, independent, home owning, single parent of one when I was Yasmeen doing something "out of character". I met a man, took him into my home and was the subject to the same demeaning, coercive behaviour as Yasmeen. Outwardly he was charming, happy go lucky, the life and soul of the party, but I knew differently. He firstly alienated me from my friends, then my family until I was all alone.
My friends and family sussed him out before I did, but after 3 horrible years I finally took back control and got him out of my life. My friends repeatedly asked why I did something so "out of character". My answer? I don't know. I'm now 15 years down the road from this horrid time of my life, but I still find it extremely hard and upsetting to watch the "out of character" behaviour displayed by Yasmeen, because I can see myself in her. So yes, I'm glad tptb decided to give Yasmeen this storyline, as it is "out of character". I totally applaud Corrie for what they have done to her here, despite it being painful for me to watch. Also, which character would you think would be suited for this storyline if not Yasmeen?

Tashacat said...

Completely agree with Anonymous at 14.16. Exactly the same thing happened to a vivacious, intelligent friend of mine. She was alienated from friends, family, ( not his, though), and she couldn’t go anywhere without him.,even wore what he told her to. Completely “out of character”.The point of the storyline is that it can happen to anyone, clever or otherwise.


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