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Tuesday 30 June 2020

Ben Price interview: Nick feels pushed out of Leanne's life

In the weeks since Oliver became ill how has Nick been feeling, does he feel a little pushed out by how close Steve and Leanne have become?

Yes I think he does, he also recognises that for Leanne and Steve it is their child, Oliver is not Nick’s child. I think he is upset as he stepped in when Steve couldn’t. He became that father figure but really when it comes down to these vital decisions in hospital he legally isn’t part of it and he's on the periphery, he is not going to be able to make those decisions. As it has gone on he thought he could handle it but actually it is getting harder for him. The fact is that suddenly now Steve is stepping up to the plate, Nick thinks ‘why is it always me that does all the leg work and then Steve or Peter swoop in when they feel like it’. It is an exceptional circumstance and of course Steve has stepped in but he is not there for the day to day stuff.

Nick tends to be very pragmatic and business like in the way he deals with things. Is he struggling with how to comfort Leanne?

For all of those reasons he is not really feeling part of it. He likes to have active decision making, where Nick gets comfort is making a decision and pushing through with it but he can't. He is in limbo trying to support her. He doesn’t feel like he is quite equipped to do that , what can he say, what can he do. He is feeling it isn't fitting into the normal mode, he feels out of control, he doesn’t deal with that very well at all

When he lashes out at Peter on Leanne’s behalf over Simon is that a way of him being able to channel his emotions?

He is still angry at Peter, he feels like the men in her life have never stepped up and have not been very good, and he wants to vent himself. He is using Peter to vent, it isn't about Peter it is about Nick’s frustrations. Peter and Steve have their own issues but they are trying, I think Nick is just angry, he can’t take it out on Leanne or the doctors so he takes it out on them, it is a default for Nick.

Is Nick finding it difficult to cope with Leanne’s, perhaps misguided, optimism. Is Nick more able to take a step back and see the bigger picture? 

I also think that it is in some way to do with the fact that it isn't his child, it is perhaps easier for him to step back, he is close but if it was his child would he be more like Leanne? He and Tracy are more on the outside looking in. They love Oliver but they are more able to look at the bigger picture. It is a very double edged sword in that he is able to step back but he wants to support Leanne and he doesn’t want her thinking he doesn’t care. He has to tread the line very carefully.

Is he worried Leanne is getting her hopes up every time Oliver does something ‘normal’? For example on the trip to the petting zoo?

It is that thing of her piecing things together which actually don’t equal a recovery, a smile, a noise etc it is a piece of good news but it doesn’t mean a recovery, that is not what the doctors are saying. The doctors are preparing them for the worst but hoping for the best and he is trying to manage his and Leanne’s feelings and not let her fall but his place is just to support her. He feels he's not massively equipped to deal with the breakdown when the worst happens, is he emotionally prepared for that and will he be up to it?

How did you feel when you were told you would be involved in such a sad storyline?

It is a great story and as an actor you want to play those strong stories. I have children myself so it isn't easy but it is important to tell it. All of the big stories are hard to tell, you have to be prepared to tell them and understand that people have gone through them for real and that is what makes them such an important story to tell. Also it is the job of an actor to highlight the elements where the character is struggling and highlight what those struggles are, the emotional heartache, all these questions that come with any illness, especially children. It is being talked about and people can open a dialogue about something that isn’t easy to talk about. It is a hard thing to discuss but if you have a gateway with a soap opera storyline it gets the conversation started, it gives a point of reference. It does transcend entertainment.

As it is such an emotional storyline how has the new way of filming impacted on that, for example you said yourself there was a scene where you felt Nick would want to hug Leanne but you couldn’t.

For this story we can make it work. Some people from the outside looking in have asked whether it will be as good, it isn’t about being better or worse, it is about it being different. You have to make different choices, they are as good, you have to look for them a bit harder. The choice with those scenes, we tell the story that he is struggling and she is struggling so he goes over to comfort her or is he struggling so much that he can’t even do that.

What is it like filming the scenes without having the twins who play Oliver on set?

It doesn't really impact on the scenes because the deep conversations that you would have you wound;t have in front of the child necessarily anyway. So it is not restrictive you just have to look a bit harder.

Glenda Young
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Anonymous said...

Nick has never been the 'father figure' to Oliver as he abandoned Leanne when Oliver was a baby because he wouldn't accept Steve as the boy's father.
Even when he and Leanne got together,the only time Nick showed an interest in Oliver and Simon was to undermine Steve and Peter in their sons' eyes.
My sympathies are with Steve who's always did his best by his children and is facing the prospect of losing another child.
Nick on the other hand has shown little interest with bonding with Oliver until now and is in self-centered pity mode.

Anonymous said...

That couldn’t be further away from the truth. I remember when fans were saying Nick should leave Leanne because it’s for the best, so he did, and now fans are making out that Nick “abandoned” Oliver, which is just not true. Nick was struggling after what happened with Carla and that struggle was affecting his relationship with Leanne and Oliver, making life miserable for them. After Peter and Steve recused Nick from the quicksand, he realised that he was making life miserable for Leanne and Oliver, so he left because he thought they were better off without him. If he “abandoned” them, that would mean that he left only for himself which was not true. In fact he wanted to stay with them, but him staying with Leanne and Oliver despite making their lives miserable because of his insecurities is more selfish than him leaving. Then when he came back, there were many scenes of him showing his love for Oliver and there was even a scene where he clearly stated that he now accepts Steve being Oliver’s dad and even Peter being Simon’s dad. Also, Nick has been acting the opposite of self-pitying. Everything he has done is to help Leanne and Oliver and the only time anyone could say he was self-pitying was when he lashed out at the hospital, which is very understandable. Saying Nick is self-pitying when there are literally characters like David who was trying to get beat up because of Shona’s memory problems makes that statement look ridiculous. Everything you have said is completely incorrect and there are many scenes to prove that.

Anonymous said...

A great interview. I must say, I have been impressed with how Nick has been behaving recently, especially last night. He has been great helping Leanne and he was a great listener in the final scene last night. It's going to be interesting to see what Nick does next as he loves Oliver like he is his own son. I've been very impressed with Ben Price's acting recently as well.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous[21;30]I still believe that Nick left for himself and did abandon Leanne leaving without a word to her[only mommy] and left her and Oliver homeless selling the flat from under her.Leanne even told him that when he returned to see her in hospital after an accident
I sincerely do not remember any scenes of Nick with Oliver or accepting Steve as Oliver's dad,I do remember Nick telling Steve that he's a'better father' than Steve is when Oliver had his first seizure while in Steve's care.
I also remember Nick manipulating Leanne to help him let David take the fall for stealing his gran's money that he stole and laundered through Underworlds by telling her how much he'll 'miss' her and Oliver[who was nowhere in sight]should he go to jail from the crime and since then Nick has been seen mainly worried about the factory,it was only when Oliver got ill that he's shown interest in the boy whereas Steve has always been there for Oliver.

Anonymous said...

The reason Nick didn’t want to tell Leanne is because he knew he would be tempted to stay with her and keep on making life miserable for her- he said that to Gail when he was leaving. He did however tried to get in contact with Leanne about the sell of the flat, and he gave her a share of £25,000, which he had to give to Gail so it wasn’t lost in the post like all the other letters that Nick tried to send to Leanne- Gail said it in the scenes. When Nick came back, there were scenes of him with Oliver before he stolen Audrey’s money (for example there were scenes of him, Oliver and Leanne in the cafe around October or November time), then there was scene in the pub of Nick telling Leanne he is now over Steve being Oliver’s dad. Even after Nick said about being a “real dad”, the next episode he tried to make up with Steve and he was trying to make Leanne forgive Steve after he left Oliver with Summer- again there are scenes of him doing this in the episodes afterwards. Nick already loved Oliver before he robbed Audrey, he didn’t pretend to love him just to avoid prison. And Leanne would think Nick “abandoned” them when she was in hospital because of the lack of contact due to the missing posts. It seems fans are picking and choosing moments and scenes to fit their own agenda when there are many scenes that prove against it.


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