Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Ben Price interview: Nick copes with Natasha's death and learns to become a full-time dad

How does Nick feel since Natasha’s death? Does he feel out of his depth?

Yes completely, with Oliver he was the stepfather and Oliver’s father Steve was very much in the mix and now the roles have flipped. He is the father and Leanne is the stepmother. But Nick has not had the first ten years. He has suddenly got the entire responsibility for Sam and the enormity has not quite hit him. He is the one that has to be with Sam through this whole experience of losing his mum and it feels very much like he is on day one but Sam is ten years old. He is really going to have to rely on Leanne, having Sam in his life  is what he has always wanted but not like this. He has gone from being a part time dad doing all the nice things like days out and pizza nights to full time dad dealing with his son’s grief.

For Nick it also brings up a lot of memories for him from when he lost his dad in a similar brutal way and that is important. He was about the same age as Sam when Brian was killed and it is bringing it back for him and he knows how devastated Sam is. 

Does he blame Leanne at all for bringing Harvey into their lives?

Not at all. He knows enough about life to know that this is not Leanne’s fault. He supported her when they went into hiding so he had dealt with that situation and he knew she did what she did to protect Simon. Nick loves Leanne and he understands that she was only ever doing her best and you can't legislate for a maniac like Harvey and also a dreadful mistake. Also he knows how important Leanne is for Sam’s recovery. She took on Simon so Nick knows that she will be a great step parent.

How did he feel when Sam wanted to go and see his mum at the funeral home?

At that point Nick let his own feelings and perspective drive him as it isn't something he would have wanted to do. But talking it through with George made him realise that actually Nick needs to learn from Sam and to not write him off as just a child. He knows his own mind and that scene where he says goodbye to his mum is heartbreaking . It was Nick who didn't want to face it and now he realises that part of being a father is not just saying yes or no, it is giving his son a choice and listening and being there no matter what that choice is.

By this time Sam has taken to locking himself in the bathroom and has stopped speaking, talk me through how Nick is feeling at this point. I think that really does tap into the heart of Nick as well and resonates with him about how he felt when he lost his dad, he didn't want to talk or engage and he knows enough to know that the trauma is that deep seated that it is going to be very very difficult to get through to him at all. So you have to try and break that down and then you get into the therapy and professional help and it frightens Nick that Sam is just not responding at all. He also misses him, he misses his kid and the conversations they had. Not all kids are as articulate or talkative as Sam, he has gone from one extreme to the other and that is painful for Nick.

At the same time it is about Nick letting go and dealing with his grief and Sam is teaching him too, I am very keen to make it an equal relationship between them, Nick is not a dominant parent, they are in it together. I want people to see Nick trying his best but also learning along the way. 

How does it make Nick feel when Leanne is the one who gets Sam to come out of the locked room?
He is delighted, that doesn't worry him at all. He sees Leanne as having fantastic mothering skills and if she can help that is amazing. I don't think he gets jealous or worried or anything like that. Anything that can get Sam to open up is brilliant.

Nick and Leanne have been through an awful lot. Is this situation going to put more pressure on Leanne and Nick or bring them closer together?

It will bring them closer together. It is going to be painful but it is a healing thing between them after Oliver. Sam is not replacing him, however she does now have a different focus which will be her, Sam and Nick and how they make a family. And the fact that Nick has taken on Simon and Oliver previously means that they understand each other’s situation and now Leanne has to take Sam on. If there is anyone who can understand grief and help Sam get through it, then that is Leanne after what she has just gone through losing Oliver

Would you like to see Nick, Leanne and Sam settle down to happier family life?

As an actor no, it’s always better to have drama! Maybe it would be nice to see them have an easier time of it for a while. I would love them to be a family. To get a house on the street and become a new generation of the Tilsley's, a family in their own right  alongside the Platt family would be great. It would be great for Nick and Leanne to get married and Sam to take Nick’s name so then we have a new family on the street with links to the past. The dynamic of family always lends itself to those high stake stories and Jane and I like being part of that. Nick and Leanne aren't really built for domestic bliss, they work best when there is a crisis they have to work through. 

What is it like working with Jude?

HaHa, he’s brilliant.  I said to him 'look you are keeping me in a job'. He is fantastic and what is great is that he has his own mind and he knows what he wants to do. I am only interested in approaching working with him as an actor and equal. When we go to do the scenes we don't over talk it. He is very natural and instinctive. It is amazing to get a son in the show for Nick because that cements the start of Nick’s own family and it is amazing that Jude is as good as he is and he is only going to get better. And actually helps me get better as I can watch him. We both have a very similar way of approaching it, he is quite low key and real and hopefully that comes across in the scenes that the relationship feels real.

Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
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