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

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Qasim Akhtar interview: Zeedan puts his family in danger

How stressed has Zeedan been with the pressure that Hashim is putting on him?

He has been really stressed because at the same time as trying to hide stuff from his family about what has gone on before he came back he is also trying to launder money right under their noses so you can only imagine the pressure that he is facing. He know she has no choice so it isn’t easy but he is determined to do what needs to be done.

Is he enjoying being back in Weatherfield?

He isn’t at all because the moment he arrived trouble followed him straight away. He has left one place and simply brought the trouble to another place and he has to hide that from his family. And not only has he got his family watching his every move he also has Ryan on his case. He is probably starting to think he made the wrong decision by coming back because in many ways it has made everything worse, not just for him but for his family too.

How does he feel when he finally confesses all to Ryan - is he relieved?

There is certainly something in that saying that  a problem shared is a problem halved and I think he just tells him because he needs some advice. He has been dealing with this situation on his own and Ryan is the only person he can really turn to as he is on to what Zeedan is up to anyway so he might as well confide in him and hope he keeps it to himself!

How does he feel when he realises Ryan has told Alya everything?

He realises that he has shot himself in the foot, far from helping him Ryan has dropped him right in it. The main reason that Zeedan didn't tell Alya was less that he was worried about her giving him grief, it was more that he wanted to protect her. Ultimately he knows that when she found out about it she would want to try and help him and that is exactly what she does. And this terrifies him because he wants to protect his sister not have her put in danger trying to help him sort out his mess. 

Is he keen to buy Elaine’s share back off her?

Yes, despite everything that is going on, the family and the business are still the most important things for him and at the moment he has no financial interest in the restaurant. He spent years building it up and coming back and not having a share has left him feeling pushed out. He wants it back

Tell me about his rivalry with Debbie - is that making him take more risks than he should?

I love the rivalry with Debbie, it’s very funny and it is a contrast to the darker things he is caught up in so I really like that. There have been some great scenes, he knows a lot about both businesses so he thinks he has the upper hand but Debbie has the measure of him. It isn’t helped by the fact that he can't even report the van going missing this week because he doesn't want the police sniffing around his affairs. So even though Debbie is doing things that are a bit dodgy Zeedan can’t do anything about it. 

How does he react when Hashim suggests that burning down the restaurant for the insurance money is the only way forward?

When he first mentions it Zeedan can’t believe what he is hearing but quite quickly he starts to realise that this might be a perfect solution. If it goes to plan and nobody finds out and he gets away with it his problems will all be solved. He knows it is a crazy plan but he can’t help thinking that it may be the only plan that will work. He is in such a hole that this may be the only option open to him. If anything it is a lifeline, he doesn’t want it to be but the more he thinks about he realises it is.

What happens when Zeedan realises someone is inside the restaurant? His dad died in a fire so this must be his worst nightmare.

It isn't until afterwards that the thought of his dad hits him. When it happens and he realises someone is inside the building, he doesn't have time to think about anything other than trying to save them. He realises that if someone dies then it is a completely different ball game for him, he would be the suspect in a murder inquiry.

Is Zeedan worried that he is putting his family in danger? 

The thing if anything he has made things much worse, he loves his gran and his sister to bits, He and Alya have that bond having lost both parents and Yasmeen has been like a mother to them both and now he has let them both down and brought real danger to their door. He is desperate to solve the problem, he came back to escape his troubles but all he has done is brought them to their door.

How are you enjoying being back, would you like the viewer to find out more about Zeedan’s life away from Weatherfield?

I am loving being back and the storylines I have been given are exactly what I wanted for Zeedan. It is so nice to be involved in a storyline with drama and grit so I am over the moon. I have had such great feedback too.

Can you hint at what is to come?

Wll the fire is certainly not the end of it, in some ways it is only the beginning and, as a consequence of the fire, Zeedan’s ex wife Marrium arrives in Weatherfield. It is interesting to meet her as he made some terrible mistakes in the marriage and cheated on her but it quickly becomes evident that he still loves her so we will see a different side to Zeedan. He was so hurt in his first marriage and for some reason he then did the same thing to his second wife as Rana did to him so it is great to meet her and learn more about that dynamic. I am intrigued to see where the story is going to go, lots more twists and turns along the way.

Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
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