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Tuesday 25 January 2022

Rob Mallard interview: Daniel's feud with Max takes a tumble

Daniel’s got himself in a right mess with Max hasn’t he, can you talk us through that?

Daniel was hoping they were coming out the other side after the trouble over Summer but we see again this week that Max has got it in for Daniel after he let slip about what happened to David a few years ago. With a child’s understanding of things Max then decides it’s his job to make Daniel suffer for it. He humiliated Daniel at the ball, broke both their relationships with Summer and now he’s got a vendetta against him. He breaks into Daniel’s flat and when he comes home he finds Max there and Daniel just sees red, A. because he’s in his flat and B. because he breaks something of Sinead’s and that just pushes Daniel over the edge.

How does Max end up falling down the stairs?

They tussle towards the door then Max pushes Daniel even further, which causes Daniel to snap and Max takes a tumble.  

We’ve seen Daniel’s temper in the past, he works quite hard to control it now, but do you think in this moment we see the Daniel of old? 

Yes absolutely, it’s like Max drags him down to his level, it’s definitely a flashback to the way he used to be. It’s not the first time something’s happened with Daniel at the top of a flight of stairs! It’s becoming his thing!

Do you think Daniel is a bit scared of his own temper and what he might be capable of?

Yes definitely, he’s been to some dark places and he doesn’t want to go back to them ever again. A lot of that was over Sinead, when he pushed Ken it was over Sinead, so the fact that Max comes in and breaks something of Sinead’s is one of those triggers that takes him right back there. I think it does worry Daniel how much Max is able to get a rise out of him. 

Do you think Daniel has underestimated the strength of Max’s hatred towards him and how far he’s prepared to take this?

Definitely, the shock of seeing him in his own space really affects Daniel, he’s used to seeing him in a school setting but finding him in his own personal space, amongst his personal things, changes his understanding of how far Max is prepared to go to get to Daniel.

What’s Daniel’s reaction when he sees Max lying at the bottom of the stairs?

It’s immediate regret and immediate remorse but he’s also quite child-like in his response and instead of admitting the truth his instinct is to lie. But he does get himself together and call an ambulance. Daniel’s terrified, he doesn’t know if Max is going to be ok and if he is this will definitely change the power dynamic between them because he doesn’t know if Max is going to say he pushed him down the stairs.      

This will obviously put Daniel’s job in jeopardy, how important is teaching to him?

It’s really important to him, he’s worked so hard on his PGCE and he wants to do something meaningful. He tells David he wants to make a difference and he can do that through teaching. It is something he cares a lot about and it’s made his life the most normal it’s been for years. After Sinead died his life was turned upside down, he was left alone with Bertie and he didn’t know where he was headed. It’s a nice little anchor for him in the world, that’s separate to being a dad.

Do you think this is going to spark a running feud between the Platts and the Barlows?

Yes, there’s too much water under the bridge now. It goes a bit wild west, they both have information on each other that they could use to get the other into serious trouble but they take the law into their own hands and decide to settle things between them.

Are you enjoying the dynamic between the Platts and the Barlows, pitting the two families against each other?

I am yes, there are a lot of connections between them, they’re vaguely related now that Sarah and Adam are married so we’ve found groups of people forced to spend time together who wouldn’t normally. 

In the midst of all this we see Lydia trying to support Daniel, do you see a relationship growing between them or can he not get past his feelings for Daisy?

He’s definitely hung up on Daisy but he’s wary of Daisy, she’s pulled a few tricks that have set his alarm bells ringing, like using Bertie to grow her social media following and thinking she was after him for his money. But he’s attracted to Daisy’s independent, fiery streak. Sinead wasn’t that strident, she was more of an introvert, so I think he enjoys what Daisy brings. It’s fun, not like any relationship he’s had before.

Does he feel guilty about Lydia when he kisses Daisy, does it come out of the blue?

It’s just a pull of attraction, there’s unfinished business between them and because of how close by they live they keep getting pulled into each other’s orbits. On paper Daisy and Daniel shouldn’t work, they’re too different, but it’s often the way that the least likely couple has the most going for it. 

Who do you think Daniel should be with?

I think he should be with Daisy because there’s a lot for both of them to get out of that relationship, whether it’s long term or not I think it will be good for both of them. He does like Lydia, it just happened very quickly from a Christmas fling and I think in a way he was using Lydia to show he’d moved on from Daisy and has this new relationship but it just doesn’t have the same pull for him.

Are you enjoying working with more of the younger cast in the school setting, is it something a bit different?

I’m really enjoying it. I've been here for six years now so these are faces I know and I’ve watched grow up but I haven’t worked with them before, so it’s like fresh blood in the cast and I love it. We have a real laugh. 

Glenda Young
Twitter: @Flaming_Nora
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