As Tina and the Windass clan finally celebrate a successful pregancy test, poor Tommy is down in the dumps. Chris Fountain, who plays the unhappy Duckworth, talks about how his character is feeling, if Tommy and Tina's relationship can survive and what advice he might give to his alter ego. (Warning, this interview contains upcoming plot spoilers!)
Question: What are Tommy's feelings as Gary, Izzy and the family all gather for Tina to take her pregnancy test?
Answer: I think Tommy has shown that the Windass family are not his favourite people. They hijack his life, no matter where he goes, inevitably one of them will turn up and check on Tina’s wellbeing. He might find the whole surrogacy a bit easier to cope with if the Windass family gave them some space but they don’t and he finds it overbearing. He just hates how public it all is.
Q: How does Tommy feel when Tina finally tests positive?
A: Tommy is gutted, he's begrudgingly present again with everyone involved when Tina takes the test and reveals the positive reading. I think he is well within his rights to be gutted as he now faces the prospect of his girlfriend for the next 9 months carrying a baby for someone else. It is going to have a huge impact on Tommy and Tina’s life. Apart from the money Tommy and Tina will have nothing to show for it and the sight of Gary and Izzy hugging at the news of the positive test result really makes him feel down beat. He had wanted his own child with Tina at some point and now her first pregnancy will be for someone else.
Q: How worried is Tommy about how he will cope with the next nine months?
A: He is really worried, as he has been set against this plan from the very start, he has always thought it is a bad idea. Despite the fact that Tina is doing for him, Tommy would have preferred to find the money to cover his debts another way. He feels that it is history repeating itself, he loathes the fact that his own dad sold him as a baby and now he feels that he is renting out his girlfriends womb to one of the neighbours for cash. He is not happy and is very apprehensive about how they are going to cope.
Q: Does Tommy consider leaving Tina again or will he stand by her now?
A: He is kind of undecided, there have been points that he has got his round the situation and is determined to stand by her and see it through with her every strep of the way and something else happens and then he really does not want her to go through with it at all. It is really messing with his head. Deep down he really does not want it to happen but feels he must stand by as she is giving up so much to help them out financially as a couple.
Q: Does he understand that she is doing this to pay off the mess he has got them into?
A: He does appreciate that Tina is making such a huge sacrifice but it hurts his pride and he would much rather they had struggled for a bit longer and found another way to get themselves out of trouble. It really is a huge pill for him to swallow and takes a massive chunk out of his pride. I have thought about it myself and tried to put myself in Tommy’s situation and if my girlfriend said she was planning to have a baby for someone I would struggle to get my head round it. It is a very complex issue.
Q: How does Tina’s pregnancy change the way he sees her?
A: I think Tommy still loves her but he has tried to talk her out of it so many times so it has proved to him just how head strong she is. I think deep down though it does not change his love for Tina. She is the one for him even if she does not always listen to his point of view. He always has to remember that she is doing this for the good of them both.
Q: Surely it will affect their love life– will it make him want to keep his distance from her?
A: It does a little bit, he tries his best to keep a normal life going, he does sweet things for her and cooks for her. They have a night in together and Tina starts to make amorous advance towards Tommy and at first he responds but he then pulls away and tells her it does not feel right to him when she is pregnant with someone else’s child.
Q: Owen guesses Tommy isn’t happy about the pregnancy… what is the atmosphere like between Owen and Tommy now?
A: I think there has always been an atmosphere between Owen and Tommy as well as Gary and Tommy. Tommy has never been subtle in feelings towards the Windass clan. They are all aware that Tommy hates the situation. Tommy does have some form of compassion and probably does feel sorry for Izzy but as Far as Gary and Owen are concerned there really is no love lost between them. In Tommy’s eyes not once have Owen or Gary really tried to talk to Tommy about his feelings going through this and he really resents them for this.
Q: How does Tommy react when Owen pays him the next instalment of the surrogacy fee?
A: He is not over the moon but it does sweeten the bitter pill he has to swallow in accepting this whole situation. It is certainly not a celebratory moment for Tommy.
Q: How does he feel about Gary, knowing that Tina is carrying his baby?
A: Tommy just resents him, Tommy really wanted to have children with Tina and now she is pregnant and it is not his child. It has really taken the gloss off what would have been a special moment in Tommy and Tina’s relationship. Tina and Tommy are going to go through all the trial and tribulations of a pregnancy and will not have a child of their own to show for it in the end.
Q: How much does Tommy miss having Ty as a mate?
A: Tommy misses Tyrone massively, Ty is the closest thing Tommy has got to having a brother, and there is a lot of history between them due to Tyrone’s closeness to Jack and Vera. With everything that has gone on recently in Tommy’s life he really does not have any friends so Tommy would be desperate to get Tyrone back in his life. When he goes to repay the money you get the sense that Tommy would love nothing more than to sit down with Tyrone and have a great chat to him and share all his troubles but this does not happen. Tyrone is vey cold towards him and just takes the money and shuts the door on Tommy. He is left on his own on the doorstep.
Q: Does repaying some of the money help compensate for what he’s going through?
A: I think probably it does a little bit but at the same time it does not compensate for all the pressure that has been placed on Tommy and Tina’s relationship.
Q: What are the chances of Tommy and Tina’s relationship surviving this?
A: It would be incredibly sad if they split up over this, as they have never had the chance to have some fun as a couple, they had not been together long when Tommy’s dad Terry Duckworth turned up and set the ball rolling for the horrendous situation they now find themselves in. They have never had the chance to be carefree and happy together. I don’t know how this storyline will play out but I would love true love to prevail in the end and them come through as a couple together.
Q: What advice would you give Tommy?
A: That’s a good question; it is such a complex situation to place yourself in. I suppose if I found myself in the dire situation that he is in then maybe it would be something that could be considered or if it was for a friend that I was really close with and we could go through the whole surrogacy together. I think though my I would feel similar to Tommy and my pride would be hurt. If Tommy wants to keep Tina he must not let his pride get in the way and just focus on the fact that they will come out of this at the end at much stronger couple..
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