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Coronation Street

Dev-Astation For The Alahans!

Jimmi gives us an insight into what it was like to film the upcoming explosive episodes...

Tell us about the dynamic in The Alahans and leading up to this week.

Dev is aware that he doesn’t pour as much attention over Aadi and he even says to Mary that he understands that his son gets overlooked sometimes but that is because for the past couple of years his sister, Asha, has been getting into all this trouble and Aadi seems to be okay. Dev is aware of the dynamic but he doesn’t feel like it is that much of a problem because it’s not of Dev’s making; he has to take care of the kid that is in trouble, Asha. He doesn’t think that Aadi has any problems, just the normal, everyday kind of ones.

If the roles were reversed and it was Aadi going through a difficult period, would Dev feel the same way and give less attention to Asha?

Yes, Dev doesn’t favour Asha more at all and as a parent myself, I know you would never allow yourself to think that. I don’t think there is a favouritism thing going on. He looks after, cares about and loves them both but it’s just that his daughter has been going through a difficult period so he thinks that’s why Aadi feels left out. He doesn’t think Aadi is right to feel that way and he doesn’t think there is anything he can do about it.

How important is family to Dev after everything The Alahans have been through?

It’s everything. It’s a lovely thing to play as an actor because if the twins had a mum then a lot of their problems would go straight to her or they would come to Dev through their mum. Especially all the things that his daughter went through, like the skin lightening and the sexting storyline. It was a difficult thing for a father to consider about his daughter and Dev found it really uncomfortable. But it is really nice to see the problems the children have through the prisms of a single dad and how he deals with them. For ten years he has been there as their sole carer and obviously he has made mistakes along the way but he has devoted his life to his son and daughter; he hasn’t met anyone else romantically, he hasn’t left them and he hasn’t compromised them in any way, he has taken care of them the best way he can. He has been both parents for the twins and he has been a good one. Mary was there for a while when they were younger which was really important as well but it has all fallen on him now. He is always cooking, he is always cleaning… he always has that pinny on! 

Why does Dev decide to rescue Asha from the car wreckage and not Aadi?

Dev is unconscious and when he wakes up he realises that they have been hit from behind. He is choking and there is smoke in the car, it’s dark, all the lights are off and Dev has had the wind knocked out of him. Aadi is trapped in the front of the car but he is lucid and talking whereas Asha is unconscious. It’s a knee-jerk reaction from Dev - who do you try to get to safety? His daughter isn’t talking, she is not responding and I really do think that is the only thing that Dev could have done. It wasn’t a question of choice or favouritism, it was who needed his help more at that time. He had to pull her out and he was going to come straight back for his son, but then the car explodes. 

How guilty does Dev feel when Aadi is rushed to hospital and does he realise the consequences of that decision?

He doesn’t feel guilty but he is hurt and he is distraught because it is really painful to see anything happen to your children. Dev wishes it was him and wishes he could take his son’s place. It’s an honest pain that he feels.

What was it like filming the stunt and the night shoots?

It was really good but also really hard and very tough. The whole team from the director to the camera crew to the sound team were absolutely amazing, it was a really good unit. Brett Fallis is a great director who had obviously thought about it all and the drones and the way the actual stunt took place was amazing. It was a full night of filming under rain bars and they threw out thousands of gallons of litres of water which was really challenging. When filming something like an explosion, it requires a different kind of acting, as it’s a response. You can’t prepare it like a monologue or a scene with someone, it just has to be in the moment and you have to go for it and hope you make the right emotional choices. You don't have time to think about it as it’s so intricate and physical to play - you can only blow the car up once, there are no second takes! I was really anxious for a long time because I know you can’t go back and be like, “Can we try that again?” and I don’t know how I would instinctively react in that situation. It’s a really raw, basic approach to acting, it’s an emotional thing

What was the explosion like? Were those scenes how you expected from reading the scripts?

It really took my breath away. I watched it from a distance and the stunt guy who was playing me, who was taller, younger and much better looking than me, did an amazing job. It was jaw dropping to watch in person. Then you realise, playing your role, what it actually is that you’ve got to respond to in the next scene. Your imagination can’t take you there. It was really good. 

You’ve been involved in a few Corrie stunts, how did this one compare?

When the corner shop exploded, with Maya, that was epic as well but this is amazing. Looking back at the stunt with mad Maya, it was so long ago, I feel like a different person! I love all the character work that you have to do when you have a scene with any of the great actors on Coronation Street but doing stunts, you are on your own and you have to find your way through it. 

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Coronation Street