Interview: Daniel's Struggle
Can Daniel come to terms with having to say goodbye to Sinead? Rob Mallard shares his thoughts on their heartbreaking storyline.
Throughout Sinead’s battle, Daniel has always remained largely positive. Now that he knows that her cancer is terminal, does his attitude change?
Definitely, he’s devastated by it. The floor comes out from beneath both of them. Because he’s tried so hard to keep that optimistic perspective on things whilst Sinead’s been going through the physical trials of living with cancer, this is the first time that he’s in physical pain because of it as well.
Ken decides not to go to Italy to support Daniel and Sinead. Is he glad to have his dad’s support?
I think so, silently. He’s spent most of his teenage and young adult life living on his own, and only had to look after himself. Although he may not explicitly say it, knowing there are people there for him is a relief. Daniel finds it really hard to ask for help, he’s grateful for it but doesn’t know how to be thankful for it.
How does Daniel feel about planning his final weeks with Sinead?
Daniel feels that if he looks at what’s going to happen in the long run, he wouldn’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. He plans things day to day because of Sinead’s deterioration, because he doesn’t know how she’s going to be feeling. Every day he’s left wondering what time she has left but never actually expects her to eventually pass away.
Is Daniel concerned about how he’ll cope bringing Bertie up alone?
He’s going to feel alone. Daniel’s one of those people who keeps himself busy, he’s had Sinead’s illness and caring for her on his mind for so long, that he hasn’t actually looked after himself. During the entire process he hasn’t prepared himself for life without her and looking after Bertie. The instant that she dies, his attention shifts straight over to Bertie and now that she’s not there, all of that care and love he had for Sinead has gone to his son.
You’re an ambassador for the
Absolutely. The one thing that I asked him was whether he ever felt selfish for wondering what he would do after his wife’s death. He was really honest with me and said those thoughts do go through your head, and you’re consciously avoiding dealing with those thoughts, wondering how you’re going to cope afterwards.
What happens at Bertie’s birthday party? What is the family reaction?
Sinead and Daniel have just found out from the oncologist that her cancer is terminal, and Beth encourages them to tell everyone at Bertie’s first birthday party. It’s an unusual setup given the celebrations of Bertie’s birthday, but in that moment they feel that with such a limited time left they don’t want to waste it on small talk about other things. Sinead knows that she needs to tell everyone and Daniel is against it, but she’s adamant. She’s had a sense of clarity.
Are you sad that your working relationship with Katie McGlynn is coming to an end?
Daniel and Sinead have been on and off for two and a half years, so obviously I am very sad to be losing Katie on set. We’ve had so many intense scenes and shared so much emotion that we’ve developed a really platonic and sincere bond with one another. Daniel and Sinead’s relationship has been so believable and real. I find it quite difficult to switch off after emotional scenes, I feel so drained after a scene that’s involved a lot of crying, so I guess the grieving process you see on screen will be a lot easier to play because Daniel’s sad that Sinead’s gone, and I’m devastated that I’m not working with Katie.