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Coronation Street

Robert Preston

As Robert's world begins to implode he puts the blame firmly on Carla, but how far will he be willing to go to get his revenge?

FIRST LOOK:

Robert finally thought he had it all - a successful business, the woman of his dreams and a baby on the way. But when Michelle ends their relationship, over her realisation that she doesn’t want another baby, Robert blames Carla for her interference.

As far as Robert’s concerned it was Carla who planted the seed of doubt in Michelle’s mind about their future, then helped it to grow. After barging into Carla on the Street and telling her to watch out Robert has made no attempt to hide the fact that he’s out to get Carla for meddling in his relationship.

When viewers see a brick go through Carla’s car window and Robert lurking nearby they’ll start to wonder if Robert’s thirst for revenge led him to tampering with the factory roof?

Tristan Gemmill Interview

In the weeks before the factory collapse we see Robert’s relationship with Michelle coming to an end, what has caused the breakdown of their relationship?

In a nutshell Robert wants a baby and Michelle doesn’t. She thought she did, they were trying then she had a scare and while at the hospital, where she actually discovered she wasn’t pregnant, she had a massive anxiety attack. The trauma of what might have been brings back all the ghosts of her past, the memory of Ruairi, and she realises she can’t go through another pregnancy. Once she does realise that for Michelle there’s no way back and she decides to end things with Robert quite abruptly. At first he says they can stay together and don’t have to have a baby but she doesn’t want to keep him dangling, she knows, and maybe he does deep down, that it’s probably not completely how he feels he’s just desperate to keep her.

How hurt is he by Michelle’s decision to end their relationship?

He’s upset by how abruptly she ends it, that she doesn’t really give them chance to talk it through but her logic is to get it over quickly and set him free. His world is turned completely upside down, Robert doesn’t accept that they can’t find a way through it and most of all he’s angry that they don’t even try. He starts to think that there must be something else behind her decision, it can’t just be that because it’s so sudden.

Why does Robert blame Carla for this?

Robert hits the bottle quite hard and in his drunken haze, after seeing them in conversation together, he decides that Carla must have had something to do with persuading Michelle to break up with him. He gets this bee in his bonnet and he can’t shake it and the more he drinks the more it seems to him to be the only explanation. He decides that Carla has messed up his world and that he’s going to mess up hers.

What happens when he sees Carla on the Street? Does Robert mean it when he threatens Carla?

I don’t think he knows exactly what he wants to do, he’s just angry and he’s lashing out. He’s loitering in the shadows outside Underworld, he’s drunk and he makes a few bad decisions based on that which could be seen as menacing.

Carla later finds a brick through her car window and Robert lurking nearby, is this his doing?

It seems that he has a put a brick through the window of her car. He’s just lashing out, I think he’s at the end of his tether, he’s drunk and he’s expressing his anger. Just a few days ago Robert had it all, not only was he and Michelle happy they were trying for a baby which is the one thing he wants more than anything and he thought Michelle did. A lot of stuff has happened very quickly and he’s in denial, he can’t process it. Robert can’t rationalise it, he can’t understand why Michelle has ended things so quickly, even though the audience will be able to see she doesn’t want to string him along. I think for Michelle it’s like ripping off a plaster, get over with quickly rather than causing longer term pain.

Robert’s become quite bitter since the split and he’s been drinking heavily, is there a darker side of his personality coming to the fore? Has this always been there but something he keeps hidden?

Maybe there is a very sinister, dark side of his character but it’s not something we’ve seen much of before. Generally he’s quite emotional and he says what’s on his mind, meaning he’s quite impulsive. He may lash out and do something stupid in a spontaneous way then try and pick up the pieces afterwards. Robert’s not someone we usually see stewing and plotting revenge but maybe in his grief and drunken sorrow he is cooking up something darker.

How far do you think Robert would go in his bid for revenge? Is he capable of attacking the factory as an act of revenge?

I’m not sure he’s capable of sitting there and planning something quite elaborate, however I do think he’s capable of lashing out and doing something stupid instantaneously.

Where is Robert when the factory collapses?

He goes away, so you will wonder if he’s done something and left the scenes of destruction behind him. When he comes back he claims to know nothing of the roof collapse. In the episodes that follow we see him back talking to Michelle, albeit a bit strained, but he’s also very evasive about something. That’s when you start to think is he capable of something dark or has he got a different secret altogether.

Would you like to see more of Robert’s dark side? Do you enjoying playing this element of his personality?

There’s a lot going on with Robert and he goes off the deep end every now and again which is one of the fun things about the character. It’s nice to explore the darker side of the character because he’s basically a pretty stand up bloke but every now and again he makes very questionable decisions, I guess like a lot of us. It’s always fun to explore those darker areas and that’s one thing that Robert has shown in the past, he can do incredibly impulsive and stupid things.

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Coronation Street