The Boys Are Back In Town!
They say trouble comes in twos and that’s certainly the case here as brothers Damon (Ciaran Griffiths) and Harvey (Will Mellor) return to rock Weatherfield.
A reunion looked like it could be on the cards for estranged husband and wife Adam (Sam Robertson) and Sarah (Tina O’Brien) last night but when Damon walks back into Sarah’s life tonight, determined to take his revenge on Adam and win back the love of his life, things change dramatically.
Kidnap, blackmail and double dealing all come into play as Sarah has a big decision to make which could impact on her family’s future not just her own.
Will she stick with solicitor husband Adam or be tempted once more into a further dangerous liaison with Damon?
And when Harvey starts calling the shots from his prison cell will Damon return to the dark side or will it be Adam who’s forced to cross the line?
One thing is for sure the brothers mean business and they’re back for what they want.The Boy
An Interview With Ciaran Griffiths
So what’s it like to be back?
It's good to be back, I had a really great stint last time, I really enjoyed it and felt like I was finding my feet with the character and not feeling like the new boy anymore. I feel a lot more comfortable now with my surroundings and the people I'm working with so yeah it’s good to be back, although the weather’s awful!
It’s one thing finding your feet on a show like Coronation Street, but another on the other side of the world away from your family, has that been hard? (Ciaran is based in Australia)
It was hard the first time, but my son is a bit older now, he understands a bit more so I don't feel as guilty leaving him, even though I'm doing it for them anyway. But the weather’s terrible, I’m never ill in Australia, yet I get here and straight away I’ve got a cold!
Do you enjoy playing Damon?
Yeah, I do really enjoy playing him and I’m finding now that I can start to add my own little touches to him and really put my stamp on the character. I had a really good scene in the Bistro the other day with the Platts where Damon’s meeting all the family, Mickey Jones was directing and he just let me do my kind of thing. Damon’s supposed to be making a good impression, trying to win Sarah back and he does really care about her but I thought how much would he really care about how much Gail likes him or not. He tries to be charming with them but clearly they don't like him so I thought I’m just going to eat as obnoxiously as I can, out their backs up and I really enjoyed it, having that freedom with the character. It was a great scene, I had Sarah, then on one side the mother and the grandmother on the other, then David came in and Nick was there, so it's a really good mix of different personalities. I really enjoyed it, we had a right laugh filming it, it’s great working with all the Platts.
As you say he's got this obnoxious side, but he is getting more likeable as time goes on, are you enjoying playing more sides to him, rather than him just being the bad guy?
Yeah definitely, it’s good to show he's got a bit of a heart as well. I’m enjoying getting to know him a bit more and seeing he’s a bit more human. I like playing the softer side to him, although I'm not too keen on the romantic stuff, I cringe at myself sometimes haha, I struggle to keep a straight face with it. I like playing Damon’s edgier side but it’s also great playing the fun side to him as well. We see him trying to get some legitimate deals going this time and I’m enjoying playing that too. Damon’s really excited, feeling like he’s turned a corner, doing deals that are actually legit, and that’s good to play.
What is it about Damon that you think makes the writers keep bringing him back?
Probably because I’m a wicked actor (laughs). I think there’s a lot of mileage to him still, you want to see what happens with him and Sarah, you want to see what happens with him and Adam, especially after Adam did the dirty on him last time and forced him to do a runner. It will be interesting to see how that one plays out. It's also interesting to find out if he is going to keep up this good behaviour or if he’s going to crack and give in to the temptations of his past. He visits his half brother Harvey, who he hasn’t seen for years, last time Damon was on the street he had Harvey beaten up in prison, so there’s definitely mileage there to see will he get drawn in by Harvey’s criminal life again. Harvey’s trying to blackmail him and get him to do favours and Damon’s saying he doesn’t want to do that as he’s changed. Damon’s opinion is let’s call it quits, you do you and I’ll do me, see you later but it’s not that simple when it comes to Harvey, he’s got a bit of clout whether he’s inside or not.
There’s definitely unfinished business with Sarah, is he back for Sarah or to take his revenge on Adam?
A bit of both I think. He’s definitely obsessed with trying to get Sarah back, he’s proper smitten, he’s clearly been thinking about her every day for the last few months and wants to scratch that itch. But the injustice of what Adam did to him is something he has to put right. Damon was forced to vanish without being able to say a proper goodbye to Sarah. All he got to do was leave Sarah a voicemail but Adam got to it and deleted it. Damon’s not aware of that just yet but when he finds out it’s going to make things a whole lot worse for Adam. He wants to make Adam pay, he’s not prepared to leave it where Adam’s had one over on him, there’s a score to settle. Damon wants to come out on top again. And as for Sarah maybe it will give him an in with her when she realises he didn't just disappear without a trace and Adam was the one who did the dirty.
We’ve seen him change his behaviour at times in a bid to get in Sarah’s good books, do you think this time we’re going to see Damon more on the straight and narrow?
I think he definitely does want to but there’s always going to be that side of him where he might be tempted to make a quick buck here and there. He’s still not a pushover, if he has to do something bad to get what he wants he’s still got that in him. He’s still got that edge to him but he does want to try and prove to Sarah that he can operate on the right side of the law.
He doesn’t have a great start as he’s involved in Adam being kidnapped, is it a threat or could Adam really be in danger?
He comes back 100% with the intent to punish Adam and get rid of him, he goes in there with that mindset but maybe we’ll see a more humane side to Damon this time. Damon does have a heart, he’s not just a thug and maybe that’s what differentiates him from Harvey.
How’s he going to feel when he finds out Sarah was pregnant with his baby which she then miscarried?
He’s going to be gutted to know they lost a baby but I think he’ll be looking for someone to blame. Maybe a case of first you’re sad, then you’re angry, then you want to get even. I definitely think he’ll be looking to blame somebody and Adam’s going to be right in the firing line.
We’re going to see him in scenes with his brother Harvey this time, is this something you’ve been looking forward to, finding out a bit more about Damon’s past?
There are some big, long scenes between them and I proper really enjoyed doing them with Will. It felt like something different, like those scenes really have a journey. They're intense. Will’s a great actor, I like how in the zone he is with the character before you even go for a take, it makes you sharpen up and both get on it.
Tell us a bit about the relationship with the two brothers? What’s the dynamic like?
It’s intense, they don’t like each other. They’ve got different dads and I think Damon was always pushed to the bottom of the pile a bit growing up, always the one getting a clip round the ear. I think they’re both holding onto a lot of resentment, they don’t like each other at all, even though they’re half brothers.
Does Damon think he can out wit Harvey? After all Harvey is inside?
Because they know each other so well they both think they can outwit each other. And because Damon’s outside, whereas Harvey’s inside, at first he thinks he’s got one up on him but he soon realises that it doesn’t really matter where Harvey is he can still pull strings. It doesn’t matter whether he’s locked up or not, Harvey can still get to people, especially the people that Damon cares about the most.
Have you worked with Will before?
No I haven’t but I’ve really enjoyed working with Will, we get on off screen as well so that helps, I think we’re very similar in some ways.
Can you see Damon settling down on the street?
It’s what he wants but it depends what pressures he’s under or what he has to do to get by. He might want to settle down on the street, but it's whether he’ll be allowed to settle down on the street with his brother looming over him and Adam on his back. I don't think it's ever going to be plain sailing for Damon. There's always going to be someone who's out to get him, whether it be Harvey or Adam.
An Interview With Will Mellor
How does it feel to be back once more playing Harvey, did you expect to be revisiting the character again now he’s in prison on a life sentence?
Firstly, I'm glad to be back because I really enjoy playing this character. It's something that straight away when they asked me to play this part, I knew what I wanted to do with it. I wanted to play him very real, a proper baddie, I thought if I'm ever going to be in Coronation Street I’m glad I’m playing a baddie because it's a part I don't get to play a lot. I enjoy playing him even though he's a baddie. He has a way about him that I enjoy playing because it's a challenge for me. I don't get to play many characters like that, he’s probably the most villainous character I’ve ever played. I knew what I wanted to do with him so when they asked me to come back it was a straight yes. Obviously I wanted to make sure the storyline was something interesting for the audience because the reaction has always been good for Harvey, they seem to like him even though he's a baddie. People like to hate a baddie but at the same time he’s got a bit of charisma about him even though he’s horrendous, so yeah I was glad to come back. I think it's interesting, he's got a few scores to settle.
He's definitely a baddie that you'll always remember. Do you think it’s the fact he has no redeeming features but yet there’s still something about him that draws people to him?
I’ve always wanted to play him as a real person, I don't want to be a cartoon baddie, someone who you think well he’s not that bad. Harvey is rotten to the core. When I did those scenes with Sam last time we saw he got under Harvey’s skin, asking why he killed his mum and why he did what he did, and I thought that was interesting. There’s a story behind every person, bad or good, there's a reason why you are who you are, and there's a reason why Harvey is the way he is. That all came out during his scenes with Sam and I found that really interesting. It broke Harvey a little bit, it was the first time you saw any other side to him. So I wanted to make sure that every time I play him it's just very true and real. I know people like this who exist out there, they’re literally out for themselves and they don't mind who they hurt along the way as long as they get what they want. Even if you think Harvey’s being alright, there's always another agenda in the back of his mind. No matter what Harvey’s saying, the cogs are always turning. For the audience, and the people in the scenes, you never know whether he's on board, whether he’s on side, if he’s agreeing or there’s something else. I always like to keep the audience guessing with him if we can. Harvey's always trying to further his own end, so I really enjoy playing it.
We saw Harvey’s brother Damon on screen last year but until this point we’ve never seen them together. Was that part of the draw for you, to see the two brothers together and look a bit more into their backstory?
There’s an interesting dynamic between them, my mum told me that Damon had me beaten up and I took it quite personally and said wait till I get my hands on him, so I'm quite glad I get to have that conversation. Damon’s denying it but Harvey knows what's gone on and he’s letting Damon know he’s not forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten. Even family aren’t safe, you cross Harvey and he won't forget, he’ll get his own back. It might not be on him, it might be his friends or his family, he’ll hurt him somehow. That’s what’s so interesting, the tug of war between them. Harvey might be inside but he can still pull the strings from where he is.
Do you think Harvey perceives weaknesses in Damon that he doesn’t have?
Harvey’s got nothing to lose and that’s what makes him so dangerous. At first we just see him playing with Damon, trying to get a reaction, then when he gets a reaction when he talks about the girl that he’s seeing, Harvey knows he’s got him. As soon as he realises how much Damon likes Sarah, the fact she’s got kids that he cares about, then he knows he’s got him. So it’s a case of you do something for me and I’ll leave them alone. He knows he’s got Damon and that's what Harvey likes, he likes to be the puppet master.
How surprised is Harvey when Adam comes to prison to put a deal to him?
He can see that Adam’s a desperate man and that's the perfect position for Harvey to find someone in. If he’s desperate he’ll do things for him and Harvey will find it easy to get him to do what he wants him to do. Harvey doesn’t mind getting rid of his brother if that’s what is needed. As far as he's concerned, his brother had him beaten up, he’s a bit of a threat, so if he’s collateral damage then so be it. Harvey’s playing everybody and they’re all singing from his hymn sheet. He’ll make Adam do things that he's not comfortable with, he'll see how far he can push him. I don’t think he really trusts Adam, I'm not sure Harvey trusts anybody. But while he's in prison he'll play these games, it's like it keeps him going while he's inside to have these mind games. He's a puppet master and playing with people's lives keeps him entertained if nothing else. But also if there is a chance of him getting out, through somebody like Adam doing something dodgy, then he’s going to use it.
Adam thinks he can outsmart Harvey but we see him quickly realise that although Harvey isn’t educated, he’s actually very clever. Do you think Adam should be worried?
He’s street smart and he knows how to work people out. There is a fear factor with Harvey and the thing is with Harvey he’s no holds barred. He will follow through with what he says he's going to do. He is intelligent and he’s socially intelligent, he’s very streetwise. You don't get to where he's got to, to the top in his game, unless you're strong and you’re clever so yes Adam should be worried. I know he’s in prison but he's always thinking of how can I get out of this situation, he's never going to settle.
We’ll see just how bad Harvey is when he agrees to get rid of his own brother. The only thing that ever seems to get to him is the mention of their mum, could Damon use this against Harvey?
When Damon’s on the backfoot he thinks how can I hurt Harvey, what can I say, and we know from that scene with Sam that’s mentioning his mum. Their mum passed away when Harvey was young, he's got a picture of her on his prison wall and after that conversation with Sam he wrecked his cell thinking about it. That's his weakness, he knows his mum wouldn’t be proud of him, but it’s too late and she’s not here. He can't think about it, he can't be weak in prison. Damon tries to send the ball back over the net by saying while you’re in here think of that but all that’s going to do is make Harvey go even deeper.
While he's stuck in prison what he has got is his mind and he's thinking if you’re going to hurt I’ll come at you, your friends, your loved ones, their kids, he doesn't stop. It's not going to make him happy but it's all about getting even and making sure people respect because in prison that's all you've got.
What's it like for you just filming on the prison set, doing all your scenes back to back in there, does it give it more intensity?
I love it, everyone gets to come into my world. Once I walk onto that set I’m Harvey, everything changes, my walk changes, the way I speak. As soon as I put my clothes on and walk on everything changes and that's why I like it. When you know a character inside out, like I feel I know Harvey you just step into it. Then when people come on to the set I sit differently, I play with it a little bit like Harvey does. Playing him you can just do something with a look, the way he moves to disconcert people, or the way he can be flippant and just play with people. He’s enjoyable to play because he doesn’t have respect for people, he can be one thing then another. So when people come onto the set it’s my domain and I enjoy it.
Whatever I’m doing I come ready, I want it to be the best it can be, you’re only as good as the last scene you did. I want to be 100% genuine and believable, whoever I'm playing, so in that moment I'm Harvey and that's the end of it. Me and Sam get on and have a laugh afterwards but in that moment I’m Harvey and I’ll stare you out, make awkward moments, I’ll lean in and I’ll grab you. That's when you get the best out yourself, you’ve just got to go in 100%. The only time Harvey will ever smile is when he’s got someone where he wants them.
How are you finding working with Ciaran and Sam as they’re people we've not seen Harvey with before?
Great. I've never had a problem with anyone I've worked with at Corrie, they’ve always been very friendly, it's a lovely environment to be in. Obviously I only get to work in my cell now so a lot of my scenes are two handers and I like that. You get a rhythm and a good pace, you can play with the timing and that’s everything in acting so I really enjoy it. I think we've done some good stuff, we’re setting things up, and I hope the audience like what we're doing with Harvey, Damon and Adam.