There's a new family coming to the Street! We asked Ryan Russell all about his character, Michael and what it was like to step onto the cobbles...
How are you settling in and how are you finding playing Michael and being part of this new family?
Coming in as a family, we didn’t know each other before, we are all in the same boat and we helped each other. The cast and crew have been amazing and so welcoming. That really helped me settle in.
If Michael was a friend of yours, how would you describe him?
He has his head in the clouds, he is a dreamer, he wants to be successful, but he doesn’t necessarily know what he wants to be successful with. He has had his fingers in lots of pies in the past, he is after some sort of get rich quick scheme . He studied business as Uni so he does have a flair for it - he had a successful T-shirt business but that went under so he wants to find something else, with a new idea.
What is his relationship like with his family?
They are all very close. Michael is particularly close with his younger brother James. There is a real sense of fun about them all and a warmth, they are a happy family, there is lots of banter. They don’t take themselves too seriously, I don’t think they can because the dynamic in the family means that they would have the Mickey taken out of them. They poke fun at each other.
There is a sister who we have yet to meet how does Michael feel about her?
I think that he feels he has something to prove to his parents as she has done so well, that is one of the reasons behind his ambition to come up with a get rich quick scheme. They are so full of praise for Diana and he feels a bit inferior.
What do we know about him, what is his romantic history?
He is 27, he is single, he has had a serious relationship that ended and I think that is something that will rear its head in the future. He is looking for love, he does have an eye for the ladies.
What happens when he spots Michelle?
He is locking up the builder’s yard and he sees Michelle and Maria looking over. He has just moved into this street and then he spots these lovely ladies and fancies his chances so he wanders over. At first Maria thinks that he is talking to her, but he is actually eyeing up Michelle. There is a fun flirtatious exchange between Michael and Michelle and there is a bit of a spark. He likes a challenge and Michelle doesn’t make it easy for him so that makes him even more interested.
How does the date go?
Well, it doesn’t get off to the best start as he tries hard to impress. He takes her back to his former family home, he tells her it is his house. It’s a lovely house and this is the first time we get maybe a hint of the fact that the family has fallen on hard times having to move to Coronation Street. The neighbour at the old house knows it should be empty and so she calls the police, Michael finds himself in an embarrassing situation.
How does Michelle react?
She's ok with it, she sees the funny side and she kind of liked that she's caught him out and he had to hold his hands up and admit he was pulling a fast one. It gives her the upper hand and she finds it amusing. She even agrees to a second date!
How did you get the role?
I was coming to the end of my contract at CBeebies, I didn’t even have an agent but I got an email asking if I could do a self tape. I then got asked to come in and do a screen test with other actors who were auditioning for the part of James. I couldn’t believe it when I got the part and I am still getting used to the idea that I am in this iconic show.
Who else have you enjoyed working with so far?
Michael gets Steve and Tim involved in one of his schemes, so I got to work with Simon and Joe which has been brilliant, there are some really funny scenes.
You had a fan base already from CBeebies, are you hoping that some of the mums and dads who have seen you on there will watch you on Corrie?
That would be great. Michael is a fun light hearted character, so I hope they will like what they see. It is not too far from the character on CBeebies, I’m not coming in as a villain. Hopefully they can adjust to the fact that I am not talking to the camera!