Coronation Street newcomer Ryan Clayton, who plays Josh, discusses the difficult subject of male rape and what's to come in David Platt's story.
What sort of person has Josh been careful to portray to the Street?
We have seen that side of him that he is possibly not all that he seems but David and Josh were bonding and getting along with each other. Josh was being supportive to David and he has enjoyed being the centre of attention around the boxing match.
Tell us what happened when Josh was flirty with David.
Josh overheard Shona say something to David like, he can’t have Josh all to himself, and Josh clocks this. It is those opportunist moments that people like Josh look for.
What happened at the bar the next day?
It stems from what Josh has heard the previous day. Josh takes David out for what, in his head, he thinks is a date and he gets a lot of personal stuff out of David and gets him in a vulnerable state.
He makes sure David drinks far more than he does then he puts something in his drink to drug him.
Josh is an opportunist but has he had this plan in his head for a long time?
Josh is prepared because he has had to pick up the drugs. It is something that Josh has planned since overhearing what Shona said. It wasn’t ever a long term plan, in Josh’s head he just thinks, “I can pull tonight.” Josh thinks that they get on so in his head maybe David thinks the same.
Does Josh think that what he is doing is rape?
No, the reality is, for a lot of male rapists, it’s just about exerting power without feelings, and they enjoy that.
Has Josh done this before or is it a one off?
It is very calculated. We don’t know his history but his plan is very well thought out, so maybe he has done it before.
It’s also about where he goes from here, what his agenda is and how he is going to play his mind games. This is just the start of where we see a completely different and perhaps real side of Josh.
What were those scenes like to film?
It is all implied rather than seen. It was very difficult stuff but we recorded it more or less all as one which helped.
How do you put that to one side at the end of the day?
I had to because I had to do another scene, so that really worked for me. But at the end of the day, I think about if I have done a good job then I can be happy and that’s what takes me out of it.
What research did you do for the role?
I spoke to spoke Survivors Manchester about the traits rapists show in the aftermath, and the manipulation they often display. The writers also worked very closely with them to make it as realistic as possible.
Why is it important for Coronation Street to cover the issue of male rape?
Male rape is unrepresented in the media. There was a recent BBC documentary about it and in the first few minutes one victim said the public just don’t see it or hear about it and I thought it seemed an important story that needs telling.
Did you know about the role before you joined?
Yes I knew about the role, just not who I would be working with. It is quite daunting to come and play a storyline like this with a long standing character but Jack P Shepherd has made me feel at complete ease.
What’s it like working with Jack?
Great! It is good that we have got on so well from the off set, there has to be a lot of trust there from both of us.
If after watching David and Josh's story, you feel you need to talk to someone, there's help and support available for you at itv.com/advice