parry glasspool

GT (UK) - - COVER -

Since ar­riv­ing on set in Fe­bru­ary, vil­lage life has been any­thing but quiet for Harry Thomp­son. Bat­tling his in­ner de­mons and sex­u­al­ity, Parry Glasspool has opened him­self up to a world of heartache – and rather a few kisses along the way. He’s also bared his soul, and rather buff chest, to the na­tion. But what’s it like be­ing the new-kid on the block? And will he ever re­place Bren­dan in the eyes of Hol­lyoaks fans and steal Ste’s heart? Did you know Harry was to be gay when you first started? When I first joined, I ac­tu­ally thought I’d be with John Paul, and I think oth­ers thought that too. They didn’t tell me at the start and I was al­ways in the dark, which is kind of a good thing, be­cause Harry’s con­stantly con­fused. But I was aware when do­ing that scene where Kieron got beaten up and I was eye­ing him up. From then on­wards, he and I sus­pected some­thing was al­most def­i­nitely go­ing to hap­pen. And now look… We’re here! [Laughs] Do you feel ex­cited be­ing at the fore­front of a lead­ing UK soap with a gay sto­ry­line? Yeah, to­tally! Some­thing nice and meaty. For want of a bet­ter phrase… [Laughs] Ooops! But yeah, I like it. It’s great to have this sto­ry­line out there at such an im­por­tant time for the soap. Have you al­ways been a Hol­lyoaks fan? Shhhh, but I didn’t re­ally watch soaps. Just don’t tell my boss! [Laughs] I was ac­tu­ally an EastEn­ders kid when I was younger. But in the first year of uni, one of my house­mates loved Hol­lyoaks and I use to watch the story with Bren­dan and got hooked for about a year. I got to­tally hooked! How’ve fans re­acted to you join­ing the show and get­ting rather close to Ste? The fans need to shut up about Bren­dan! [Laughs] Like, all the time they men­tion him. The fans don’t like change, so if some­thing hap­pens, it’ll take a while for them to like it. Then once the view­ers start to get into it, they RE­ALLY get into it, and they re­ally back peo­ple. And then, when some­one gets in the way of that or it’s dif­fer­ent, the fans don’t like it again. It’s usu­ally be­cause they’ve been root­ing for some­thing or some­one for so long, as an au­di­ence, they feel pro­tec­tive. The fans just want you both to be happy then? I think it’s that, but if I ever read any­thing on­line, it’s al­ways them ask­ing me to let Ste set­tle down with­out me. Or, view­ers want us to play happy re­la­tion­ships. But they don’t re­ally work in soaps, do they? Do you have a favourite sto­ry­line from the last 20 years of Hol­lyoaks? Ac­tu­ally, yeah! I re­mem­ber be­ing re­ally im­pressed with the whole Bren­dan sto­ry­line. I liked that story be­cause it was the first time I think I’d see a man get­ting abused on TV. It’s usu­ally a man to a woman, but it was in­ter­est­ing see­ing it the other way around and with a gay cou­ple. For me, that was im­pres­sive writ­ing – and dar­ing, too. We were think­ing that the cos­tume bud­get for Hol­lyoaks must be about zero, be­cause you never re­ally seem to have a top on… YEAH! [Laughs] You just gotta make sure that you’re look­ing good on the day. They al­ways lather you up with fake tan any­way, be­cause oth­er­wise you get bleached out. With Ste’s best friend be­ing Harry’s dad, have you no­ticed an older au­di­ence en­gag­ing with your char­ac­ter? Kinda. I think there’s a cou­ple of peo­ple say­ing that it’s a bit cheeky, ac­tu­ally. Ste’s re­ally Harry’s dad’s best mate and ev­ery­one re­ally wants to know what Tony’s go­ing to do when he finds out. Like, how an­gry he’s go­ing to be, but no one’s had any big opin­ion on them not be­ing to­gether. I think they’re all just wait­ing to see how he’ll take the news. How much in­flu­ence do you think Hol­lyoaks has had on young peo­ple’s lives to­day? With soaps like ours, lit­er­ally their lives de­pend on it. The fans take such a big in­flu­ence from us. If I ever look on­line at what peo­ple are say­ing, they’re very out­spo­ken – which is good, as you want your au­di­ence to be pas­sion­ate about it. You re­ally want them to care. Do you think it’s im­por­tant to have strong gay char­ac­ters in soaps to­day? If some­one is gay and young­sters don’t have any­one to re­late to on TV, they’ll feel like they’re on their own. And hear­ing peo­ple say “that’s gay” in a deroga­tory sense will make them think that be­ing gay is wrong. But see­ing same-sex cou­ples reg­u­larly on TV gives them some­one to re­late to and helps them un­der­stand that be­ing gay is not alien or some­thing to be ashamed of. I think it’s just a healthy way to go about it.

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