THE EX FACTOR
WE GRAB A SOAP STAR FOR A QUICK CHAT...
Former Hollyoaks star Emmett J Scanlan tells us about his new BBC3 drama, Overshadowed…
What are you up to, Emmett?
I’m appearing in a BBC3 Online drama series called Overshadowed. It’s in short form – that’s a series of eight episodes of 10 minutes each. It’s shot in vlogstyle and it’s beautifully written. It’s quite dark and very emotional.
What’s it about?
It’s the story of a teenage girl vlogger who suffers from anorexia, body dysmorphia and also has mental health issues. These are very important subjects to talk about. I think we all have a form of body dysmorphia. We all have parts of our bodies that we don’t like.
Who do you play?
I play the girl’s father. I have a 14-yearold daughter who, thank goodness, doesn’t have anorexia. But it’s easy, as a dad, to imagine what it would be like if your child was suffering so much. Being a dad is the best thing in the world. You love your child more than life itself and that makes you vulnerable. Fatherhood changed me.
How do you mean?
I remember watching the film Cold Mountain with Jude Law and Nicole Kidman when my daughter was little. There was this one scene where a baby had been left in its cot in the snow. I was screaming at the screen, ‘Take the baby, take the baby!’ Before becoming a dad, I’d have watched a scene like that but not be affected by it so much.
Do you watch Hollyoaks these days?
I haven’t watched it since I left back in 2013. It’s gone. It’s in the past. I wouldn’t have been able to move forward if I was hanging onto something else. But I do love the show – it’s where I met my wife, Claire Cooper, who played Jacqui Mcqueen and we still have quite a few friends there. Hollyoaks gave me my first real break as an actor in the UK and I’ll always be extremely grateful for that.
Many actors say working on a soap is the best training an actor can have. Would you agree?
Absolutely. I don’t think there’s a better medium for an actor to learn his or her craft. I was there for two-and-a-half years, often doing six-day weeks. I was in about 360 episodes. I think that’s extraordinary!
Can you see yourself ever going back?
I actually pitched for my character’s death but they didn’t kill Brendan Brady off. I loved him as a character and there are things I miss about the show, but it’s not on the agenda at the moment. In the future, though, some years down the line… Who knows?
Overshadowed on BBC3 Online from Sunday 1 October, 10.00am.
Family matters: Emmett as distressed dad Brian with his family in Overshadowed
Hollyoaks rogue. As Brendan Brady with boyfriend Ste in the domestic abuse storyline Happy couple: Emmett met his actress wife Claire on the set of Hollyoaks