Cover Story

Star Ryan Haw­ley on this week’s shock­ing Em­merdale ac­ci­dent, and what’s be­hind Robert’s re­turn to his bad old ways…

TV Times - - Contents - Soap Em­merdale Mon-fri / itv / 7.00PM, 8.00PM Sally Brock­way & Sarah wa­ter­fall

Em­merdale is set for a dra­matic week as Robert dopes lawrence with sleep­ing pills on his re­turn from hos­pi­tal. When lawrence wakes up, he gets in his car – but Belle, lach­lan and Vic­to­ria are in his blurry line of vi­sion. i'll be on the edge of my seat to see what hap­pens next.

Robert Sug­den al­most turned into a nice guy when he was with Aaron Livesy. But now that the cou­ple have split up, the busi­ness­man has gone back to his bad ways and, this week, he drugs Lawrence White with sleep­ing pills, as part of his con­niv­ing plot to take over Home Farm.

Lit­tle does he re­alise that his ac­tions are set to have dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences, as Lawrence gets be­hind the wheel of his car and en­dan­gers the lives of sev­eral young vil­lagers – in­clud­ing that of Robert’s own sis­ter, Vic­to­ria.

Here, star Ryan Haw­ley talks about his char­ac­ter’s re­turn to the dark side, and why he loves be­ing the vil­lage vil­lain once again.

what is Robert’s mo­ti­va­tion for be­ing a bad guy again?

I guess, he was a more morally rounded per­son with Aaron, and with­out him, he is turn­ing back into the ma­nip­u­la­tive, med­dling Robert of old. He sees an op­por­tu­nity at Home Farm that will help make his life bet­ter and get him ma­te­rial things. Robert wants to be pow­er­ful; he’s not in­ter­ested in liv­ing a medi­ocre life. Aaron left a void, which he is filling with want­ing to be the guy who lives in the big house on the hill.

lawrence has just had a brain aneurysm – is Robert not wor­ried that drug­ging him could ac­tu­ally fin­ish him off?

He is, but there’s a long-stand­ing ri­valry be­tween Robert and Lawrence – he re­sents him. Given that Robert didn’t have a great re­la­tion­ship with his father, maybe he sees Lawrence as some­one he’d like to have power over.

Does he con­sider the wider con­se­quences of drug­ging him? I don’t think he’s re­ally thought it through. He just wants Lawrence out of the way, so he can get the power he wants from the Whites. Some­times, he acts first and thinks later – like he did when he slept with Re­becca. That kind of im­pul­sive­ness is cer­tainly con­sis­tent with Robert’s char­ac­ter. But although Robert is morally ques­tion­able, he does care for peo­ple like Vic­to­ria, so he’ll feel ter­ri­ble if she gets hurt. is it fun play­ing the de­vi­ous Robert again? It is, and it’s im­por­tant for a show like this to have peo­ple that cre­ate con­flict – and that’s cer­tainly one of the things that Robert does when he is im­moral. He rubs peo­ple up the wrong way, and con­spires be­hind their backs. He is quite a slith­ery kind of guy, and him be­ing with Aaron was good news for every­one in the vil­lage, be­cause it meant they didn’t have to look over their shoul­der any more.

How does Robert feel about the split with aaron?

This is prob­a­bly the most hurt Robert has been by the end­ing of a re­la­tion­ship. He loves Aaron and re­grets the fact that his ac­tions ru­ined things, but Aaron seems very sure that it’s def­i­nitely over.

How do you feel about the fans’ ob­ses­sion with Ro­bron?

For me, it’s quite some­thing that peo­ple care so much about this fic­tional re­la­tion­ship. The writ­ers, my­self and Danny [Miller, who plays Aaron] have com­mit­ted to it and tried to make the re­la­tion­ship as be­liev­able as pos­si­ble. It seems that peo­ple are re­ally en­joy­ing it, and they feel strongly and pas­sion­ate about them as a cou­ple. I think the only real way to look at it is to see it as a compliment.

will they re­unite? At the mo­ment, Aaron is off do­ing his own thing, and is not re­ally pay­ing much at­ten­tion to Robert. Aaron says he wants space, so Robert has to let him have it, but he hopes that Aaron will change his mind at some point. We’ll have to wait and see… FOR all this week’s big soap sto­ries, see pages 26-31

Af­ter­math: Robert’s ac­tions have dire con­se­quences

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