Coronation Street spoilers: Simon Gregson on Steve’s depression – “He’s in a bad place”

"He doesn’t want to accept that he might be depressed. In Steve’s mind, he thinks he might have to see a psychiatrist and that frightens him," says the actor

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Steve’s mental health looks set to cause further concern next week when Michelle’s (Kym Marsh) efforts to put some zing back into their relationship backfire. Aware that something is bothering him, Michelle does her best to talk to Steve over lunch at the Bistro. But will Steve be able to open up his partner? Here, Simon Gregson talks about his character’s current battle with depression and what the future holds for Steve…

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For how long has Steve not been feeling himself?
It all started after Tina was murdered – Steve got it into his head that he could have done something to prevent it from happening and that if hed said something about the affair then things might not have gone the way they went. Then, all the stuff with his dad really got him down. Steve thought his dad might have turned a new leaf and had been rehabilitated, but it turned out that Jim had just grown worse than he always was. There are a lot of catalysts that cause Steve to feel out of sorts. Hitting 40 didnt help either.

Does the trial prove to be a nightmare for Steve?
He wasn’t in a good place by the time the trial came around. Id say he was already on his way to having a breakdown. He was in a very bad place when it came to him taking to the stand. Steve couldnt help but tell the truth, but then that jeopardises Peters case. It was awful for him. He had another breakdown on the stand when he gave evidence.

Tell us about his feelings when he went to the doctor about the mole he’d found, only to be told that he might be depressed?
He doesnt want to accept that he might be depressed. In Steves mind, he thinks he might have to see a psychiatrist and that frightens him. Steve thinks hes under the weather, stressed, and that it will all be OK over time.

Is he becoming increasingly introverted?
In true Steve fashion, he’s decided that rather than speak to someone about it, he’ll just shut down all of his doors and not speak to anybody. Of course that just compounds the issue and makes everything worse than it is.

Michelle is really worried about him – how much is she helping?
Shes really trying to help Steve and shes giving him a lot of rope. Rather than add to the stress, shes being very understanding. Steve just messes it all up and doesnt want to admit somethings wrong. Hes in a very bad place.

Once the doctor plants the seed that maybe hes depressed, does Steve try and do anything to come out of this?
Yes, hes doing all sorts of stuff. He goes out and buys a campervan and then further down the line hell indulge in even more retail therapy. But he disappears a lot, goes off and gets drunk on his own. He doesnt want to be around anyone that knows him or his family. He just wants to be anywhere where he can escape the truth and reality.

Why does Steve report Jim for having a mobile phone in prison?
Jim has upset Steve so much. Steve feels completely used by his own dad. Jim used Peter to get to Steve and then uses Steve to get back to Liz. Yet again, Steve feels like Jims pawn. So when it came down to it, he decided to get one over on his dad for a change.

How do you feel about being given the opportunity to explore Steve’s mental health?
Coronation Street has a moral compass and whenever were dealing with these topics and issues they have to be done right. Depression affects people in so many different ways, so I dont think theres necessarily a right or wrong way to play it. Some people suffer from depression, but you wouldnt necessarily recognise it in every situation. I have to play this out in the way Steve would deal with it. I want to do this true to him. We dont want to lose Steves humour but its a serious subject, so I think therell be elements of light and shade along the way.

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Watch a 60-second preview of next week’s Coronation Street drama below: