Adam Barlow is to make his mark on Coronation Street next week when he rocks up in true Mike Baldwin style: in a flash car, wearing camel coat and puffing on a fat cigar. Within the space of an episode, he’s got on the wrong side of Aidan at the factory, squared up to Tracy’s ex Robert in the Bistro and clashed with Daniel Osbourne about Ken’s care once he’s discharged from hospital.
Actor Sam Robertson is, of course, no stranger to life in Weatherfield, having previously played Adam between 2004 and 2007. But both he and the character are now much changed since that original Corrie stint. Here, the 31-year-old star reveals what it’s like to be back on the Street:
So, talk us through Adam’s first scenes… Adam arrives in a burgundy Jaguar, he rolls up to the spot where his dad died, lights up a cigar, as you do when you’re a flash 29-year-old, and he reminisces. Then he goes into Underworld, realises there’s nobody there and decides to get comfy in the office where he used to work until he’s rudely interrupted by the guys who actually do work there! There’s a little face off between him and Aidan, then a flirtation with Eva and Adam’s arrived!
Is there instantly tension then between Adam and Aidan? Yes, very natural instant tension between the pair. Adam puts Aidan’s back up immediately and Adam enjoys winding him up.
Is Adam’s confidence a front or is that who he is? I’m still finding out how cocksure he is and how much of it is a front Can anybody be that sure of themselves without it being a bit of a facade? For sure, he’s not all he’s cracked up to be and he quite quickly exposes his falsehoods. His initial image is maybe not quite the reality. But on an arrogance front he might well and truly be that guy.
How does he get on with the rest of the Barlows? It’s quite fraught, although there’s a lot of love there. They wind each other up but that’s families. But then there’s this new guy Daniel who Adam doesn’t take to at all – there’s an immediate tension between those two and it’ll be interesting to see where that goes.
Why do they clash over the care rota for Ken that Daniel’s drawn up? I think that Adam finds Daniel’s nerdiness a little bit off putting. He thinks he’s a real do-gooder, a suck up, and that’s the antithesis of what Adam is. Immediately, Adam’s back is put out – it’s not that Adam want to take over, it’s just that he can’t be bothered to pull his weight. Adam doesn’t want to be a care worker, there are far more exciting things he’d rather be doing.
Are you excited that the Barlow family is growing? It’s great – it’s definitely helped my sense of who the character is and the part he has to play within the family. Also. Rob Mallard coming into the show at the same time playing Daniel is a great buffer and we can build the relationship together organically. It will be nice to let the natural chemistry come out within the family. It’s exciting.
Is Adam going to be a womaniser like his dad Mike Baldwin? Oh yes, it’s in my contract! Absolutely Adam’s a womaniser and at the minute he doesn’t seem to have much regard for the women he’s with. He doesn’t seem to have much heart, but maybe this is leading to him getting his fingers burnt.
What made you decide to come back? I felt like it was fate. I’d had a bit of time out in America and decided to come back to Britain when my sister had a baby so I could be closer to home in Scotland. Then, four days after I landed home, I got a phone call from the production team at Corrie to say they were bringing the character of Adam back and would I be interested in playing him again. So I visited Manchester, had a chat with Kate [Oates, the Corrie producer) who had a great vision for the character and it just felt like the timing was right.
What’s the biggest difference between your last stint on the show and how things are now? Well the studios are different for a start, but there are a lot of old faces here – which is great – and a lot of old memories of my younger self.
Did you find it easy to get back into character and revive the relationships with your Barlow co-stars? It’s interesting because, at first, I felt I wanted a clean break from anything I’d done here previously. But now I’m here I’ve realised there were some things I did last time that have a bearing now on who the character has become. There are little flickers of memories that are influencing the character now, but he’s older, he’s got more of a sense of maturity and he’s a very different character.
How have you found being back in Manchester after so much time in LA? At the moment I’m living in London and commuting, so I’ve not had chance to see much of Manchester yet. But it’s very strange for me being back here because I came here to study when I was 17, which is the reason I was in Manchester when the job came up at Corrie. So I’ve got loads of memories of Manchester, both from university and at Coronation Street, yet a lot of my old friends aren’t here anymore. So it’s a new start for me and I’m focusing on the job.
Have you been recognised by many Corrie fans since you’ve been back? To this day I still get recognised for my job on Coronation Street, which at times I used to find hard and I tried to escape from that. It’s been nine years – obviously it wasn’t as intense as when I was on screen, but I’m quite a private person and it used to bother me. But a few years ago I got over that and accepted it was part of my life and I hope I’m more prepared for it this time.
Are there any characters who have joined the show since you left that you’d particularly like some scenes with? I love working with the Barlows – I’m very lucky and I know we’re going to have lots of fun together. I also think there’s some great chemistry with Aidan and Johnny in the factory, so it’ll be interesting to see how that develops.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.