Emmerdale: Ryan Hawley interivew – “Robert is on a path to self-destruction without Aaron”

With Robron dead in the water, Robert the rotter is back, warns the star

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Robron fans are still in mourning at the collapse of Robert Sugden and Aaron Dingle’s doomed romance, but in next week’s Emmerdale Rob shows signs that he’s moving on – by reverting to type and becoming the baddie again.

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Stung by his split from Aaron and still in a spin at the prospect of fatherhood with Rebecca White, Robert decides to keep himself busy by trying to seize power at Home Farm from old enemy Lawrence White.

We’ve been here before, of course, but without angelic Aaron on his shoulder it appears Robert has no one to temper his evil edges – so he thinks nothing of drugging Lawrence as he recovers from a health scare or duping the mother of his unborn child to fleece her family. Ryan Hawley, who plays Robert, talks us through his character’s descent into darkness and the terrifying consequences it brings…

How’s Robert coping since finishing with Aaron?

He sees Aaron occasionally and still cares a great deal about him, but has to accept Aaron doesnt want to be with him and needs time to be on his own.

Has he come to terms with being a father to Rebecca’s baby?

I don’t really know, the circumstances in which the baby was conceived are still quite a lot for Robert to get his head around. It’s going to be a long journey and we haven’t seen him deal with fatherhood yet. When he was with Aaron he tried to conceal it which is ultimately what split them up. I dont think he’s come to terms with how it’s going to affect his life, he didn’t want the baby getting in the way when he was with Aaron, but now they’re not together maybe that’s something we’ll explore in due course.

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What is Robert doing at Home Farm?

Lawrence has had an accident and is recovering in hospital, and with Chrissie having moved out Rebecca is on her own, a pregnant woman trying to run the business, and she’s in over her head. She knows Robert has experience working there and asks for hs help. Reluctantly he agrees to help running the estates and the maintaining the White family’s client relationships and ensuring the business doesn’t go under.

Why is he secretly drugging Lawrence?

Robert is slipping sleeping medication into Lawrence’s special bottle of Armagnac that was given to him as a gift by Ronnie, in order to make Lawrence drowsy and slow down his recovery so Robert will have more control over Home Farm. It’s basically to get Lawrence out of the way so Robert can manipulate Rebecca easier and get his hands on the White estate…

Is his game plan to get Home Farm for himself?

Robert has always had that ruthless, self serving side to his character. Aaron brought out the softer side so we’re starting to see a bit more of the old Robert now they’re no longer together. He wants as much as he can get…

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Lawrence causes an accident at a Home Farm event by driving while drugged, putting Robert’s sister Vic in danger – how will Robert feel when he learns he was partly to blame?

He’ll feel very guilty. At the end of the day, although he might do things that are morally questionable, he still has feelings for those he cares about like Victoria and Aaron. At this stage no one knows he’s drugging Lawrence so there’s no direct link to Robert being involed, no no ramifications or consequences of that – just his own guilt knowing he caused it.

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Is Robert on a path to self-destruction or about to improve his life for the better?

Well he’s back in the B&B and no longer living in the nice house surrounded by nice things… he’s the guy who’s going to screw people over to get ahead and reclaim the power that he wants. You could see it as him being on a path to self destruction because he’ll do whatever it takes at whatever cost, no matter how threatening it is to himself. Ultimately it’s with the aim of improving his standard of living and getting back the material things. He’s on a mission and I wouldn’t want to cross him! 

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.

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