Hollyoaks: Rishi Nair on Sami’s betrayal of Ellie – and the tunnel of terror!

It’s a big week for the smooth-talking Mr Maalik, but will he survive the stunt?

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Sami Maalik is at the centre of the action in Hollyoaks in the coming week.

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Not only does the legal eagle contemplate shopping Ellie Nightingale to the police for attacking her dad Mac as part of his secret vendetta against her brother James, having got his hands on her taped confession, he’s also involved with the soap’s first (but probably not last) big stunt of 2018 when the Maaliks collide with the Hutchinsons in a road tunnel, causing chaos and carnage and forcing mum Misbah to choose which of her children to save.

We caught up with Rishi Nair, aka suave Sami, to talk through an eventful few days ahead…

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What makes Sami change his mind about handing in the tape recorder with Ellie’s confession to pushing Mac?

At first he thinks he’s morally doing the right thing by handing in the confession. Of course, by doing this he knows it would also break James, who we all know he’s after. I think the scene where Ellie gives Sami the keyring with his dad’s picture in was the point where he started to feel guilty about what he had done. She says something along the lines of: “I think we could have something really special”, and that’s the moment he starts regretting his decision.

So Sami has started to have feelings for Ellie?

Absolutely! Sami is so focused on bringing down James I don’t think he realises how much he was actually falling for Ellie up until now. They get on well and he sees how different Ellie is to her brother. It’s not fair for her to get hurt for something James has done to him.

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What will Sami do if Kim discovers he had the tape all along?

Sami is so focused on his mission of getting justice for his dad, he can lose track of what the right thing is and he crosses the line. I think if Kim does find out, Sami will do anything he can to try and stop her from telling anyone else!

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This coming week also sees the Maaliks involved in the big tunnel crash stunt, what can you tell us about that?

The Maaliks are all out for a family day on the anniversary of their dad’s death and are traveling back home when the atmosphere in the car turns a bit tense. It looks as though something about Sami is going to be revealed, but tragedy strikes and his secret is kept safe… for now!

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What was it like filming the stunt?

An incredible experience. It’s the first time I’ve ever been part of such a big stunt, so it was really cool to see how it’s all done and the amount of work that goes into it. The most surprising thing was that when it comes to the actual car crash itself, there are no CGI effects or camera tricks – they get the stunt man in and the crash happens for real!

Did you enjoy being on location with your on-screen clan?

It was so much fun! We filmed on location in the Mersey tunnel, which was obviously very different from being on set like usual. We were also working from nine at night through to six in the morning for a whole week, so our body clocks took a day or two to adjust! We all get on so well in real life, and it was really nice we also had the Hutchinsons and Daisy Wood-Davis, who plays Kim, with us too. As there’s always a bit of waiting around we all managed to squeeze in some movie nights, cooped up in the trailers in the tunnel!

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Hollyoaks continues weeknights on E4 at 7pm and on Channel 4 at 6.30pm.