Rik Makarem has revealed that viewers will be left surprised by Nikhil Sharma’s reaction to Gennie’s death.
“We’ve taken a few risks and I think it’s going to challenge the audience a bit,” says the actor. “I’m not saying they’re going to like it but I’m glad we’re taking it down this road. It’s very fitting for Nikhil.”
In scenes to be shown in the coming week, Nikhil will be seen seeking refuge in his need for order following the demise of his wife. But it’s a strategy that brings with it a few shocks.
“He rejects baby Molly almost immediately and pushes his family away. He’s choosing to get on with his life too quickly. He’s having to block out everything because there’s so much emotion there that if he actually lets go, he won’t be able to come back from it.”
And it seems as though filming the more intense moments have taken their own toll: “The scenes where Nikhil rejects his daughter were a particular low. It was horrible because I don’t have children myself and she’s the closest thing I’ve got to having my own child. I wouldn’t want to do that again.”
Makarem announced his departure from Emmerdale back in May after nearly four years as Nikhil. But the actor believes that the fallout from Gennie’s death has afforded him his best experiences on the ITV soap.
“I feel that some of the best work that I’ve done are in scenes with Lesley Dunlop that’ll be on screen in the next few weeks. The storyline has been very challenging but I’m blessed with a good group of friends on the show who could lighten my mood and spirit. I can’t tell you how passionate I’ve been about telling this story right. It’s been a tough rollercoaster but I’m glad I made the height restriction! It’s been amazing.”