Max Branning often has a guilty secret that he’s trying to keep hushed up, but covering his tracks in the wake of Lucy’s death will prove to be fraught with tension. Devious David Wicks – a man no stranger to suspicious behaviour – is onto Max about his affair with Lucy. But will Max confess to everything? And will David end up going to Ian with his theory? Actor Jake Wood, who plays Max, tells us more…
How is Max coping with Lucy being dead? Does he think anyone will find out about their fling?
No, I don’t think so. Max being Max, he’ll think he’s able to get away with it. I think he’s a bit of an innocent in terms of the murder and all that. He’s in the wrong place at the wrong time and is adamant that he had nothing to do with the murder and basically he is just trying to cover his tracks in terms of the relationship he had with her.
I don’t think he feels guilty about it. He just wants to maintain a relationship with his children and he knows that if it came out it would be devastating for them, especially Lauren and with her drinking, so it’s all very delicate. It would be devastating for him personally if the news came out about their affair, so I think he feels the best plan of action is to cover his tracks and not to talk about it or mention it.
So it’s quite difficult for him because the police are trying to piece together everything about Lucy’s last few weeks there was quite a lot of mobile contact between them. But Lucy did mention that she deletes all the messages she gets from him – do you think that is one reason why Max is able to get away with it for the time being?
Yeah, and Max has got another phone he used just for Lucy and he gets rid of it, so he thinks he has covered his tracks.
Do you think Max is grieving for Lucy or do you think he is more scared about the implications of her death for him?
I think it is a bit of everything. He’s upset that she died in that way and he must be grieving in some way. Also, she was Lauren’s best mate, so he’s trying to support her through the grief and she’s obviously very upset.
How does Max discover that Lucy’s death is murder and not a mugging gone wrong?
He reads it in the newspaper, so again that intensifies and increases the pressure on him. Obviously he can see that he can be a suspect, so he is worried about that.
Ian is trying to launch an investigation of his own, but doesn’t interrogate Max – does that come as a relief?
Yeah, for some reason he overlooks Max. And Max is obviously very happy about that! I know he questions David Wicks, but he skims over Max because he obviously doesn’t see him as a suspect or a high priority.
David does, however, suspect that Max has something to do with it all – can you tell us about that confrontation?
David puts the pressure on Max because, initially, he thinks he might have something to do with the murder. Max is acting suspiciously and David has noticed that he changed phones. So David confronts him with his theory that Max is the murderer and Max is obviously shocked and put out.
He goes on to reveal the reason for his behavior is because he was seeing Lucy and he makes David promise not to say anything. But David says he’s going to go and tell Ian because Ian deserves to know. Max then gets very fearful.
Will David really tell Ian or is he just playing games with Max?
David’s being compassionate towards Ian and he feels that he needs to know. But David does like to have information on other people so we will have to see where it goes.
Do you think that this new-found knowledge will change the dynamic between Max and David?
Max has always been slightly wary of David. They are similar characters in some ways, so I think Max feels if he tells him something and he chooses not to tell Ian, then Max can trust him. David has been in difficult situations previously and it takes one to know one.