Volatile Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) is to be pushed to breaking point next week when he fakes a seizure in front of estranged wife Leanne (Jane Danson).
Nick will be pushed to breaking point in scenes to be shown on Friday 15 August when – following a run-in with Leanne – he takes his frustrations out on Steph (Tisha Merry) in the Bistro. Fed up, Steph warns him that if he continues in this fashion, he’ll have to find a new waitress.
Nick later admits to Audrey (Sue Nicholls) he’s at his wits’ end with the pressure of the divorce. And when Nick then sees Leanne, Kal, David and Alya aughing together in the cafe, he decides to clutch his head and cry out in pain. Roy wants to call an ambulance, but Nick makes out that he’s had similar attacks that’ve been brought on by stress.
Leanne and Kal feel terrible about what’s happened, but when Nick later reveals to David (Jack P Shepherd) that he faked his seize to make them feel guilty, his brother is appalled. When Leanne then offers to put the divorce on hold if the stress is causing his seizures, will Nick come clean about his dirty tricks. Actor Ben Price gives us the answers:
Why is Nick finding his break-up with Leanne so difficult to deal with?
Because he loves her, she’s run off with the bloke who rehabilitated him and it’s a bit of a signpost to show he’s not the guy he was before the accident, which is upsetting. She just doesn’t want to be with him anymore and that’s pretty gutting for Nick. He’s gone from a place where he was very happily married, to having an accident and then his wife just doesn’t want to be with him anymore. He misses her.
Does he want her back or is he now acting out of pure vengeance?
He did want her back at one point, but now he doesn’t want her back anymore. There’s a fine line between love and hate. And now he’s realised she’s not coming back he wants her to hurt her as much as he’s hurting.
Poor Steph is bearing the brunt of Nick’s frustrations at the Bistro – is he shocked when she tells him that if he doesn’t sort himself out, he’ll need a new waitress?
Steph’s a bit like his mum – she’s the voice of reason and he doesn’t want to hear it. She’s very level-headed and he’s not. That’s partly to do with his accident – he doesn’t have the capacity to control his anger and a switch is just flicked. But part of it is to do with Leanne as well.
Then we have Gail’s relationship with Michael – that can’t be helping his stress levels?
His mum makes really bad choices where men are concerned. I mean, Michael tried to burgle her house – what type of man is that? Leave him alone! It’s that broken wing thing – all of her men have got broken wings and she tries to help them. Nick’s just sick of it.
We’re going to see Nick fake a seizure in the café – what possesses him to do that?
He wants Leanne to agree to a quick divorce without the stress of going to court. He thinks that if she can see she the stress she’s putting him under, then she’ll agree.
How do people react – does he like the attention he gets from everyone?
I don’t think it’s about the attention – it’s more like, ‘oh I got away with that, I’ll push it a bit’. He sees it as a bit of a game.
Is it a premeditated idea to fake the seizure or a spur-of-the-moment thing?
No, it’s premeditated. He’s thought that the next time he gets any stress from her, he’s going to fake it. He also pushes the situation to make it more stressful, then when she reacts, he gets what he wanted.
The old Nick would never have done anything like that – is it a case of him not thinking straight because of the injury?
This is Nick now. Even when he’s not on the edge, he’s just a bit more snide now, certainly with Leanne, his brother and his mum. This is the new Nick – he had an accident, he nearly died and when people are doing his head in, he just wants to shut them up. Before, he would have accepted their behaviour because they’re family and he’d help them. Now he won’t take any nonsense. He just thinks pull yourself together.
Will anyone suspect he’s faking?
Leanne does pretty quickly. And then Nick tells David because he suspects something.
How does David react when Nick confesses he faked the seizure?
He’s a bit shocked that Nick has become him, really, and he’s become Nick! David tries to give him some brotherly advice because he’s been there, but Nick doesn’t want to hear it, especially from him.
Does Nick get what he wants after faking the seizure?
Yes he does, because Leanne agrees to a quick divorce and to stop stressing him with it. So he does get what he wants. That’s his game plan now – he doesn’t want her back – it’s done and he knows she’s not coming back.
What do you think it will take for Nick to let go of his anger issues?
I don’t think he can let go of his anger issues. He’s not in control of it. I don’t think he’ll be as angry now all the time, but it is just part of him now. Nick’s anger comes from his accident and his bitterness about that.
What do you do to shake that anger off after you’ve been playing Nick all day?
I’m lucky – we always have such a laugh at work that I don’t really have to shake it off. Nick’s become a bit of a villain, like David in a way, so I’ll film a scene and the crew will have a good laugh. At the minute I just go home, watch some football and then go to bed!