With Peter Barlow having been found guilty for the murder of Tina McIntyre, Rob “absolutely” thinks he’s got away with the crime, says actor Marc Baylis. That is until his sister Carla Barlow (Alison King) uncovers the truth during scenes to be shown next week.
“Rob’s backed up into a corner and he just can’t lie to her anymore,” Baylis tells RadioTimes.com, of how Carla finds out his terrible secret. “They’ve been through so much together, he doesn’t have to say it. She just knows. It’s crystal clear from her point of view… his sister is very intelligent and Rob kind of gives a couple of hints.
“Any other characters on the Street would probably not be able to see,” Baylis notes of Rob’s strange behaviour around the trial. Especially when they are going through the evidence, which “throws him off kilter”.
“Rob is kind of pushing himself away from having to go to court because he obviously doesn’t want to see the re-enactment and all the details about Tina’s death again.”
Although, up until this point, Rob’s actually been pretty confident he’s off the hook. “Especially with the evidence given against Peter, which he does see first hand,” Baylis reveals.
So does Rob think Carla would turn him in? Or does he believe their family ties will override any feelings she ever had for Peter?
“That is at the heart of all the material; convincing her that it’s the right thing to do [to keep quiet]. He’s brainwashed himself throughout the whole event and he’s trying to brainwash her.
“There’s a lot to do with family values and morals that are in there. I know that sounds weird with him being a murderer, but it’s a soap, so we can get away with that. It’s is about that family loyalty.
“They’re both as strong as each other and they’re at loggerheads. It’s really selfish of him. He’s become very selfish,” Baylis continues.
The actor, who will leave the soap as this storyline reaches its climax, says he’s been surprised by viewers’ reaction to Rob.
“It’s been the polar opposite of what I thought it would be. I thought I’d have Asda bags of eggs thrown at me. It’s totally been the opposite. It threw me a little bit because I kind of put my barriers up a bit to prepare for it. But for some reason, it’s made people like Rob more. It’s slightly perverse,” he laughs.
When Baylis himself found out that his character was going to be behind Tina’s murder, and thereby Michelle Keegan’s exit, he reveals it was far more dramatic than what we’ve seen on screen.
“There was that time that everyone was literally walking around work going, ‘I hope it’s not me’. Everyone’s like, ‘s*** I’m going to lose my job now’. Typical actors, it was a dramatic month. More dramatic than the actual material on air,” he laughs.
But Baylis is pleased with how the storyline has been played out.
“To be honest, the investment that’s gone into this, the scripts I’ve had as Rob, it’s been perfect. By far the best material that I’ve had on the show. In two-and-a-half years, I’ve had about five years’ material and that doesn’t happen very often.
“I think it’s absolutely been played out in the right timeline in how long we see Rob as the murderer. With the audience knowing everything, there’s only so long that you can have a dramatic effect before the character does move on,” Baylis explains.
Although, based on the way Rob leaves, Baylis says he could actually be back on the Street one day.
“The future is a blank canvas. We’ll see what happens. I’m definitely not against that happening at some point if it’s right for everyone.”
You can see Marc Baylis talking with Radio Times’s David Brown below: