Explosive scenes set to air this Christmas on EastEnders will see Mick lose his temper in dramatic style after learning the truth about Linda’s rape. First Dean will come under attack as Mick’s fury is unleashed, but the Queen Vic itself will also bear the brunt of the landlord’s anger. Expect heads to be cracked and optics smashed as the Carters implode! Here, Danny Dyer reveals what’s in store as Mick’s cool facade finally slips…
So what was your first reaction when you read the Christmas scripts?
To find our executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins as quickly as possible and put the lips on him because I knew he’d given me a gift. It was like the greatest Christmas present as an actor you can ever have. For me, it’s what I’ve lived for – to have that chance to show what I can do. To show every bit of range as an actor on Christmas Day in front of millions of people. It just gave me a tingle up my spine.
How has it been to play this storyline?
I’ve done some really tough gigs in the past. I’ve been acting for 25 years, I’ve done six-month runs at the National, you can go on tour and you’re knackered but you get through it. But it’s nothing quite like what Mick Carter has been through this past year. It’s physically drained me. Because, as an actor, I go to quite truthful places so my body and my mind were telling me to stop and it resulted in me being so exhausted I just needed to lie down for a few days. But I’m honoured to have been in so many episodes this year.
Is joining EastEnders different to what you expected?
It is totally different to what I expected. I didn’t think it would be as hard, I didn’t realise the amount of dialogue there would be. The workload is one thing but the emotional side of it – you come home with it sometimes. I wish I was one of those actors who can just go home and sit there and be happy, but with me it is still on your mind and you have to think about what you’re doing the next day.
So how do you switch off?
A nice bit of Antiques Road Trip. It’s very calm viewing. Talking about ceramics – it really scrapes me out of my foul, depressing mood. Well, other than the Disney thing. I like a bit of Disney. Just things that are very calm, very fluffy. And a bit of The Chase – a bit of Bradley Walsh in your earhole.
And how was it smashing up the Vic?
It was one of my greatest moments as an actor. I’ve done some great exciting stuff as an actor – shootouts and quite a lot of my own stunts. But to be allowed to smash up THE most iconic pub in Britain, possibly the world! We had a big meeting and they sat me down and said, “right, what do you want to do?” I was like, “you are really going to give me that freedom?” and they were like, “yeah, but we can only shoot it so many times so be careful”.
So I said that the optics had to go, so I pick up The Queen Vic bust. The bust has to be picked up. I throw that at the optics and I work my way round the pub in one beautiful scene – almost like a dance in a way. I said, at the end of the day, I will keep smashing and smashing it until something really hurts me. Which is when I smash the picture frame, as Mick would need something to stop him in his tracks, so he realises what he is doing.
So we worked it out beautifully. I work my way round the pub. I felt sorry for a few of the extras that didn’t know I was coming as they just gave me the freedom, but I think most of them liked it! I had to do it three times and I did hurt my hand a little – I got a few bits of toffee glass in my hand – but it made me feel better as I wasn’t half-hearted about it. I thought that if I am going to smash this boozer up, I am going to really smash it up.
To see it, it’s a beautiful thing and I think it is thoroughly deserved for the character to do it. It is like he has suppressed this anger for years. And now everything he thought of as his has been taken away from him. So he just flies into a rage and the first thing he attacks is, of course, the Queen Victoria.
Why should people watch EastEnders this Christmas?
Well, I love that we’re on at 9pm and it’s a straight hour. So get all the presents out the way; if you’ve got visitors over, let ‘em sup on that Prosecco and get yourselves all slumped down on your settee for an hour of just brilliant television. Whether it makes you happy or sad, you will definitely be talking about it afterwards. You might be in shock for a couple of minutes but, believe me, it will be worth it.