Well, the big Coronation Street live episode cliffhanger has aired – menacing Callum Logan is dead after being hit over the head with a wrench wielded by Kylie.
Callum – who had been trying to blackmail the Platts for £20,000 – met his maker tonight when Kylie whacked him just as he was attacking Sarah.
Kylie and David then hid Callum’s body in the garage manhole, saddling the family with a sinister secret in the process. But how does actor Sean Ward feel about his character being sacrificed in such a fashion? Did he want to leave the ITV soap? And what does he want to do next now that Callum is six feet under?
So Sean – how did you react when you found out that Callum was going to get killed?
I got called up to a meeting with Stuart Blackburn, the producer. I thought I was in trouble! Then as soon as I walked into the room, Stuart looked at me and said, “I’m going to tell you straight away I’m going to kill him!” I was excited. Initially I didn’t feel that upset.
Just before the meeting, I had started to think that they were maybe going to try and turn Callum good, and I really didn’t want that because he’s not got it in him to be good! So I knew that realistically if he continued being as bad as he was at the time, then eventually he would have to go. I was realistic about it. That excites me as an actor, and it’s important to stay true to the character.
And how did you feel about in the run-up to the live and now that it’s aired?
It’s bittersweet. I’m going to be gutted to leave Corrie, but at the same time it’s completely right for the character and, as an actor, that’s the goal. That’s what makes me happy.
You say you didn’t want them to turn Callum into a good guy – why was that?
I loved playing Callum the way he was. He was really bad. He could have found purpose through Max and become a good father, but I think he would have really struggled to get out of the path that he was on. As an actor, I like to keep the character steeped in reality and I don’t believe he could have had a huge transformation from the man he was. And I don’t think he cared about Max or the Platts enough for them to make that change in him happen.
Do you think viewers will be shocked by this twist?
I hope it was a big shock, I really do. You want viewers to have a reaction to it, so I hope they were shocked and that it was unexpected. Some people might be gutted to see the end of him, but some might be glad to see the back of him and both are positive reactions to the character. It means he’s made a mark. It’s exciting for everyone involved, so we’ve all been excited and nervous about how everyone will react on the night.
How did it feel being so central to the show for the year you were on it?
I never ever expected it. It’s been the craziest year of my life and also the best year of my life…I’ve learnt the most I’ve ever learnt and I’ve had to grow up a lot. I’ve waited a long time for this so in a way I was ready for it, but in the same breath, nothing can prepare you for being on Coronation Street and for playing the bad boy. To then be part of the live and go out in this way feels like I’m a part of making history, which is amazing and such an honour.
Were you worried about doing the fight scenes during a live episode?
Definitely, but we had a fight arranger to help us called Kate Waters, who was phenomenal. We all sat down and chatted about how we wanted it to look and we were all on the same page. We wanted it to look messy and quite animalistic. Even though it had to be choreographed, it was choreographed mess and we wanted to keep that element.
Even though I knew I might have only had two steps to do a certain move for example, I wanted it to look like a proper scrap – a fight for life, which is what it was. We did Coronation Street’s first ever bite. It was a slap originally, but we changed it to a bite. It was more realistic It was Sarah’s sheer desperation to get away from Callum, it was feral and desperate. Sarah just wanted to get away from him and biting him was something she did in that moment of sheer panic.
It was amazing to do as an actor, but as a human it was quite scary…I’ve been brought up by two women - my mum and my sister, so to then have to act this out – practically beating another woman up – goes against my nature. But it’s exactly what Callum would do and it was so important to make it look realistic.
And then you had to play dead – how was that?
So much fun! At the point where Callum is killed, his adrenaline and therefore my adrenaline was so high. He is at his angriest point, so to then go from that to playing dead in the click of a finger was somewhat difficult! It was the biggest challenge. But then it goes to ad break, which gives me a couple of minutes to calm down, so I told everyone in that time not to talk to me or move me. I needed to stay quiet!
How hard was it to keep your exit a secret?
For me it was quite easy. I didn’t tell anyone apart from my immediate family. Even though I had known a while that I would be leaving, I decided not to audition for other parts whilst still here as I didn’t want to be seen. I didn’t want to risk anybody knowing that I was leaving in case this led to people guessing Callum’s fate! It also means I can now go into auditions as me, as a blank canvas, without Callum still knocking around!
So, talk us about your feelings as you were gearing up for the live?
I told myself that it wasn’t going to be live and that it wasn’t happening. Then I told myself that once we started the actual live, I would treat it as just another rehearsal. I completely compartmentalised the whole thing.
Can you sum up your Corrie experience in a couple of words?
Utterly life changing. Educational, inspirational…and menacing!
What kind of role would you like to play next?
I’d love to play someone who’s worlds apart from Callum. I would love to be seen as a born and bred Manchester character actor. I wouldn’t be afraid to play anything that’s thrown at me. I’d do dramas, films, independent films…I’d even love to try theatre…now I’ve done the live.
And do you have any final words now that Callum has breathed his last?
Yes, I’d like to say thank you so much to Coronation Street for the opportunity they’ve given me to play Callum for this past year, and also thank you to ITV for allowing me to be part of their 60th birthday. ITV gave me my very first TV job years ago, Ireland at War, so it’s been amazing to work for them again on such a massive show.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.
And visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.