Fans of Nick’s relationship with Carla should brace themselves for emotional trauma – actor Ben Price says that there’s nothing but heartache on the horizon for his Corrie character.
“The storyline is brewing up for a huge denouement and it’s really sad. Nick will be broken by what’s happened and what’s happening to himself. It’s a tough pill for him,” the star tells RadioTimes.com.
Recent episodes of Coronation Street have seen Nick’s anger issues return, leaving him fearful that he’ll never be free of the brain injuries caused by a van crash three years ago. And viewers have been left on tenterhooks, wondering how Nick would react should the truth emerge about bride-to-be Carla’s one-night-stand with chef Robert Preston.
The plotline looks set to build to a climax in the coming months as actress Alison King films her final scenes as Carla. And Price admits that his co-star’s exit is sure to be emotional:
“I’m all for people moving on, but it is a shame that our characters didn’t get together earlier. It is bittersweet and, like with the final Roy and Hayley episodes, the scenes that Ali and I get to share start to mean slightly more because you know that this is the end.
“There will be no more Carla and Nick. This is where it ends for them. And Nick will end up a very different man. But the show has to move beyond their relationship and Nick has to move on too.”
Viewers have already witnessed Carla go to increasingly desperate lengths to keep news of her infidelity from reaching her fiance’s ears, but Price believes that Nick would have understood the situation should she have chosen to unburden herself.
“He would have been completely forgiving. Nick is no spring chicken. And when you get a bit older, you see the grey in life. He slept with his brother’s wife, after all!
“And the Platts understand that not everyone is perfect and that you go through really bad things. But, my god, they stick in. When the Platts are together, they move as one. No matter how bad things get, they’ll be round in five minutes and talking about it on the sofa. But Carla has been on her own all this time and she’s not used to that.”
But perhaps Carla has missed her window of opportunity? Nick’s temper has been on the rise of late with Monday’s double bill having seen him lose control with Bethany’s bullies and be accused of assault as a result. Yet despite the on-screen tensions, Price is of the belief that Nick’s brain injury – and that resulting unpredictability – has been the making of his character:
“It definitely has. Before the brain injury, people always thought of Nick as being a bit of a goodie goodie. But now, as long as Nick’s around, it will always come back. I think it taints him a lot now – even the way he reacts to the most innocuous things. And it’s given me more chances as an actor.
“It’s great to get angry. In that scene with Bethany’s bullies, I told those young kids that when I go for it, it will be quite severe. I saved it for the take, rather than doing it in rehearsal, and I could see this girl physically recoiling and the crew thinking that I’m an absolute lunatic.
“Afterwards, she said to me that she didn’t think it would be like that. So I had to explain that he’s got no off button. You wind him up and he goes. And when I go, I really go.”
Price, this year nominated for Best Actor at the British Soap Awards, has now been a mainstay on Corrie since 2009, managing to combine his role as Nick with outside film projects I’m Sorry to Tell You and Taubman (read more on that movie here), which he wrote and directed.
“I have another outlet. I don’t just have to be Nick and it gives me a different perspective,” he says of the two shorts, which were made in collaboration with Corrie crew and fellow actors like Jack P Shepherd and Ian Puleston-Davies. “They’re real collaborations and every person who works on them gets a buzz.”
And yet despite him beginning work on a third project, he has no intention of calling time on Corrie.
“What keeps you there are the stories. If I didn’t have the stories, it wouldn’t be the place for me. Plus there are all the great relationships I’ve formed: with Jack P Shepherd, Jane Danson, Ali King, all the Platts.
“We make stuff that people react to. And the show has to be kept alive for the actors and audience – you need to constantly be challenging yourself and asking whether you’re doing enough in scenes. And the joy now is that I also get to make films on the side.”
Vote for Ben Price at the British Soap Awards here.
Watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.