There’s a new face in Hollyoaks as Sinead Shelby (Stephanie Davis) is reunited with estranged husband Laurie (Kyle Pryor) in Wednesday 7 November’s E4 episode – much to the surprise of everyone in the village who had no idea she was even married.
Recently returning to the village after three years away, Sinead has been cagey about what she’s been up to. But when daughter Hannah arrives for a visit, the loudmouth Liverpudlian lass is stunned to see her spouse has followed her home – so why hasn’t she mentioned Laurie thus far?
Hollyoaks have cast former Home and Away star Kyle Pryor, who for four years until 2017 was best known as Summer Bay’s Dr Nate Cooper, to play the newcomer, marking a return for the British-born actor to his native UK. RadioTimes.com spoke to Pryor about joining the Channel 4 soap, and the impact Laurie is set to make on the village.
How would you describe your character?
He’s complex. I don’t want to give too much away but he’s got a lot of secrets. Laurie makes himself at home in Hollyoaks pretty quickly and gets acquainted with the locals, he doesn’t want to alienate anyone but he likes to be master of his own domain.
What can you tell us about his history with Sinead?
They had a whirlwind romance in the time she was away and got married quite early on in their relationship. Their dynamic is based on fun and excitement, it’s very impassioned. They are really into each other and Laurie does genuinely love her.
Is he as volatile and impulsive as his wife?
He appreciates those qualities in her but he’s very different. Laurie is a professional, career-minded guy but he he likes the excitement of their dynamic. One of the major things drawing him to Sinead is that she wears her heart on her sleeve and you never know what you’re going to get. Laurie is a bit more reserved and doesn’t give as much away.
It’s been teased he has some skeletons in the closet, why does he seek legal advice from Sami Maalik next week?
There has been a false accusation of sorts made against him. Even though Laurie comes to Hollyoaks in pursuit of Sinead, he also sees being there as an opportunity to escape some negative stuff that’s following him around. It’s a fresh start for him in that sense.
Is that why Sinead walked out on him?
There was some drama surrounding the issue Laurie is trying to get away from, it’s connected and is partly the reason Sinead came back to the village. She had some other reasons, but he is unaware why she took off and has tracked her down.
What happens in their first scene together?
It’s volatile! Their reunion is very touch and go, you don’t know whether its going to be the end for them or not. There are fireworks from the beginning for sure.
Was it a hard decision to relocate back to the UK from Australia for this role?
I’m quite selective in what roles I take, and this was a challenging one which made it very attractive. Hollyoaks is as a show that is moving in a positive direction, they are quite ambitious with their stories and how they approach them. Once I got the part a big decision had to be made, but I had planned to come back to UK briefly to meet with casting agents, then return to Sydney, but this was an offer I couldn’t refuse!
What’s it like living and working here again?
I’ve had to readjust to the climate! Being overseas for 12 years you get used to a certain lifestyle and I love surfing. But I did make a trip to north Wales near where Hollyoaks is filmed in Liverpool to check out the beaches. Compared to Summer Bay the conditions were windier, colder and wetter, but I found a really cool spot and I’m going to give surfing a try there. But I might need a very thick wetsuit and earmuffs, very different to Dr Nate on the beach in the Bay!
How does working on Hollyoaks compare to making Home and Away?
Home and Away is multi-camera and this show is generally single camera, so there are more units working all at once. The volume of scenes you get through on Home and Away is higher, my record was around 24 scenes in two days! Even though scenes take longer to shoot on Hollyoaks I quite like it as it gives the actors more room to explore the scenes, some time to breathe in between and make some different choices. Sometimes with Home and Away it was quickfire stuff.
Are you enjoying working with Stephanie Davis as your on-screen wife?
She’s fantastic. Meeting her from a neutral perspective I feel that everything she’s experienced and come through has made her a much stronger person. She’s very open and available, and gives 110% on set. It’s a pleasure to work with someone so upbeat, positive and enthusiastic, she wants to create great scenes and a great dynamic. It’s been great and really works.
Which other cast members have you interacted with?
Tony and Diane are my on-screen in-laws and it’s fantastic to work with Nick Pickard and Alex Fletcher, they are pros and extremely experienced. I’ve also had some good scenes with Anna Passey who plays Sienna. I’ve heard her character used to be a lot darker so I’m getting the nicer version of Sienna!
What job is Laurie going to do?
He’s a teacher and is very passionate about it, being in that profession is a big part of who he is. He will end up being employed at Hollyoaks High.
Finally, how would you sum up the impact of Laurie’s arrival in three words?
Tumultuous, fiery and suspicious…
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