Coronation Street heart-throb Adam Barlow (Sam Robertson) is turning out to be a real chip off the old block, becoming more like his late father Mike Baldwin the older he gets, and there’s a good reason why – the actor has been studying his on-screen parent in old episodes of the soap for inspiration.
Robertson has confessed to watching ITV3’s Classic Coronation Street repeats, currently airing instalments from the early 1990s, and observing iconic factory boss Mike – played by Johnny Briggs between 1976 and 2006 – in his prime to inform his performance as the ladies’ lingerie mogul’s son and heir.
“It’s great watching those classic Corries because I’m seeing Mike doing his thing at the same time as I’m playing Adam,” he told RadioTimes.com, “and I’m trying to find that balance where he’s very confident and a bit smooth, but also show his fragility.
“At the moment ITV3 are showing Mike losing the factory and having to run the business from his front room. Alma is helping him out financially and he’s really low – there’s more fragility to Mike than what you remember. You kind of forget that, you imagine him as the cigar-smoking wheeler dealer, always with a flash car and a pretty girl.
“But I think there was more depth to him, and I’m lucky they’re bringing that in with Adam now. Adam used to be very cocky but he’s very up and down. He’s had periods of real self-doubt, and seeing Mike all those years ago has definitely impacted on how I’m playing it – not being afraid to show his fragile side or push the arrogance. Just finding that nice balance for the character.”
Robertson also noted current Corrie boss Iain MacLeod has given Adam a rival in the shape of bad boy builder Gary Windass to mirror the feud between Adam’s dad Mike and arch-enemy Ken Barlow from back in the day – with Sarah Platt playing a modern-day Deirdre as the object of desire caught in the middle…
“The reality of that is Gary is much more sinister than Ken ever was,” he explains. “I asked Iain if that gives me license to be more sinister than Mike Baldwin – and he just raised his eyebrows! Maybe we’ll end up shooting each other like in Reservoir Dogs, who knows?!”
Being the offspring of one of the soap’s most famous characters makes Adam Weatherfield royalty, and Robertson is relishing being at the centre of the action as the ladies’ man lawyer waits for to catch out killer Gary as the net closes in leading to his confession to causing the factory collapse on Friday 19th July.
“The producers have given me great material and I feel like I’ve got my teeth into it. Going forward, the scope for this character is endless because of all the history, there are so many ways you can go. I’m keen to stay – wedding bells, babies, I’m up for it!”