Coronation Street's Zeedan Nazir will hit the bottle for the first time after Rana confesses to having an affair. After learning that Rana has been unfaithful, Zeedan lashes out and accuses Robert of sleeping with his wife, completely unaware that he should really be looking in Kate's direction. Here, actor Qasim Akhtar offers up his take on what Zee should do next now that his world has fallen apart...
Before Rana confesses, how does Zeedan feel that his and Rana’s relationship is going?
Zeedan has felt like it's been like any normal relationship - they’ve been getting on, nothing out of the ordinary. He has no suspicions at all.
What happens when Zeedan finds Rana crying?
Zeedan and Rana come in from Luke’s funeral so emotions are running high. Zeedan walks in and Rana is sat down, crying her eyes out on the sofa. Zeedan assumes it’s to do with Luke so he sits down to comfort her, telling her that they can all cry and be sad together. But Rana starts to talk about how much of a bad person she is, and he starts to say, “What are you talking about? What’s wrong?” It's then that she tells him she's in love with somebody else.
What is Zeedan’s reaction when she says those words?
Shock. And, if anything, he’s feeling disbelief - he doesn’t believe it at the beginning and he's trying to get his head around it. But Rana doesn’t tell him who it is.
Tell us what happens when Zeedan goes through Rana’s things...
Zeedan goes through Rana’s coat pockets and bag and finds this love note that has the Bistro post-it note logo on it, so he automatically assumes that it must be Robert. He flies in to the Bistro and gets in to a scrap with Robert. He wants to beat him up.
How does Zeedan feel when he suspects it is Robert who is having the affair with Rana?
He feels betrayed because this is someone who he's worked with closely in the kitchen for a long time. They've shared a lot of fun moments, a lot of good times and Robert is someone that Zeedan looks up to. He would never expect him to do something like this so, again, this is why Zeedan is so shocked.
How would Zeedan feel if he found out it was Kate?
He has no suspicions that it's a woman. It would be another blow to the chest and it would make things ten times worse!
Zeedan tries to drown his sorrows with a bottle of whiskey - has he ever drunk before?
No he's never had a drink before because it's against his religious beliefs. But he gets to this point where he feels like he's done the right thing his whole life and nothing seems to be working out for him. So he goes down the wrong path - like a lot of people would do in his shoes.
Is this a sign that Zeedan is at breaking point?
He’s been through so much in his life that some people could say that this will push him over the edge. But it might also could make him stronger.
What was your reaction when you read these storylines?
I was excited. It’s always good to get your teeth in to a big storyline and I've really enjoyed filming these scenes. The emotional scenes were tough because, to get myself in to that emotional state, I had to really put my thought into that and imagine that I was in that position. It was a good test of experience to be able to play that field - I’ve never done something like that before.
What advice would you give Zeedan?
Move on, brother! There’s plenty more fish in the sea! No, realistically I would say time is a healer and that everything takes time.
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