Earlier this week I got to meet, Verity Rushworth (Donna Windsor-Dingle), Michael Parr (Ross Barton), Danny Miller (Aaron Livesy) and Adam Thomas (Adam Barton), who are at the centre of one of Emmerdale’s biggest storylines this year. The show airs two of the most dramatic episodes of the year tonight (Thursday 14th August), as Donna Windsor (Verity Rushworth) leaves the soap and Aaron Livesy (Danny Miller) makes his return. In the third of four interviews, I had a chat with Danny Miller who plays Aaron, to discuss his eventful return to the soap.
After having the pleasure of attending a press screening of tonights episodes, alongside yourself and the rest of the cast. Was it weird watching yourself on a cinema screen?
I never thought I would see myself on the big screen. Yeah, it was, it was nice to see it but weird because it is the first time I have seen myself back in Emmerdale. It kind of felt weird but really natural and just like watching an old episode which is really great for me.
What is the biggest thing that has changed in your time away from the show?
The actual saying of "the show must go on", you leave but it is not the end of the world. It is the people that carry on the job and the mechanics of keeping the show going. So the only thing that has changed for me is the faces. There is a couple of new artists in and a couple of old faces. For me, it is all the faces that have changed and that is nice, you know you get to come in and it is refreshing- their are new faces and eagerness there. People want to make their mark on the show, it is great to see.
Has Aaron changed at all?
You can’t really change somebody, somebody can mature but like the foundations of their personality are the same and the fact is, when he’s one to one he’s more of a emotional person. He puts on a massive front to people, like the regulars at the Woolpack. When you get down to it, the gritty stuff and get to know Aaron more, you can sort of tell he’s that emotional person. Unfortunately he is that person that sort of feels raw emotions, he would punch somebody rather than cry. But now he is sort of growing up a little bit, you’ll probably see him mature that little bit, but obviously, like I said, you know, that side will always remain. Unfortunately a lot of bad stuff has happened to him.
Is Aaron going to go easier on Chas this time?
Off-screen Chas has been to France to see Aaron and that has been somewhere they’ve sort of had chats. I think you can imagine them sat there in his nice house whist having a glass of wine with his Mum, having a catch up with her. He’s opened up to her and she has done the same. So you’ll see him mature a bit, obviously he’s still that person that doesn’t like too much petting in public. When they’re there he will give her a hug and something he never used to do. He is not as angry or as snappy at her anymore because he understands what she went through was a lot harder than what he could have imagined. You know, like having to do it all on her own and he just blamed her fully but he’s a bit more mature now that he’s seen a bit more of the world. Don’t get me wrong, he will still have a go at her, or tell her to shut up, that is the person he is. He has got a lot more of an emotional connection to her now.
What’s it been like sharing the screen with Dominic Brunt (Paddy) again?
It is great! Both Aaron and Paddy have got such a presence on screen. It is commendable because it is so consistent over the years. Dominic in particular with a lot of stuff we did with Aaron coming out was really my sort of mentor for the trick of the trade. He would tell me where I was going wrong in ways and what’s not good to be doing at this point. He was such an inspiration, for me to push my career onwards. I kept in touch with him anyway, and went out with him on regular occasions and stuff but for me to work back on set with him was an emotional moment. There is sort of a minute where he doesn’t want to see Paddy because has come back to sort Adam out and then to bugger off again, and then he’s not coming back. He doesn’t want to see Paddy, he’s the only person he doesn’t want to see him and to say goodbye again. That said, eventually Paddy works out that something is going on and he goes up to see him. Then there is at the end of that moment a sort of, I mean, it wasn't even really rehearsed we just did a sort of block through it, and then went for a take on it and it was kind of - he walked opened the door and brought back that many memories that we both went, ‘Wow!’. It was emotional, and it was supposed to be written like that but we didn’t have to say anything, we just cuddled and it was an emotional scene. It bought back a lot of good memories for me, and that is why it got me a bit choked up. There wasn’t any acting required.
As Aaron's relationship with Ed has broken up, Finn Barton seems to be a obvious love interest for Aaron, do they become romantically involved?
No, I have just been saying, you know, that would be a matter of convenience because of the fact that they are both gay. The fact is they are both two completely different people. Finn is about roundabout person, he is a geek and he loves his technology. He loves the internet and that kind of stuff. Aaron couldn’t think of anything worst, he would rather finish work and have a pint, and that’s it. So the two are completely different people. That is not saying that they won’t physically meet and say, ‘I am gay’, ‘you are gay’. As far as relationships go there is nothing that is going to happen as far as I am concerned. I do speak on behalf of the storylines as well, one of the things Emmerdale is great at is the controversial stuff. You know, thinking outside of the box. It would just be too convenient to put them together because they are gay. So there wouldn’t be a relationship in there. It is not to say they won’t enjoy each other’s company.
How will Adam react to Aaron returning?
When things get more serious and questions that need to be answered, are going to become answered, you’ll see the real appreciation. Obviously at the minute, as far as Adam is concerned, Aaron has just messed up his fifty grand from the job. That was his money, but Aaron needs to show just because you are in trouble doesn’t mean you have to fly off as you see in the episode, it doesn’t work out for him. He’s coming back to stop him doing the same thing so he will appreciate it.
Is Aaron back for the long-term?
I mean, yeah, in the long run as it might be. As far as I can see as long as they want me, I guess. Directing and things like that have always been an interest – it would be nice to maybe explore that next in the next ten to twenty years. It would be nice to be exploring that part of television.
What sets Aaron apart from the other bad boys on 'Emmerdale’?
I think it is his maturity and that he knows he can look after himself. He knows he can throw a punch and give it the gift of the gab. He isn’t that person anymore. He doesn’t have to feel like he has to prove himself by punching someone in the Woolpack all the time like he used to. What’s nice is that you can see that emotional side to him. The good side to him, the really nice side to him. When he goes, he goes. I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s the bad boy. In my eyes, a bad boy would be someone like Ross. He goes around for a reaction and gets the reaction. He’s just a cold nasty person.
Is he going to help Belle at all?
I haven’t spoke to the producer about this yet. I don’t know what Aaron’s journey is yet. As far as I know there is nothing with Belle obviously she has a lot of unfinished business with Zack and Lisa. How she changes from being in prison to being in normal life, I think that will be the priority for Zack and Lisa. It will be nice to have some scenes with Eden. I would love to do a little scene with her.
Is Aaron going to having a showdown with Ross?
Yeah, there is a little one because obviously he blames Aaron in a roundabout way, someone needs blaming. So, he blames Aaron and Aaron is not going to apologise or keep his mouth shut, he is going to bite back or say something back. They have a little coming together. I think Ross thinks it will be a little straight forward than it is actually is. Obviously he still has that hate for him. It will unfold with other stuff that happens with him.
'Emmerdale' airs at 7pm and 8pm on itv tonight. Stay tuned to Rage today for the rest of the interviews with the stars taking centre stage tonight.
Read my interview with Michael Parr, aka Ross Barton here.
Read my interview with Adam Thomas, aka Adam Barton here.
Read my interview with Verity Rushworth, aka Donna Windsor here.