(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog October 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)
Millions of viewers were stunned tonight when Pat Phelan took his evil deeds to another level - forcing Andy Carver to shoot Vinny Ashford and then turning the gun on Andy, before dumping both their bodies in a lake as a deserted mill.
Now Pat Phelan has finally crossed the rubicon, actor Connor McIntyre talks about filming the chilling scenes and what is to come for Coronation Street’s resident villain.
We’ve finally seen Phelan murder someone, up until now we’ve only ever seen him watch people die. What made him cross over the rubicon this time?
Phelan has been promising the world to Andy but he is two, three steps ahead. The Vinny problem has evaporated and it was in that moment that Phelan realised how easy it is to solve a problem. As soon as he got the gun off Andy, he registered, ‘two birds, one stone.’ He saw that opportunity and he is the architect of his own downfall. And now Nicola’s gone, that was a catalyst as well, he’s really at a dangerous moment.
Did he always plan to kill Andy?
No. So dark and deep is this thing, the replacement plan presented an opportunity to get Phelan’s money back and solve Vinny once and for all because he has proved that he is a dangerous guy. Phelan bullied and cajoled Andy into killing him but in that moment Phelan saw an opportunity to solve a problem. Andy said, “I know you Pat, you’re not a murderer,” but Phelan said, “you don’t know me,” and he speaks for all of us. No, we don’t know you!
It’s interesting that Andy was the one to say that because Andy is probably the only one person who has seen all the shades of Phelan?
Correct. There are much darker waters here.
Now that he's murdered someone, is this the beginning of the end for Phelan?
No question, this is the pebble that starts the avalanche.
Will the Soap Gods get justice?
It must be so and we have just woken them up out of their slumber - ‘hey, this needs sorting out.’ But while we run up to that, whenever that is, Pat Phelan is now a very dangerous person. Now he’s crossed the rubicon whereas before he would go to great lengths, for example the cellar, complicating things. The journey towards his comeuppance will be very lively I’m sure, because now he has a direct root to solving problems.
Phelan said to Andy, after he killed him, that he had no choice because he (Andy) would never have been able to live with himself for killing Vinny. Do you think Phelan really believes that and felt that he was doing Andy a favour?
It’s the logic of a narcissist, psychopathic thinking, that actually he’s done him a favour. Although frighteningly, in terms of the writing, there is a certain logic to it and it will be very interesting to see how our viewers see it because I don’t think he was ever getting out of there, was he? So yes, those moments are all true for Pat Phelan.
When you came back into the show to play Phelan, did you ever imagine he would become so evil and such a classic Corrie villain?
No but I knew the quality of writers that we have here, even in that short stint at the beginning. For those three scenes he was a straight up and down dodgy character but he’s grown and the writers and Kate Oates have given him that latitude. ‘How far can we fold this guy, how many dimensions can we put on this guy?’ - What a lovely thing.
You’ve said before that sometimes you spot people in the street being quite scared of you and you like to go up to them and put people at ease, why?
First of all it disturbs me to see somebody genuinely frightened so I think anybody would do that. It’s worth pointing out that some are certainly not frightened! Some of them are quite the opposite, quite feisty they come.
In the coming weeks, Anna and other people are going to start to get more suspicious about Phelan - is anybody safe?
No. He never forgets, Vinny is a classic example. Remember the last scene in The Rovers, “best day ever,” now what does that mean…?! That’s where you see the danger.
What was it like filming those scenes in the paper factory? It felt very intense…
Fabulous, it was like a movie set. We are used to working in studios so everybody was really excited, there was a real atmosphere to what was going on. It was cold and wet but everybody was well up for it.
Were the three of you able to have a laugh and relax or did it remain very intense throughout?
These guys are professionals so we will stay in the mood as we need to. I don’t mind the intensity and Ian Kelsey doesn’t mind it either, Oli the same and we don’t often get a chance to do those scenes. I’d be worried if anybody wasn’t intense.
How much did the location help you, playing those scenes?
No question, it’s all about atmosphere. But when you are going in there, it charges the atmosphere. Just great.
Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter