Sunday, 19 October 2014

Interview with Sean Ward – Corrie newcomer Callum Logan

(This post was originally posted by Martin Leay on the Coronation Street Blog in September 2014.)

Move over Jez Quigley… do one Rick Neelan – there’s a new bad boy in town and his name is Callum Logan!

Callum - Kylie’s ex and the biological father of Max - will be making his on-screen debut this evening. I attended a round table event at ITV Southbank yesterday during which I was able to quiz actor Sean Ward on what we can expect from Corrie’s new baddie.

Fresh out of prison after a two year stretch for assault and having set up shop as a drug dealer (hence the “bit of business” he was conducting in Leeds on Wednesday night), Callum is a nasty piece of work. Sean Ward, on the other hand, is a top bloke who I suspect couldn’t be nasty if he tried. Here we are (a) doing bad boy poses and (b) in a more relaxed stance:

Sean is “very excited” to be joining Coronation Street and jokes that being a bad boy is “much better than the rom-com guy”. He describes Callum as a “bad lad” who deals drugs and has “never been around for Max”. However, he feels that Callum only really went off the rails when Kylie left, after which he “resorted to violence and ended up in prison”.

I asked if Callum is an out-and-out villain or whether there could be something of the “loveable rogue” about him. “That’s how I’ve tried to play him”, he says. Despite the fact “he’s got history, a bad past and a terrible job”, Sean sees Callum as a “flirty cheeky chappy” with “a little glint in his eye”. And deep down, he still cares for Kylie. I suspect there could be feelings that remain on her side too - first love and all of that.

Whether Kylie is searching for answers about Max’s condition or trying to score some stronger chemicals than ADHD tablets, she will be reunited with her ex tonight. According to Sean, Callum “definitely” wants Kylie back and would go “as far as he can” to get her. But if successful, whether or not he would keep her is another matter. “It’s all about the chase”, says Sean. Classic bad lad!

While David is right to be upset with Kylie for stealing Max’s pills, his grandstanding indignation is pushing her away – onto harder drugs and potentially into the arms of Callum.

Callum looks down on David, who he mockingly refers to as “the hairdresser”. But as hard as Callum might be, it takes a brave man to get on the wrong side of David Platt. And besides – Platty must be a Senior Stylist by now. “We all know David’s done some crazy things”, laughs Sean who believes it would be a great match between them and would “love to be the guy” who gives David a slap.

Going by the preview clip for tonight’s first episode (which is all that Sean has seen of himself so far), Callum’s early scenes will take place inside the Dog and Gun pub, the name of which is appropriately menacing. These scenes were filmed on location in Wythenshawe, traditionally one of Manchester’s less salubrious districts. The clip can be viewed below:

Callum will initially inhabit a world outside of The Street, away from the rest of the cast. “I don’t actually feel like I’m on Coronation Street yet as I’ve not hit Weatherfield”, says Sean. However, Callum is likely to “cause a bit of trouble on the cobbles” soon enough.

Callum can’t believe that Kylie has settled for a quiet life in cushy Weatherfield and will want to find out more about the world she now lives in. Even though it might be what she deserves, he will try to convince her that it is not what she wants.

Max may be the reason Kylie gives for seeking Callum out but she soon “falls back into her old kind of life and is able to forget all the stress”. So it’s not really about Max then, as Kylie claimed to Eva when setting off for the Paul Robeson Estate on Wednesday evening.

According to Sean, it is the drugs that have brought Kylie back to Callum “but he thinks she’s coming back for him”. With the lines blurred, he will use the drugs to “keep her around”. It seems difficult to empathise with a character that doles out wraps of speed to someone he is supposed to care about.

That said; Callum could yet redeem himself as a father to Max. “I’d love to turn Max into a little Callum”, says Sean – “get rid of that floppy hair, get the top button all the way up - the pair of us could go bowling down the cobbles”. If Kylie and Callum sound like a recipe for disaster, Sean points out that “the fact Max would have both parents in his life” is one good thing that could come out of their renewed contact.

It must be daunting to come into a show as big as Coronation Street but also to step into the lives of one its most established families. “Kylie is such a loved character”, says Sean, “so that’s where I’m scared because I’m leading her down an even worse path”.

Sean has “no idea what the plan is yet with Callum” but there could be scope for him to stay on in Weatherfield. But not as “a full time drug dealer”, says Sean. Not with the strict anti-drugs policy at The Rovers (there is a sign behind the bar), made even stricter following that unsavoury business with Ryan Connor.

Corrie’s Publicity Manager notes that the reaction at ITV has been very good so far and Logan’s run has been extended to 20 episodes. We’ll be seeing a fair bit of Callum in the coming weeks then.

While he has been acting for years (he starred in the David Thewlis film “Cheeky” at the age of 12 and the excellent adaptation of “Awaydays”, not to mention the current BBC1 drama “Our Girl” with Lacey Turner), Sean can expect more notoriety as his Corrie scenes go out.

Until fairly recently, between acting jobs he worked in the Manchester bar, “Almost Famous”. By coincidence, I was there last week and when I describe the amazing double cheeseburger with pulled pork that I ate there, he quickly identifies it as the “Triple Nom”. I wonder if any of the “real journalists” present at the round table will report this key fact!

Sean quips that getting the part in Corrie made him “nearly famous”. He enjoys talking to people and hopes that being in Corrie will simply mean he’ll “be able to say hello to more people.” Just so long as he doesn’t get handbagged or, worse still, “battered in Tesco!”

He is enjoying working with Paula Lane who he describes as “a Goddess” for showing him the ropes on set. If he could choose his ideal scene when Callum does eventually tread the Cobbles, Sean would “love to go and have a bacon butty with Roy”. Who wouldn’t?!!

Corrie has a rich history of bad lads and Sean’s favourite in recent years has been Rob. It could be said that Marc Baylis is passing the baton on and who knows, maybe Callum will be up for Best Bad Boy when the next awards season rolls round? Let’s wait and see.

It was great to meet Sean Ward yesterday and I look forward to seeing the sparks fly between Kylie and Callum over the next few weeks; and exactly what this will mean for the residents of No 8 Coronation Street.

By Martin Leay
Twitter: @mpleay

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