In his first visit to a gay venue since his TV character Aaron Livesy came out, Danny Miller paid a visit to the Gorgeous Club in Wolverhampton where he gave Midlands Zone an exclusive insight into his life on and off set.
How do you think the gay storyline on Emmerdale has gone so far?
I think it’s gone well, we’ve had some good feedback from it.
Can we expect you and Adam to be getting very close together?
Unfortunately not. The idea of two gay characters in a soap just happening to be gay is a bit set up really. So they’ve brought a new character in called Jackson who’s gay. He starts doing some building work around Emmerdale village and they basically start to grow fonder of each other more and more really. So no, Aaron and Adam aren’t going to be getting together anytime soon, but there is Jackson and Aaron, so we will see where that goes.
Have you had your first gay kiss yet?
I’ve done two now. I did one that’s been on screen already, and i’ve just done one a couple of weeks ago which is about to be on screen in a few weeks.
The recent court scene saw Aaron getting very emotional. It must have been very difficult to play that part?
Yes, it was but you start of sort to get in the flow of things when you think of bad thoughts of things that have happened in the past and you start thinking of whose died in the past that you know and if you give yourself just 10-15 minutes of just thinking those thoughts then the tears just start to flow. It’s been great to portray that story because i’m sure there are millions of people out there in the UK that have dealt with it and it’s been great to show other people, including homophobic people, that it’s not actually that bad. It’s just part of your sexuality, it’s part of being a human being.
Your character has been very true to a lot of people’s feelings.
Yes, we tried to base it on as true a story as we could really and try and base it on what people have been through before with sexual confusion and trying to battle with their sexuality – are they gay or are they not, and if they are battling with the fact that they dont want to be. And we tried as hard as we could to base it on real life.
There haven’t been many gay stereotypes in it.
Yes, we didn’t want to make him gay and then make him all sort of camp and wear pink and stuff like some people would observe a stereotypical gay man. And we wanted to make him as much of a real person as we could, keeping the same character, but the fact that he is gay is just part of him really.
Is being a straight man quite difficult playing a gay character?
Well, it has and it hasn’t. I’m quite comfortable with my sexuality. Kissing another man is an experience as far as I see it. I’ve enjoyed it 100% and I wouldn’t change anything.
As a straight man was it difficult having to perform your first on-screen gay kiss?
It was difficult but it was an experience that I knew was definately going to come. It was always going to happen because obviously playing a gay part your always going to have to kiss another man. It’s an experience that as a straight man, without offence, you know it’s something I wouldn’t want to constantly revisit. But it’s given me an insight into gay men in general. I can understand why gay men get offended by homophobic comments and I think it has given me an opinion on their side – the gay men’s side. And it’s really made me think that homophobia is a very, very, very evil thing to create really.
Have you been subjected to any homophobic abuse as a result of playing Aaron?
Yes, unfortunately people can’t seperate soap life from real life and they do shout homophobic comments to you and I think as a straight person it’s very upsetting to feel that. Obviously, being straight it doesn’t affect me in the slightest. They say ‘oy gay-boy’ or ‘oy you poof’ or whatever and it’s like it’s alright mate. It doesn’t offend me but it’s given me a massive insight to how gay men would deal with that in the first place. I think it’s very upsetting to think that they would have to go through that because it’s nobody else’s business. If you are gay, that’s your issue and that’s your sexuality. So why should anyone else be bothered. It’s none of their business and I think it’s given me a very educational point towards it.
You were nominated for Best Actor at the British Soap Awards. Are you disappointed that you didn’t win?
Well yeah, your always going to be disappointed if you dont win an award but I think it’s made me more determined this year to strive to go on a little bit stronger and try a little bit harder. Hopefully next year we might get something, but I wouldn’t say I was gutted.
Is this your first appearance at a gay venue?
Yes, my first gay appearence since the gay line’s come out in the storyline.
There are a lot of people in the gay community that would have you at the top of the list as a gay icon.
That’s very nice of them, well maybe, maybe not. It’s nice that people think of you like that.
Your back in the Midlands later in the year to open Telford Pride?
Yes. I’m looking forward to it because it’s always nice to get out there and appreciate the following that you’ve got and show people that you are bothered about what your doing and it’s not just a storyline, it’s not just a job, it’s the fact that you care about it and you’re happy to do it. So i’m looking forward to doing it because it’s kind of my payback to say thankyou very much.