His Emmerdale character Jackson Walsh is currently in hospital after a car crash, but Marc Silcock is thrilled about the challenge that the role has brought him. Here, the actor reveals which other village resident he almost played, confesses which musical star he’d like to have as his love interest – and tells us about his famous friends…
You played Eli in Hollyoaks – are you still in touch with any of your former cast mates?
I sometimes see Nico Mirallegro, who played Newt – we share friends in Danny Miller and Adam Thomas. James Sutton is obviously in Emmerdale now, and we were friends at Hollyoaks, too [when James played John Paul McQueen]. We all bump into each other and it’s like we were never apart.
Are you like Jackson in real life?
I’m as sarcastic as Jackson is – probably even more so! It’s definitely a help in dealing with being an actor. If you take everything too seriously, then you’ll end up going absolutely crazy. It’s nice to have a laugh and a joke.
Which of your co-stars would you say is least like their character in the show?
James Hooton. He’s extremely articulate and funny, and the total opposite of Sam. Out of everyone in the cast, he’d be the only one who probably wouldn’t be recognised in real life. He’s nothing like how he is on screen – either physically or verbally – and it’s amazing to watch him knowing what he’s like in reality.
Have you received any anti-gay comments since you stared playing Jackson?
Everybody has been brilliant. On the whole, viewers see Aaron and Jackson’s partnership as a relationship, not a homosexual relationship. But there is the odd negative person, and of course that’s difficult. It annoys me when I get unpleasant comments in the street, because if I wasn’t playing this character and I went over to someone and spoke that way, I’d end up getting knocked out. Luckily, those kinds of remarks are few and far between.
You have a girlfriend, Amy. How long have you both been together for?
We’ve been together for four months, and she’s absolutely fantastic. If I’ve had a bad day, she calms me down and we soon get back to having a laugh. She’s great and I’m so glad I found her. She’s not an actress, which is nice because we have two different stories to tell about our day.
What’s the biggest shock you’ve had so far this year while in the show?
I’d say being asked to stay in Emmerdale! Our producer, Gavin [Blyth], took me up to his office and asked if it was okay to keep me on. I’d expected to come in, help with the storyline and then go – so that was the biggest shock.
Who would you pick to play a future love interest for you?
I’d probably have to go with Alicia Keys – she’s just gorgeous, isn’t she? I think she’s got a beautiful voice, she’s really musical and she’s absolutely stunning. If she’s feeling up for it, she can serenade me whenever she wants!
What’s the most motherly thing Pauline Quirke [Hazel] has done for you?
The first day we met, she looked at me and went ‘Son!’, and I said ‘Mum!’, and we ran into each other’s arms and had a great big hug. That’s the most motherly thing she’s done. It was amazing and a real laugh.
On average, do you get more fan mail from boys or from girls?
It’s pretty much half and half. I get letters from men wanting autographed pictures and to discuss the storyline, but I hear from girls too. It’s great to get post from female viewers because you know your appealing to both sides. I haven’t received anything weird yet!
Have you auditioned for a role in soaps apart from Emmerdale and Hollyoaks?
Probably too many to mention! I auditioned for Darryl Morton in Corrie and I went for the part of Nige Foster in Hollyoaks before getting the role of Eli. I’d also auditioned at Emmerdale for the role of Pearl’s grandson, and played Bob’s son for four episodes in 2006. You’ve got to go for 20 to 30 auditions before you get a part.
What would people be most surprised to know about you?
I used to be a school swimming champion and won quite a few galas and titles, too. I’m also a black belt in kick-boxing, but had an accident where I broke my shoulder. I sort of dislocated it, so I had to stop swimming because of that.
Scan source: Danny Miller Fans