Emmerdale star Marc Silcock has admitted that he was concerned when he found out about his character’s current plot.
Viewers will see Silcock’s character Jackson Walsh find out that he is paralysed from the neck down following last month’s devastating crash.
“I did have worries,” he told the Daily Record. “My first reaction was how am I going to be able to do it?
“Of course it’s difficult, being an able-bodied person, to be lying on a bed 12 to 14 hours every day. Especially as an actor, as 90% of communication is body language – but I haven’t got any of that. It’s just my face and words.”
He continued: “It’s hard to try [to] cry and laugh in a scene because you are constantly thinking, ‘How would this work? Would that part of my body move or not?’. I am constantly asking the people filming it to play the scenes back to make sure I haven’t moved.
“If I did twitch it felt like a thousand volts – but it would just be me moving my little finger half a millimetre. But I want to make it perfect. I want people to believe what’s going on.”
Silcock has two nurses on set who advise him and he also spent time in a spinal injury unit where he met a man with similar injuries.
He confessed that he wanted to portray Jackson’s injuries as well as possible for real-life sufferers.
“It was a big worry for me because there are viewers who are disabled and I didn’t want to cheat,” he said. “I wanted to do it right. I wanted people to believe Jack is paralysed. I had no idea what thoughts go through your head and what your family must go though so it was fantastic to speak to someone about it to understand the horror that this is not going to change.
“I want to make it as real as possible because for people in those situations, the last thing I’d want to do is to cheat them out of the stress of what they are really going through.”
Silcock revealed that he has now been filming scenes leading up to Christmas which see Jackson in a wheelchair.
He added: “To have the trust from Gavin Blyth is amazing. It has spurred me on to make it as believable as possible.
“We are already talking about how Jackson’s appearance will change – his hair, his legs. We will make the changes as real as possible.”