Danny Miller‘s tears were real when he filmed his final Emmerdale scenes – because he’s going to miss his co-stars so much.
The award-winning actor joined the soap as tortured gay teen Aaron Livesy when he was 17 and feels like he grew up there. But seven years on he admits there is one thing he won’t miss — kissing men.
Danny said: “Romantic scenes are embarrassing, especially when you’re only 17, but you just have to get on with it. I didn’t have to kiss anyone for the first six months but then it was Victoria Sugden I kissed first. You just have to prepare yourself for it and forget people are watching.
“I won’t miss kissing blokes. I haven’t got a problem with it but I don’t think I’ll be reminiscing!”
But the storylines have had their plus points, Danny admitted, as they never made his real-life girlfriend — former Emmerdale star Kirsty-Leigh Porter — jealous. He said: “Kirsty has never got jealous because I’ve been kissing lads for three years. Though that could all change now. But because she’s an actress she’s understanding.”
But things could change when Kirsty hears who Danny’s dream leading lady is — and it isn’t her. He said: “It would be Angelina Jolie I think. It might be too weird working with Kirsty again!”
Fans of the soap will see Aaron’s last appearance on April 5th, and he says they were the most emotional scenes he has ever filmed. He told TV Biz: “On my final day it was very teary-eyed because the others set me off. It’s the realisation it’s the last scene you’re going to do there. The tears in the final scenes are real tears. You can’t hold it back. The realisation I was leaving just kicked in.
“I’ll miss everyone — there is not one bad person on Emmerdale‘s cast or crew. I’ll miss Kelvin Fletcher, who plays Andy Sugden, and Adam Thomas, who plays Adam Barton, a lot.”
Aaron’s storylines have touched upon violence, homophobia, euthanasia and even self-harm, so Danny took up running to cope with the stress. He said: “Aaron has had an emotional rollercoaster. I have to go running and burn off the emotion at the end of the day. You have to leave the building and leave the emotion there.
“Crying from Monday to Friday can get draining but you have to learn to leave it behind. You have to go and get rid of it by having a run.”
The hardest time on Emmerdale for Danny was when producer Gavin Blyth passed away in November 2010. He died in a matter of weeks after being diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer. Danny said: “Gavin’s death hit everyone very hard. It was such a shock.
“He got cancer then a month and a bit later he just died. He was like a father figure for me. I looked up to him and he helped me play the great storylines. He nurtured me. He was a very talented young man. He was there 24/7 for me.
“He stood by his word and he stood by me and said he’d support me and he did. We all miss him so much.”
Leaving Emmerdale was a tough decision for Danny, but now he wants to get into more dramas. He said: “It was hard leaving. I could have stayed there for ever but I want to branch out. I love Sherlock — I’m the biggest fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s unbelievable. Gritty roles like Dominic West’s as serial killer Fred West in Appropriate Adult would be a dream come true.”
Working on soaps is notoriously hard work and Danny is excited about the idea of spending more time on scenes and developing his acting. He said: “The likes of Pauline Quirke and people who’ve been in dramas — they come in and they don’t know how we do it, 16 scenes a day.
“You’ve got ten hours to do all those scenes. It’s a massive reality check. You don’t have six hours to spend on a scene. It annoys me when people are snobby about soaps. People come up to me and say, ‘I don’t watch it and its sh*t.’ It’s pretty disrespectful because that’s my job. It’s something we do day in, day out, week in week out, not like a film.”
Before Danny auditions for any new roles he plans to get his driving licence. He said: “It’s ironic. I play a mechanic but I’ve been too busy to learn to drive.”
But down whichever road his career takes him, Danny is thrilled to have been part of Emmerdale. He said: “The years have flown by. But they do say time flies when you’re having fun.”