Emmerdale viewers will soon be seeing the arrival of a new face in the village, as vicar Charles Anderson (Kevin Mathurin)’s mum Claudette (Flo Wilson) unexpectedly makes an appearance – and she’s planning on staying.
As Claudette very quickly proves she’s a force to be reckoned with – ‘overpowering’ is the word that Kevin Mathurin uses to describe her – we’ll also start to uncover more layers to Charles’s character. This is something that the actor who plays him welcomes.
‘It’s good to know a bit more about Charles’s history and a bit more three dimensional about the character,’ Kevin Mathurin told us. ‘We get to see his family and as his family grows you get to see other sides of Charles from outside work being the village vicar.’
He revealed that Claudette’s arrival is not without its challenges for Charles as she gets involved in his personal life as well as the way he does his job.
‘He’s pleased to see his mum,’ he said. ‘He has a good relationship with her, but obviously he knows that she will be a bit overpowering and likes to take control of the situation, which is going to be a bit awkward for him as well as for Manpreet.
‘She feels there’s an importance in his work so therefore it makes her feel important as well. From a loving place she wants him to be the best he can be in that position. When she criticises Charles’s sermons or his ideals of being a vicar are modern it rubs her the wrong way because she still sees that kind of position as quite high status.’
Claudette’s arrival will mean that viewers will start to be filled in on some areas of Charles’s past which have been blank up till now, and a new side to the character will emerge. Kevin told us this had been planned for a while.
‘Jane, our executive producer, pulled me aside,’ he revealed. ‘In the middle of last year there were talks about his past and who would appear and she was always saying “I really want to bring out a darker side to the character. There’s a darker side there which I’d really like the viewers to see.” It was great to build the family as well as build up some storylines and situations where sometimes the job doesn’t come first – being a man comes first.’
We’ve already seen a glimpse of this side to Charles when he warned off drug dealer Alex (Liam Boyle), who’d started a relationship with Charles’s daughter Naomi (Karene Peter) with a view to stealing drugs from the surgery. As Alex lay in hospital after being run over by Billy (Jay Kontzle), Charles threatened him to stay away in no uncertain terms and we definitely saw that under the dog collar Charles might be capable of some very nasty behaviour indeed.
‘I enjoyed every minute of [that scene],’ Kevin confirmed. ‘Charles is a lovely character, he’s very empathetic to everyone, his parishioners and family and friends but sometimes he can be a bit of a walkover because you can tell he’s always sort of swallowed where he should have reacted. He’s put his responsibility as a vicar first. It was about time, he needed to hit back. It was good to show that he has that side of him. When he’s had enough, he’s had enough.
‘I had a lot of comments online and people messaging me saying how much they enjoyed the particular scenes that the viewers saw on TV, of Charles sticking up for himself and sticking up for his family and showing a darker side that made people more intrigued about his past.’
Working within the soap format has mean the character has had time to develop these different sides and this is something that Kevin enjoys.
‘It’s good to lay little Easter eggs within the storylines that maybe we’ll go back to later,’ he explained. ‘When you think of ideas for the character to develop, as long as it makes sense to the journey the character is going through within the programme, it’s always good to see, ok, this is why he’s like that or sometimes he can be like this.’
As Claudette joins the cast we can look forward to seeing all these new sides to Charles begin to play out.
‘It’s been nice to have a fresh character to act against and with,’ Kevin said. ‘It’s been a really nice energy on the set bringing in the new character and getting to know the character and what is coming up on the page and the script and the storyline. It’s been exciting and fun.’
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