Hello and welcome to a Slice Of Soap people.
Guys, I touched upon this story on Monday but I think it’s worth another mention. Coronation Street actor Rob James-Collier, who plays Liam Connor, has announced that he’s quitting the show after just two years over fears of being "typecast".
Apparently he revealed his intention to leave only days before filming his on-screen wedding to Maria Sutherland (Samia Smith).
What is it with some of these young soap stars? Ain’t they got no sense of loyalty to their fans? I’m joking of course – he’s an actor and he wants to do other things. It happens. Still, if the mass exodus from Coronation Street continues, we’ll soon be left watching Ken Barlow in a one-man soap ‘cos actor Bill Roache isn’t going anywhere. He’s probably dying to get into the Guinness Book Of Records for longest serving soap actor.
So – does Rob James-Collier have a point? Would staying in Coronation Street result in him being typecast? I must admit, every time I see Ross Kemp on TV, whether he’s interviewing British troops in Afghanistan or trying to infiltrate some drug cartel in Columbia, I still think of him as Grant Mitchell. That says it all. But some actors have managed to break out of the soap-typecast thing: when I look at Natalie Imbruglia, I don’t see her character in Neighbours anymore – I just see the video for Torn. Besides, typecasting can affect actors who didn’t make their names in soaps: Sylvester Stallone’s never gonna be a Shakespearean actor, is he? And, in a 30-plus year career, he’s only going to be known for 2 roles: Rocky and Rambo.
While we’re on the subject of soap actors being typecast, let’s spare a thought for poor old Mohammed George who plays Gus. As you all know by now, he’s leaving EastEnders but you’ll never guess who’s gonna be playing the role of his fiery aunt Opal? None other than larger-than-life 1980s TVAM and Game For A Laugh chef, Rusty Lee…remember her? Hopefully she’ll bring a bit of much needed life back to the Square; she’s got a laugh that could wake up the dead, so if anyone can liven up Albert Square, it’s got to be good old Rusty Lee.
Look out also for Babyfather star Don Gilet who also appeared in 55 Degrees North. He’s going to be starring as Lucas Johnson, who turns up in Walford this Easter to find the daughter he walked out on when she was a baby. The baby? Chelsea Fox (Tiana Benjamin). Blimey, now if that isn’t an example of typecasting, then I don’t know what is….
That’s it for now. Join me on Friday for more soap news and gossip. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.
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