Former Mistresses actor Adam Astill makes his debut in Holby City next week, taking on the role of orthopaedic surgeon Dan Hamilton. Billed as a charismatic and confident ladies’ man, it’s not long before Dan lands himself a possible love interest on the wards as he grows close to an established Holby regular. Could there be romance in the air at the hospital? And is Dan really as self-assured as he makes out? DS recently chatted to Adam to hear more about the character.

How did the role in Holby come about?
“I first heard about the role back in August and I auditioned, but I didn’t really think much would come of it. But then all of a sudden I was called back to meet the producers and it began to look very much like I was in with a chance of getting the role. I think that I was finally told that I had the job in October and I started filming in November.”

Was the audition process quite intensive?
“Well, it wasn’t a particularly long audition process – I only had two auditions, which I was pleasantly surprised about. When I do auditions, I do the preparation and I do the best I can, but then I try to forget about them so I’m not too disappointed if I don’t get the job. In this case, though, there was no disappointment – it was a very pleasant surprise to get the role.”

How was the character of Dan first billed to you?
“They described him as a sporty, rugby-playing ladies’ man who perhaps wasn’t as confident as he would like people to believe. And since then, I’ve discovered more about him. He is outwardly very bullish – orthopaedic surgeons are stereotypically these rugby-playing public schoolboy types, and he tries to live up to that persona. But he certainly has a heart of gold, and he also has the ability to put his foot in it and say the wrong thing sometimes! He perhaps has trouble expressing himself emotionally.”

As he is a ladies’ man, does Dan have his eye on anyone in particular when he joins the hospital?
“Well, without wanting to give too much away, one of his first tasks is to mentor Chrissie Williams, who is considering whether or not she’s going to become a consultant nurse. So Dan offers to mentor Chrissie through her training and, through that, they become quite close. There’s a distinct possibility that there may be romance in the air between Dan and Chrissie.”

Would Dan stay faithful to Chrissie, or is he likely to become a bit of a love cheat?
“I think that Dan would be faithful. There’s a lot of bluster about him and when he’s out with the lads he’ll perhaps josh and exaggerate about his prowess with the ladies. But he’s not a malicious kind of guy and obviously he’s aware that Chrissie Williams has been burnt once or twice before. So I think he’ll do his best to be faithful to Chrissie. But then again, this is Holby, so who knows?”

Apart from Tina Hobley, are there any other cast members who you’ve been sharing lots of scenes with?
“Yes, I’ve been working a lot with Bob Barrett, who is even nicer than his character Sacha Levy in real life. Both him and Tina have been brilliant to work with and they’ve taken me under their wings as the new boy, showing me the ropes. But the whole cast and crew have also been fantastic. I’d heard that it’s one big happy family at Holby, which sounds like a cliché – but it really is. It’s a lovely working environment.”

What is Dan like as a surgeon?
“He’s a brilliant surgeon, but he’s perhaps not so good with patient management. As an orthopaedic surgeon, I think he has a tendency to treat the x-ray rather than the patient – he’ll fix the bone and then just move on to the next piece of surgery. He’s very, very good at what he does, but perhaps his patient management and patient care could do with a little work!”

Has there been room to put your own stamp on the character?
“It’s a collaborative process – the writers and the producers have their own idea of where they want the character to go, but they’re quite happy for actors to have their own ideas. And, of course, how the character ends up very much depends on which actor is chosen for the role. I suppose, inevitably, the writers will end up writing for the character as played by the actor, so it does change but not drastically. At the moment I’m very happy about where the character is going and have been very happy to do what the writers and producers have suggested.”

What was your first day on set like?
“It was incredibly nerve-wracking! I thought that I looked as cool as a cucumber, but I was told on day three that my shoulders had come down by about a foot! (Laughs) By that point, I wasn’t looking so much like a rabbit caught in the headlights. But everyone was really kind and helped me out. I’d been worried about remembering all of the medical jargon, but my biggest nightmare was putting on those rubber gloves that Dan has to wear! There were fingers everywhere and it looked like I had a cow’s udder stuck to my arm! But I’ve practised a bit and I’m better at putting on the rubber gloves now. In comparison, the medical terms have been a doddle.”

New characters sometimes come into Holby with a secret or a dark past. Will Dan be the same?
“There’s certainly some revelations on the horizon! I don’t think he has a particularly dark past, but I think there are a few twists and turns. But there’s nothing that I’m allowed to reveal just yet…”

Source: Digital Spy

admin   February 9th, 2011   Adam Astill, Holby City

Click here to read the main part of the interview, in which Adam discusses the possibility of a romance between Dan and Chrissie Williams.

Alternatively, read on for a bonus Q&A with Adam…

How does Dan compare to characters that you’ve played in the past?
“He’s quite different – obviously because he’s a surgeon and he’s so brilliant at what he does. But there are also similarities to characters that I’ve previously played. I often get cast as slightly repressed, middle-class Englishmen – I can’t think why! (Laughs) So in that respect there’s similarities to some of the characters I’ve portrayed in the past. But I think another difference is the physicality of the guy – because he’s so sporty, a big fan of rugby and a rugby player himself. In my mind, Dan could possibly have had a promising semi-professional career in rugby, so I’m trying to convey that physicality and that’s the main difference.”

Is Holby a show that you’ve always had your eye on?
“Yes, for lots of different reasons. I think that for a show that’s on 52 weeks of the year it looks great, it’s consistently well-acted, consistently well-written and they have some fantastic guest stars on. Plus, it’s not too far from where I live, so it’s like having a proper job and a proper commute, which has been fantastic.”

Have you adjusted well to the intense filming schedule at Holby?
“It can be long hours and it can be quite intense, but we do get weekends off and I think I’ve been eased in quite gently. My schedule is getting fuller now, but when I first started, I was definitely eased in. Plus, I’m having so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work – it’s like I’m being paid for doing my hobby, really.”

You’ve joined the show at the same time as Laila Rouass, so have you shared many scenes with her?
“Her first episode is going to be my first episode as well, but I haven’t worked with her a huge amount. Her character Sahira is on a different ward and they’re filmed in different places. But I think with Laila Rouass joining at the same time as me, not many people are going to notice my arrival, because they’ll be looking at her! (Laughs) Laila is a lot of fun – I had a little scene with her the other day, which was really nice, but that’s not going to be on screen for a few months. I think Laila really had to hit the ground running – she was filming all day every day for months, and was quite jealous of my relatively easy schedule to begin with!”

Are you prepared for the increased attention that comes with a show as high-profile as Holby?
“I’m not sure how you prepare yourself for any increase in attention. The show definitely has a very big and ardent fanbase, so I just hope that I don’t disappoint any of the fans! I really hope that they take to the new character.”

Is it exciting to be part of Holby‘s revamp period?
“It’s really exciting and the show looks great when you watch it. I think that Guy Henry who plays Henrik Hanssen has had an immediate impact and he’s a fantastic actor, as well as being a lot of fun to be around on set. So it’s been brilliant to be part of the revamp and I just hope that I can help to maintain the high standard that Holby has always managed to achieve.”

Source: Digital Spy

admin   February 6th, 2011   Adam Astill, Holby City

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