TV Quickfire: Connor McIntyre, who plays Coronation Street villain Pat Phelan
He's one of Coronation Street's greatest villains, but when Pat Phelan returns to the cobbles next week, it will be his final showdown. Actor Connor McIntyre talks to Georgia Humphreys
HAS PHELAN BEEN PLOTTING REVENGE ON THE PEOPLE OF WEATHERFIELD?
I personally don't think so, but he has set up the fake page on the mums' internet group to be in touch with what's going on with [his pregnant daughter] Nicola. Keeping in touch is a control thing, but can he control at a distance? At least he is in touch with what is going on with the baby so he is at a holding position.
WHEN JOE AND GARY TRAP HIM, IS THIS PHELAN AT HIS MOST DANGEROUS?
Absolutely, and for everybody. For them to do to him what he has done to other people, that won't go down well – they are pushing all the wrong buttons. And, of course, in typical Corrie style, a really bad decision has been made, because Gary really should have just told the police where Phelan is. But it seems as though fate has dictated this to be resolved where it started, on the cobbles, full circle.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE IT IS A FITTING END TO FIVE YEARS OF AN AMAZING STORY?
All the historical places are revisited in terms of the Phelan storyline, and all his pathologies are revisited. It's really about the baby and what Phelan thinks is his legacy. With him being a control freak, if he knows the game is up, his focus will go to preserving his legacy, being the narcissist that he is.
WE'VE SEEN PHELAN LET HIS GUARD DOWN BEFORE, LIKE FALLING IN LOVE WITH EILEEN. IS LOVE HIS DOWNFALL?
This is Pat Phelan wounded and spiteful, so he does something spiteful to Eileen that dismantles the whole love thing. He doesn't make a lie of anything that they've felt in their relationship in the past because he does love her, but he does say something spiteful and it is quite a moment. When people see that, they will be divided – 'Oh I knew he didn't love her,' 'Oh, he really does love her but he wants to hurt her because he is hurt'. This is the last stand.
OBVIOUSLY YOU'VE ENJOYED YOUR TIME ON THE SHOW. WHAT HAVE YOU GOT FROM THIS EXPERIENCE?
If we are talking in practical terms, it has given me a platform. Where else do you think you could get the opportunity to do what we do? On this platform, we deal with the extraordinary as well as the mundane and make that as truthful as possible. It has given me a platform to work in that way, the confidence to handle that, and the pace is quite something.
HOW HAS IT CHANGED YOUR LIFE AWAY FROM THE COBBLES?
It's secured my studio, The Alamo, for the next couple of years and that means an awful lot to me. I have a large studio which is run by my partner, who is also a painter, and we take in graduates and mentor them, whether that is in visual arts or dramatic arts, because we have a lot of actors who come there too. We don't get money from anybody. And so my time on Coronation Street has also given me a window to other places to talk about these things.
:: Phelan's final episodes air weeknights on ITV from today.