Actor Owen Brenman first appeared in Doctors playing the irrepressible Heston Carter five years ago, as the actor in an interview celebrates his time on the daytime saga.
Over the half-decade he’s romanced chilly Lily, raged against Homeopathy, been beaten by girlfriend Marina and starred in the Mikado.
Owen has also directed nine episodes of the daytime drama – his latest block of three transmitted on 22nd April 2013, all available to watch on BBC iplayer. Here’s a brief Q&A with Owen. Do let me know if you would be interested in interviewing him further.
Owen, what are the highlights of your time playing Heston so far?
Hard to single anything out. I like the variety. When Heston first arrived the writers pushed the comedy which was fun. At times I felt I was doing a sitcom whilst everyone else was in a drama. (This may still be true!). Then a failed marriage and a long lost son were introduced and comedy Carter humanised and, in my opinion, became more interesting and 3 dimensional.
Heston lends himself to quite varied story-lines. Pratting about in Gilbert & Sullivan one moment and abused by his girlfriend (Marina) the next. Come to think of it, maybe the two are connected?
Many fans are desperate for Heston to find love; do you think he ever will?
In a way I hope not. The last 2 relationships, Lily and Marina, ended up with him running around with his tail between his legs. He seems to become emasculated around his partners whereas he can be fairly strong-willed in other areas of his life. That is not to say he should not seek out romance. He is lonely, but as an actor I cherish his independence. The chase may be more interesting than the capture.
What has Heston got coming up story wise?
Some health problems arise for Heston, which start to affect his work and his behaviour towards his colleagues. He also develops a little sideline with one of the other doctors which has its own complications. Later in the year, Heston will be finding love again, and this time, I’m assured he won’t be emasculated!
What do you think you’ve learned changing roles and working behind the camera as director?
How difficult it is and how much I enjoy it.
You’ve recently directed your third block – is it getting any easier/more rewarding?
No not easier. I still feel I am learning the craft and am very grateful to have been given the opportunity. Sometimes I get it right sometimes not. It is so fast-moving you have to make quick broad-stroke choices. Follow your first thought or gut instinct. There is no time to be neurotic…which is a good thing and liberating.
Is directing something you would like to do long term?
Yes, most certainly. As well as acting. But this country tends to pigeonhole….so it remains to be seen how successful I will be.
Doctors, weekdays on BBC One