Emmerdale actor Zoë Henry has praised the casting of Darcy Grey as Marcus Dean, the son of Rhona Goskirk’s violent ex Pierce Harris, as 'extraordinary'.
“He is uncannily like Johnny Wrather,” Henry says. "It’s quite extraordinary!"
“Darcy does have a very strong resemblance to Johnny, which is enormously helpful in telling the story. So that constant reminder, [Rhona] doesn’t want that in the village. She doesn’t want to pop into the café and see that stark reminder of her past. She wants to help [Marcus] but it comes with its boundaries, I guess.”
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Originally jailed for raping Rhona on their wedding day, Pierce is currently serving time for the murder of her partner Graham Foster. Rhona has now moved on with her life, forming a solid family unit with Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock).
That is, until Pierce writes to her with two bombshells: he’s dying, and he wants her help to reconnect with Marcus.
Speaking at a recent press event, Henry reveals what is going through Rhona’s mind when she receives the letter. “Panic. Absolute panic,” she says.
“And also a distrust because he’s been so deceitful and such a liar. Can she even believe what he’s written in the letter, is there a son? Is this just another ruse to hook her in, is he really ill?”
Despite this reminder of her past trauma, Rhona seeks confirmation that Pierce’s condition is indeed terminal. “In a lot of ways, he’s dead to her already,” notes Henry.
“She’s managed to put him in a box in her head, compartmentalise him, he doesn’t exist anymore. Except he does because when the letter lands, it terrifies her. I don’t think she feels sad, I think she feels nothing, actually.”
Discussing why Rhona agrees to get involved in Pierce’s quest, the actor explains: “She’s a mother, and a daughter, and so she understands about that family connection, and who is she to deny this child of Pierce’s the chance to see him again?”
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It’s not long before the vet comes face to face with Marcus, and as Henry points out, the casting of actor Grey couldn’t be more perfect.
Asked how it feels to revisit her character's history, Henry declares: “Great! I really enjoy those sort of intense times. As an actor it’s always lovely to get your teeth into something. I always very much enjoyed working with Johnny Wrather, I’ve made no secret of that.
"My 12 years plus at Emmerdale, my storyline with Pierce has probably been the highlight. I thought it was very well constructed, and brilliantly written, so it was a dream to play.”
Viewers will see Rhona face this reminder of her past on Emmerdale in February.
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