Hollyoaks spoilers follow.
Hollyoaks star Callum Kerr has revealed new details about the future of John Paul McQueen and George Kiss's dark storyline.
The Channel 4 soap is exploring the topic of abusive relationships with the two characters, as George was seen turning violent with John Paul (James Sutton) in upsetting scenes recently.
After punching John Paul during a drunken row, George later painted himself as the wronged party while manipulating his boyfriend.
Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy about the future of the storyline, Callum – who plays George – explained: "He doesn't only think he will get away with it, he doesn't see that he's done anything wrong. Often, abusers will find an excuse or blame the victim for their actions.
"They have a different way of thinking and it usually takes more than an incident like that for them to see that what they're doing is wrong and violent. George thinks he is justified in his actions. If he has to apologise, he does so to manipulate John Paul even further.
"George will now start to separate John Paul from his family to stop him from hearing others' opinions on what's going on. If George is his only influence, he can be coerced into believing he deserves the abuse through the disguise of love and romance.
"George often goes over the top to show his affection for John Paul, and uses that as an excuse when John Paul does something he disagrees with.
"George also puts John Paul in situations where he has to 'prove himself'. John Paul, being a lovely person and a victim, believes he must do this to gain George's trust and affection."
Later this week, viewers will see George suggest to John Paul that they should move in together. John Paul is understandably hesitant after recent events.
Asked about George's motivations, Callum told us: "He wants to separate John Paul from the rest of the McQueens and have him under surveillance as much as possible. He wants total control of the relationship.
"The story is only going to get darker before it gets better. That is, if it ever does get better. It would take John Paul realising what's truly going on and trying to convince George to get help. I hope, for everyone's sake, George seeks professional guidance."
Hollyoaks has been hinting at a darker side to George's character for some time now. His manipulative behaviour then went into overdrive at New Year, when he briefly tricked John Paul into believing that he'd died in the line of duty.
Callum continued: "I always knew that George would be involved in some kind of drama with John Paul and the McQueens. I wasn't aware he was going to turn so violent, but it excited me while reading the script. I wanted to be an actor to challenge myself, and this is the perfect opportunity.
"I get the scripts via email, so I get the final details when I read the script. We had a 'controlling relationship' idea, but as we know, not all controlling relationships turn physically violent. That was the biggest surprise. It's a great idea to shine the spotlight on LGBTQ+ relationships.
"It's an honour to be trusted to explore this storyline. As we know, Hollyoaks hasn't shied away from hard hitting storylines in the past, so I always had faith that the producers and writers know what they're doing.
"It's then my job to find the truth in the performance to convey the situation accurately, while being entertaining. It's a mad job, really, but worth it. If it helps one person, it will be worthwhile."
Hollyoaks currently airs new episodes from Monday to Thursday at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4. Classic episodes, titled Hollyoaks Favourites, air on Fridays at 7pm on E4.
Organisations including The Mankind Initiative (www.mankind.org.uk) provide support and advice to male victims and survivors of domestic abuse, domestic violence and coercive control. Its confidential helpline, open weekdays between 10am and 4pm, is 01823 334244.
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